Make Career Counselling An Integral Part of Modern Schooling
What do you think of career counselling in schools? Deciding a career is not as easy as writing an essay on “What do you want to be when you grow up?” Most fresh graduates struggle to understand how they can match their skills with the needs of the current job market. Trying to answer this question when you are looking for a job is not a great idea. Knowing the answer to this question well in advance can help you plan better.
Present educators have understood this truth, which is why there are schools that offer career counselling to their students before they can step into the world of ever-changing careers. Since school is the place where a student spends maximum time of the day, it must have all the opportunities that assist the students in progressing towards a successful career. The best way to ensure this is to provide career counselling at school.
What’s Career Counselling All About?
What career counselling does at this point can have long-term positive effects on the student receiving it. For example, a counselled student will make a careful choice of a career, keeping in mind job satisfaction along with financial security. Enjoying the job will further enhance performance at work and this process continues. The main idea of career counselling here is to bring the strengths and weaknesses of a student to the surface, which will help in navigating towards a brighter future.
A strategic analysis of these crucial aspects will allow a counsellor to provide relevant suggestions about the most suitable career options for each student individually. Research in this area further reiterates the importance of career counselling at an early stage. A report of an analysis made about students in India revealed that 85 percent of students face confusion while choosing subjects after their 10th grade. This is the state of even those students who are among the toppers in their class, with a score of 98 percent. Even with the best abilities, they compromise on the choice of their subjects only because they haven’t received any guidance to analyse what they could be good at.
Career counselling sessions not only assess the strengths of a student but inform him or her about the new and trending opportunities that are available to choose from. This approach exposes students to new ideas and gives them the courage to pursue careers other than the regular ones.
Impact of Career Counselling
Intense competition and the stress of managing many subjects usually leaves no time for a student to recognise what he or she may be good at. The confusion, if not dealt with in time, could lead a student towards frustration. In the absence of the career-counselling facility, students often fall prey to peer pressure or follow the crowd only to realise what they have taken up is not their passion or liking. A well-qualified career counsellor can prevent this from happening with the help of psychometric tests. These tests scientifically evaluate the available facts and figures about every student before concluding. The counsellor will not only help a student understand the strengths and weaknesses but will help him/her overcome the weaknesses, polish the skills and build confidence.
It is important that the students share a good rapport with their teacher. This will remove the hesitation in students when they need to approach a teacher for career-related queries. It is important to encourage such a rapport as it will help the teacher get a better understanding of the student’s interests, abilities and limitations. In fact, the student-teacher relationship forms the foundation of a successful career-counselling process.
An Example to Follow
To better equip students with an understanding of their career prospects, the Chief Minister of Delhi, Mr Arvind Kejriwal has announced the inclusion of the ‘Happiness Curriculum’ in all government schools since 2018. The introduction of the curriculum had a positive impact on the students. The Happiness Class has given students an opportunity to develop a stronger bond not only with their peers but with their teachers as well. The curriculum inculcates values of cooperation and mutual understanding among peers while encouraging them to ask career-related questions to their teachers. Interestingly, it has been observed that the communication skills of students have improved since the introduction of the Happiness Curriculum. Now the students feel more confident in expressing themselves during group discussions or question-answer sessions. This removes the barrier between students and teachers facilitating better two-way communication.
Keeping Up with Time
Today’s career counselling requires teachers of every subject to explain to students what that subject brings to the table for them. This information will be thought-provoking and may bring to notice some hidden interests in the subject. To reap the best benefits of career counselling, it is recommended that it should involve three important categories of people – students, teachers and parents. It must be the goal of teachers and parents to encourage the all-round development of students instead of promoting growth in a single direction. This multidimensional approach will bring out the talents of students and improve the same.
Knowing the current trends in career counselling is important for all the people involved in education services as it will change their outlook towards teaching and keep them updated with the dynamic world. It is a school that holds the responsibility of keeping today’s children on par with the world that is never constant. Including career counselling in their curriculum will enable schools to provide a wholesome and uncompromised quality of education.