Why students need career counselling

Why students need career counselling

Career counselling has become important as it serves as a launchpad for students' future. Istock image

Gone are the days when career counselling at the school level was restricted to mere helping students choose a college or a career.

Today, career counselling has become important as it serves as a launchpad for students' future.

Selecting the right subjects based on alignment with one's interest, passion and zeal, along with the scope of the field, has become vital.

With a vast number of colleges/universities offering a variety of academic courses including niche ones, Gen Z finds it difficult to choose courses and careers. Also in the current times where job sectors are changing so fast and newer jobs are emerging faster, the role of a career counsellor has transitioned from merely being a guide helping in career profiling to becoming more of an academic life coach.

Be it state, national or international curriculum, the end of grade eight is often marked as the beginning of the next 'big' move for the students, especially in the light of choosing the right stream of subjects, and therefore, career counselling for students must begin as early as grade eight. 

Schools should begin counselling grade eight students and their parents, and guide them to plan an appropriate career road map. This early counselling will help students discover and assess their passion, interests, strengths, and weaknesses.

Counselling team

For this purpose, every school must have a career advisory/counsellor team. The primary responsibility of such a team should be to help students choose the appropriate subject at the high school level, comprehensively guide students on pursuing higher education in India or abroad and then chalk out a career plan. 

However, the team must also focus on the journey of discovering student’s aptitude and passion that counts more than the ultimate destination. It must help students to have a more focused approach to their learning to gain a perspective on their abilities and make their learnings more goal-oriented. 

It must boost students to stay motivated, build curiosity and the academic skills required to achieve their goals. Thus, it must guide students to make wise decisions. 

Respect individuality

However, counsellors must keep in mind that each child’s needs are different and they must respect individual differences. They should encourage students to carve their niche and the formulae for this simple success is believing in cohorts.

Over the years, pictures of success stories have been written by engineers as much as by musicians and entrepreneurs. And there is no 'one-size-fits-all' type of solution. So, the counsellors must keep constantly learning and innovating to help students at an individual level. 

Ultimately, change is the new normal and school career counsellors must assist students to acquire skills and to adapt to the change in such a way that they not only survive in this competitive world but also flourish. Going by the current situation, they must help children to have good mental health.

Career counselling is invaluable to students and the need of the hour. Counsellors, teachers, and even families should work together to get the students engaged right at the start of their high school education to get the most out of it in the future. 

(The author is a career guidance counsellor)

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