Career Guidance for Youth

Due to shortage of trained professionals most of the institutes appoint a teacher for the role of career counselor

To help students make an informed career decision, a career counselor is required. However, most of the Indian institutions give it the least importance. Like the West, India needs well-trained professionals with wide knowledge of jobs and careers. The reason for the lack of skilled career counselors is that not many institutes offer this course.

Highlighting the acute shortage of trained professionals, A Vimala, HOD, Department of Extension and Career Guidance, Bharathiar University, Coimbatore, says that the absence of undergraduate and postgraduate programs to create a pool of professionals in this field is the only reason for well-trained professionals in this field. The only reason for the shortage. Realizing the shortage of talent and skilled workforce required to become professional career counsellors, Bharathiar University started a two-year MA in Career Guidance program in 2008 with an intake of 20 students. Lack of awareness among students about the availability of such programs is a major hurdle in attracting students to the university.

“Government assistance is needed to resolve this issue. They should promote and advertise career counselor as a job opportunity in government schools and colleges. A separate recruitment process should be followed. At present, educational institutions have no other option but to use teachers as career counsellors,” says Vimala, adding that every job requires a certain amount of expertise. Teachers can help in solving subject related issues and not just career guidance. “The main objective of the two-year M.A. Career Guidance program is to prepare students as career counselors and guide them to develop a global as well as national approach to education and employment. The program provides students with education, guidance, counselling, various tools for psychometric testing, event management, organizing career exhibitions, guidance and employment opportunities and skill assessment to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the source of information. -Provides an opportunity to deepen together. School, college and industry levels for early and mid-career,” explains Vimala.

course curriculum

Guidance and counseling practice, curriculum development, positive psychology of counselling, e-career guidance, English communication and testing, career development in social context, aptitude assessment for career, personality development and career management are the major course contents of the MA Career Guidance programme. The current culture of peer and social pressure, marks obtained in boards is doing great harm to the future workforce.

systemic flaws

Apart from Bharathiar University, Rajiv Gandhi National Institute of Youth Development, Sriperumbudur also offers MA Career Counseling programme. Some certificate programs are offered by private institutions. “The NEP also emphasizes that career counselling, student interests are being identified in schools but nothing is being initiated by the governments,” says Vimala.

career dilemma

Despite pursuing higher education, most of the students are not sure about which career is best for them. This shows that academic score is not the only important thing to get good placement and make a great career. There are many factors that influence the career journey of a student.

lack of self-awareness
Self-awareness is important at every stage of life, but it takes on a new importance when choosing a career. Lack of self-awareness is one of the main reasons due to which students remain constantly confused when it comes to choosing a career path.

Although they may be aware of their hobbies, they are unable to connect their aptitudes with career choices.

Limited understanding of future businesses

Students are often confused about what to do after completing their education. One study estimates that 93% of learners are only aware of eight or fewer professional options, such as engineering, medicine, law, finance and information technology. On the contrary, there are over 800 different career paths available for them to explore.

Furthermore, students are overwhelmed by the vast range of courses offered by universities and institutes when choosing a professional path. Obviously, they are in dire need of professional guidance to gain knowledge of career and best courses.

Peer influence and social pressure

From an early age, a child’s peers play an influential role in the formation of his or her identity, attitudes, beliefs, and approaches. When making career decisions, students may feel constrained and obligated to choose a career based on the performance of peers. Not only do friends influence them, but they may also be under pressure from parents, relatives and teachers.

However, these influential people are not equipped with the right knowledge to guide the student in the right direction. This can lead to wrong decisions and dissatisfaction at the workplace.

Too much emphasis on leading colleges

To keep up with the competitive world, many students pursue top universities and colleges without giving much thought to the course they want to pursue. In their quest to be a part of a prestigious university, they choose courses that may not be in line with their career goals. This is one of the many reasons why, after completing the course, students feel less confident about their skills and are not able to move ahead in their career journey.

fear of failure

Failure is an unseen phenomenon in our country. If a student is unable to live a successful life as per the social standards, he or she is usually looked down upon. When success is determined by how well one achieves social objectives, the idea of failing in any way can be frightening.

Additionally, parental expectations may lead learners to choose socially acceptable careers rather than what they actually enjoy doing. This is why many students do not follow their natural talents and inclinations while choosing a career and choose something less challenging and unsuitable.

Both students and parents need guidance to align career choices with interest and aptitude to help students lead a confident life.

skills gap and unemployment

A recent study has confirmed that about 75% of organizations have acknowledged the basic skills gap in the industry, which is a major reason behind the current unemployment rate in India. There is a dire need for a broader pathway between education and employment.
Mismatch in skills and industry requirements can lead to dissatisfaction among job seekers. Students need to build the right skill set not only to get employment but also to have a sustainable career.

What is the solution?

Dealing with a mistake in career is not the easiest thing. Apart from manifesting chronic dissatisfaction, lack of motivation, poor performance and social neglect, it has far-reaching effects on an individual’s well-being. Scientific research shows that making the wrong career choice can lead to serious health problems like depression, denial and fear, which may take years to recover from.

Thus, it is important that the choice of career is based on the interrelationship of personality, skills, interests and work style orientation. The role of career advisors and counselors is paramount in guiding students towards a broad career journey.

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