The Need and Benefits Of Career Counseling in Schools

Career counselling in schools aid students in identifying their skill sets and navigating information on the vast array of subjects, streams and courses, writes Srividya Iyer

Exploring future career options can be a daunting task for students. With numerous choices and new and innovative career paths emerging regularly, it is very natural to feel lost and uncertain about which career path to pursue. To address this, career counselling has become a valuable tool for students looking to navigate their career choices. Think of it as a compass that helps guide individuals through the complex maze of options, and towards a fulfilling career path. 

Ever since the profession emerged in the late 19th century with its roots in the American progressive social reform movement, the discipline has evolved much and is currently considered a critical component in the lives of school students. Career counselling provides students with continuous guidance and support to figure out their career choices. However, not many are able to avail of this crucial service, leading to the selection of professions that do not turn out to be fulfilling or lead to job satisfaction.   

iDream Careers put out a report called Bharat Aspirations, which involved 5,225 students from Class IX to XII in both private and public schools across 16 states. The report revealed that only 13.2% of the participating students received professional career guidance, while the majority relied on advice from individuals in their immediate circle for guidance on their careers. Thus, it is important for schools to create awareness of the plethora of career choices available to students. It helps the students understand their preferences, personality traits, and values which are crucial in charting out a career roadmap.  

Identifying students’ interests and aptitudes 

Career counselling in schools aid students in identifying their skill sets and navigating information on the vast array of subjects, streams and courses with the help of adequate resources. Professional career counsellors assist students in planning their educational milestones by having in-depth discussions and identifying their interests, aptitude and their cognitive ability. Professionals also take the help of psychometric test reports to suggest potential occupations based on the personalities of the students. With this process, it gives students a clear direction and roadmap to achieve their long-term career goals. Career counselling helps students find out ways to pursue their interests and passions while giving them an understanding of their strengths and weaknesses. It provides them with a realistic understanding of career trends, job markets, prospects, competition and challenges they may face in their chosen careers. Should one pursue science or a degree in commerce would be the best route for your chosen job? Professional guidance can immensely help in providing clarity during such confusion. Career counselling also serves as a useful tool for students to prepare for their competitive exams and have their profile, portfolio, and other admission-related documents ready to secure admission to reputed institutes or universities. Effective career planning leads to better career preparedness and helps aspirants set realistic career goals. 

Exploring career options 

Career counselling gives students the provision to explore different subjects, career options, occupations and sectors in order to make the best decisions for their future. For instance, if one is confused between journalism and civil services, counsellors in schools can help compare the scope, potential salaries and required skills of both jobs and also see if these factors align with one’s interests and goals. Skill sets required for various careers and occupations also continue to evolve due to digitalisation and globalisation. With the cropping up of a number of new-age careers like social media influencers, professional gamers or data analysts, students are required to carefully navigate from the array of choices to decide what to take up in the future. While opportunities are exponentially increasing for students, it is also leading to a dilemma among some who want to ensure they make the right decisions for themselves. Counsellors, armed with information on the latest and upcoming trends, can help students prepare and choose between new career opportunities or the ones that involve frequent changes.  

Study abroad counselling 

Students who aspire to study abroad can benefit greatly from counselling services, which can provide them with insights into the education systems of various countries, eligibility criteria, the application process, guidelines for admission, scholarships and an understanding of the international job market. Studying at the top global universities can ensure that you have top-notch education and the best possible employment prospects. However, shortlisting your preferred course, college and country can be a lengthy and complicated process. Counsellors having years of experience can guide students with the exhaustive process and lead them to the appropriate options as per their educational needs and aspirations. Such expert guidance can broaden their horizons and present them with a diverse range of career prospects.  

Career coaching is emerging as a fundamental part of school education now. It is essential to provide personalised career guidance and information for students to chalk out their future successfully. Being certain of one’s career choices or at least having an idea about it from school days won’t lead to any regrets in the future or the challenge of switching careers later on. If guided in the proper way and led down the right path, it will empower the students and keep them motivated to attain their professional goals.  


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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