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Why Career Counseling is Important in Schools ? Picking a career usually, comes after picking a course. If a student doesn't pick the right course, it would inadvertently affect their career choice.

By Jaideep Gupta

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Career Counselling has always been important but only recently, got the recognition it deserves. Earlier, people sought out career counselors, for a change in careers, only after they got a job and were unhappy with it. Now, people recognize that this isn't ideal. What is noteworthy, is to consider why people change careers.

It doesn't take much thinking to understand that someone who does that was never convinced of what career they should take. Such a decision usually stems from school. Many students make career choices based on the most picked career among their peers. They don't, for once, consider what they like until it's too late.

Picking a career usually, comes after picking a course. If a student doesn't pick the right course, it would inadvertently affect their career choice. A recent study showed that 1 in 3 students are unhappy with the course that they picked. That is nearly half a million dissatisfied university students! Such figures only point to one clear truth - The importance of career guidance in schools.

To find the right career, there needs to be an understanding of what course to take and if capabilities match interests. A student might want to get into architecture thinking he's good at math and that drawing a building isn't too difficult. In reality, there is much more to architecture than that and there is a high possibility of him wanting to pursue another career at the end of the first year itself.

Career counseling in schools ensures the right kind of help to overcome such thinking and stop students from making such mistakes. Many students take a psychometric test in order to avoid making mistakes and their efforts are commendable, although the results of the test might leave them more confused than before. Why? The psychometric test basically outlines the strengths and weaknesses of students and highlights their aptitudes and interests. The catch is, their aptitudes and interests don't necessary have to match. Meaning, they can be good at Math but have an interest in Arts. So which career option do they pick?

An established career counselor will firstly, be able to explain the entire report, tell them the perks and disadvantages of pursuing both their interests and aptitudes, and give them the clarity and understanding to make the right decisions. This is much needed, especially, when students are prone to taking advice from inexperienced sources.

Students tend to take advice from anyone they think has an experience. But it may not always be right or let alone be the best one. The path followed by their seemingly successful peers might not help them to reach the same destination, their model adults must have gone through failures themselves and their parents might be unaware of the latest industry demands. To make sure that students have clarity of thought, career counselors must be made available for students at all times while they are in high school to receive the right and latest advice.

Although CBSE has made it compulsory for schools to have counsellors, there still needs to be a distinction made as to what kind of counselors are required. Many of the counselors already present are life skill counselors and although life skills are important, the number of college advisors (counselors) are low. Ultimately, college advisors are what students need most to be successful. To highlight, the urgent requirement for career counselors recent stats show a whopping 92% of students who don't get any career-related guidance from their schools.

Decisions made in High School often make or break a student's career. Experienced career counselors are trained to understand students thinking and their potential. Once a student's potential is understood, the counselor is able to guide the student to the best career suitable to him/her and help them make the decisions that ensure career success.

Students want to be successful and they don't mind getting help. They may feel shy at first or think it's weak to take help, but it is our responsibility to help them build strong careers. Having a career counseling cell in schools is the first step in doing that. It is a great first step indeed.

Jaideep Gupta

Founder and CEO, Univariety

Jaideep Gupta is the driving force behind Univariety. The inspiration of setting up strong career & college guidance systems in schools came from his personal experience of studying in various schools in the US during childhood. Upon moving to India towards the end of school, he found a complete lack of support or guidance at the school level. That thought stayed with him. He went onto complete his Bachelors from SSCBS, Delhi University and Masters from NMIMS (Narsee Monjee) in India and spent about 12 years in consulting and investment banking roles with companies like GE Capital, Morgan Stanley and Ernst & Young. 
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