Updated: Aug 15, 2020
"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions" - Stephen Covey
Importance of Career Counselling
"I am not a product of my circumstances. I am a product of my decisions" - Stephen Covey Today we live in what is called as the Information Age, which began in the later half of the 20th century. The information Age witnessed a sudden transition from traditional industry established in the Industrial Revolution to an economy based on Information Technology ('IT'). Perhaps, the biggest significance of this revolution was that people were no longer competing for jobs locally, rather had to compete in a global market. The work of a labourer could now be done by machines, more efficiently and in a cost effective manner. As per a report by Oxford Economics, around 20 million (2 crore) jobs will be replaced by robots (automation) by 2030. Further, people, especially in the developed nations further lost jobs due to companies outsourcing their work to the developing nations to further cut down on costs. This outsourcing has been made possible by the advancement of IT.
While a lot many jobs have been lost, Technology has enabled the creation of many new jobs and careers. As per a report by McKinsey Global Institute, Internet has a sweeping impact on growth, prosperity and has ‘created 2.6 jobs for every job that it has destroyed’.
Not just in terms of number of jobs being created, jobs like Website copywriter, Virtual assistants, Content Strategist, App development, Big Data Analyst, that did not exist 30 years ago are today possible thanks to IT. Further, the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) data shows that "65% of children entering primary school today will ultimately hold jobs that don't yet exist". These new age careers require specific skill set. To match the requirements, the best of the universities have started offering specialised courses.
Consider this, where 50 years ago, colleges and universities would offer general courses on Psychology, today universities offer specialised courses like Criminal Psychology, Cognitive Psychology, Brand Psychology, Consumer Psychology, Sports Psychology etcetera. Thus, 3 things can be implied from the above: 1) More and more of the traditional jobs are being lost to automation every year 2) New jobs are being created thanks to technology, that require specific skill set. 3) Specialised courses are being offered and newer courses are emerging every year Such complex parameters make the process of deciding on a career even more difficult.
Especially in the Indian society, where career choices are often made on absurd basis, like average salary, 'latest trend', whatever career a friend or a peer's child is opting for etcetera. As an illustration, it is taken as a matter of pride in India when a qualified engineer opts for an MBA rather than pursuing a Master’s program in his own discipline. This dichotomy is profound in our system leading to a great imbalance in education and occupation. This is further evidenced by the fact that India has one of the lowest skilled employee rates in the world, with less than 5% of the workforce having undergone formal skill training.
"Studies have identified a significant 'skills gap' between what students are currently being taught and the skills employers are seeking in today's global economy. Our children must be better prepared than they are now to meet the future challenges of our ever-changing world" - Stephen Covey
Career Counselling is an interactive process that primarily focused on enabling one to understand their own self, their strengths and weaknesses, informing about latest career trends, so that one can take informed career and educational decisions. Career Counsellors are experts at assessing aptitude, personality, interests, and other aspects of the counselee.
Here is how career counselling helps people:
1) Informed Decisions - Counsellors make available valuable information including but not limited to insights, course requirements, deadlines etc, which help counselee's to make better and informed decisions.
2) Neutral Perspective - Sometimes, the best advice is usually the one that is free from any prejudice. In India, parents play a very significant role in determining the career of their children. More often than not, the parents opinion is based off of outdated information, peer pressure, personal desires (sometimes parents want their kids to opt for courses they could not). In such cases, the availability of unbiased opinion is of utmost importance.
3) Psychometric Assessments - Counsellors also make use of psychometric assessments, which are tools used to obtain the most important information about a student’s behavior, emotional strength, interests, and skills. This information helps to facilitate on what kind of careers would be suitable for him/her. Click here to Watch a short video about Psychometrics
4) Helps counselees gain confidence - Counsellors help identify the weaknesses and hurdles in the counselees path to their goals. Identify hurdles and strategizing against them instills a sense of confidence and preparedness in the minds of the counselees.
5) Eases the stress of Parents - Having your child receive the best education and lead the most quality life is at the epitome of a person's desires. Given the significance this plays in the lives of people, having professional help available eases tremendous amount of stress off parents.
Today we saw some of the ways that counsellors can help people. We have not even discussed one of the most important functions of a counsellor, i.e. facilitating admissions both in India and Outside. Stay tuned to learn more about studying abroad. Looking for any form of career related help? Get in touch with us here.