We live in an ever-changing world. Especially, since the pandemic began, all sectors have undergone a sea change. Take for instance the field of education, where a compelling need to teach online arose as schools and colleges were shut down, locking millions of students across the nation, out of the classroom. The world of work is changing just as fast as the mode of education shifted from offline classrooms to teacher app in the recent past. Many jobs which have emerged today, didn’t exist just a few years ago. In such a transient environment, it is impractical to assume that you will stick to one career for the entirety of your working life. This is where career counseling comes in, which is a process of providing assistance to individuals (students or professionals) in choosing the appropriate field for higher education, occupation and in deciding the best-fit career for them based on interest, aptitude, and future avenues for employment in the chosen field.
Our efforts to meet the rapidly changing demands of jobs today have not been up to the magnitude required. The world is facing a proliferating skill gap. According to an estimate, by 2030, more than 800 million students in low-and-middle-income countries will leave their schools without attaining the skills required to become a part of the modern workforce. This includes more than 250 million students from India alone. There is a significant incongruity between skill development and the jobs available today or in the future, with young students finding it difficult to access appropriate guidance and training that would allow them to pursue best-fit jobs, while companies continually struggle to find and recruit requisite talent. This potential global crisis of a staggering number of unemployable youth has implications for schools, colleges, and industry to show greater commitment towards providing students with appropriate career guidance to ensure that they become an asset in the future, not a liability. So, career counseling and guidance should be given topmost priority at educational institutions.
Nevertheless, owing to its rapidly changing dynamics, the gig economy of today (a market of which short-term contracts or freelancing are an integral part as opposed to permanent jobs), is continuously creating new opportunities for students to explore. For instance, since the use of teacher app for teaching online has soared in the last couple of years, there is an awesome opportunity for individuals willing to teach online to make their career as online teachers. But the thing is that students and their parents are often deprived of reliable and timely information about the career choices available at their disposal. Career counseling may be an effective solution for the predicament of students and parents in this regard.
Apart from the aforementioned factors, Career counseling helps a student to gain confidence in his abilities and provides the much-needed insight into his future prospects, aptitude, skill set, and likewise. Providing the requisite guidance early enough may lead to an increase in the class performance of the student, as it will make him more trusting and secure in his abilities and remove doubts and apprehensions regarding his future. The youth also see Career counselors as role models for themselves, who are mostly well-aware, eloquent speakers and help the students through many hurdles. This helps in character development and inspires them in devoting their energies towards a productive goal. Another benefit of career counseling is that it helps the student achieve stability of thought. In teenage years, when the mind of students is going a mile a minute, stability of thought and clarity of purpose is a luxury to have. Appropriate guidance from a career counselor helps them achieve just that. Counselors may also get rid of any unwanted or self-sabotaging behavior that the student might be unwittingly indulging in like procrastination, lack of motivation, fear of studies, bad sleeping habits, and likewise.
Most importantly, career counselors are well-trained and experienced professionals and they provide expert resources and guidance to the students which they have accumulated through years of study and work in the field of career counseling. Though career counseling can and should be taken up by anyone who wants to know the best-fit career for him, it must be made mandatory for school students to undergo career counseling sessions to become skilled and employable in their desired field of work in the future