Career guidance is a formal way for students or employees to get advice on their careers at different stages. The process often involves individuals identifying and exploring career options, making informed decisions about their future, and developing strategies to achieve their goals. It can be helpful at any stage, but it is especially beneficial for those starting their careers. Career guidance helps groom people who may be overwhelmed by the numerous options available and cannot decide which career to take up. Many school pass-outs and college graduates may feel directionally weak with a sense of emptiness and are unsure where to start their job search, and career guidance is of help for such people.
Why career guidance?
With the rapidly evolving industry today, it is critical for the individual to make an informed choice in terms of aspiration, courses, institution, domain, and job role. Proper career guidance can be the bridge between the direction seeking youth and the industry. It is vital for the learner/employee to make an informed decision for the future.
1. It helps in understanding the relationship between education and career goals. It can assist young students in making decisions about their future by learning about different career options and the academic requirements needed to pursue those options. It also helps students identify and assess their strengths and weaknesses and gauge how these factors impact their career choices.
2. An experienced career guide or coach can help career seekers in several ways. They can assist in identifying and exploring career options, job searching strategies and preparing for interviews. A guide can also help to write resumes and cope with job-related stress.
3. It is key for building a successful and satisfying career. A career guidance counselor assesses and evaluates your work-related interests, skills, and values and matches them to careers and job roles that fit your profile. The counselors can also help you explore a variety of career options, learn about job outlooks, trends, and specific requirements, and guide you towards the right education and training needed.
4. Career guidance or counseling helps identify the barriers that may impede career aspirants and the ways to overcome these challenges. Students and professionals often are beset with a set outlook and pattern that can prove to be an obstacle in their success, and this is a vital issue that career guidance addresses.
Career guidance is still relatively new as a concept in India. Except for leading higher institutions like IITs and private universities and schools, it is largely missing in most institutions, especially in government-run schools and colleges from where most of the students come. There are few professional career counselors available, but they mainly work on an incentive basis, i.e., they promote those colleges and career options that pay them on an enrolment basis.
Every secondary school and undergraduate college should have career counselors who can guide young students about various career options based on an individual’s interests and abilities. Similarly, every student in secondary school should have access to career guides who can advise such students who at that age are not very aware of any available career options.
Career guidance can be broken up into three parts: (1) school level (2) college level and (3) workplace level. While at the workplace level, the human resources department can individually guide an employee, counselors at the school and college level can guide the young students about the options they can pursue after school or college. It would be a good idea if career guidance talks could be included as a part of the curriculum at the senior level in every school. Schools and colleges can tie up with the industry and have regular visits by industry experts to have talks and discussions with students. It can be followed by industry visits by students to understand the challenges involved in a particular career.