Career Counselling Training For Teachers Is The Need Of The Hour

Teachers have multiple roles to perform, they must not only teach but also provide the right career guidance to the students, setting them up for future success. But are they well-equipped to do so? A comprehensive career counselling training for teachers is the critical bridge to help them provide their students with the best support.

Career counselling is not a one-time activity. It is a comprehensive and developmental approach to assist students in making and implementing informed educational and occupational choices. It involves long-term methodical self-assessments for exploration of a student’s interests and guiding them with knowledge of careers, colleges, and admission processes, setting them up for future success.

It is also a myth that career counselling is about college admissions only. It also involves contextualizing academic knowledge to the world outside the classroom, showing students how a concept or a fact learned in the classroom affects the world around them. As such, not only do schools invested in the success of their students need to make career counselling an integral function of their academic calendar, but every teacher needs to be a 10% career counsellor, helping students bridge the understanding between academic knowledge and the diverse careers that knowledge can support. Done right, this takes away the biggest affliction affecting classrooms today- that of disengagement and boredom, turning students into excited learners, invested in their own futures. 

The career landscape is always rapidly evolving. New opportunities are constantly being made available and students need guidance to manoeuvre these changes. Global competition, product innovation, process development and advanced technology affect the types of careers that will be most valuable to students in the coming years. The skills needed to succeed in the modern workforce are changing too. It becomes the responsibility of the school to make sure they provide their students expert guidance so they don’t make career decisions in a vacuum of information and help them clearly define their goals based on their unique interests, abilities, and economic factors. Effective guidance counselling can only take place when teachers too have access to comprehensive training and resources to best guide their students.

With the focus on skill-building that the NEP has brought in, teachers need to be empowered to put the policies into effect. You cannot impose a new system on existing educators without giving them the resources to implement it. While there is a plethora of teacher training programmes, workshops, and courses for teachers, schools need to encourage and implement this training at a systemic level.

As for career counselling training for teachers, there are programs designed to empower them with the training and resources they need to match the growing needs of students and parents in the classroom and beyond. Not to be confused with mere upskilling, these career counselling training programmes will eventually reflect on every student’s growth and future success. Isn’t that the point of education, and isn’t that what educators have committed their professional lives to? 

The latest initiative by the Government School Teachers Association (GSTA) in New Delhi is a commendable effort towards helping students recognise their potential and develop skills necessary to realise their full potential. But we need to stop and think about whether these teachers are equipped to effectively counsel students and provide answers about what to study, where to study, and how to make it happen. Perhaps they need our support so they in turn can support their students. 

Higher education institutions and regulators need to recognise the importance of hiring for and providing formal career counselling training for their educators. And while there is a long way to go before that is implemented at a policy level, there are organizations that are working to support this skill-building in schools and that can play an important role in shaping the future of the education landscape and providing our youth with the much needed guidance to fulfil their highest potential. 

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house

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