What is Career Counseling?

Career counseling is a type of guidance process through which a certified counselor mentors an individual to make academic and career decisions that are a best fit for them. It is a beneficial process that improves the quality of work life.

Career counseling is different from psychological based (Clinical) counseling where a therapist diagnoses and intervenes the mental health problems/disorders with a developed treatment plan.

This is a type of counseling in which the core emphasis is to enhance a person’s skills, aptitude and growth potential. By enabling them to learn about their personality, interests, and aptitude. Best Career Counseling in India defines it as a professional intervention that can be applied in any stage of career development through the usage of psychometric assessments. 

What are Psychometric Assessments?

Psychometric assessments are standardized tools and scales researched and developed by psychologists. They are essential instruments used by career counselors to understand their clients better. The instruments can also be self administered and scored through computers for introspection.

The assessments usually contain a set of questions (Technical term for these questions are items). These items are carefully formulated and go through multiple rounds of checking before they can be included in the official questionnaires.

All the psychometric assessments must have a high validity and reliability. 

Validity and Reliability of Psychometric Test For Career refer to the ability of an instrument to measure what it proposes to measure and produce consistent results over a period of time. It basically means that these psychometric assessments are designed and tested multiple times to produce highly accurate results.

So what do they exactly measure?

The instruments test and measure a student’s:

i) Skills (Communication, interpersonal, time management, leadership, etc)

ii) Personality (Myers Briggs Type Indicator)

iii) Aptitude (Verbal, numerical, psycho-motor, spatial, etc)

iv) Intelligence (Howard Gardeners multiple intelligence & emotional intelligence)

v) Interests, Passion and Core values 

When a student undergoes psychometric assessment, they can understand themselves much better. With the results, the career counselor receives a holistic picture of the client and helps them design a career plan. This makes psychometric assessments extremely advantageous for individuals (despite of their age group and career stage)

But why is Career Counseling important for school children?

Career Counseling in India has found that 93% of the students in the country are aware of less than 10 career choices like engineering, medicine, law, design, and business. Herd mentality is extremely common in India, especially engineering and medical courses are given far more importance compared to the others. 

Around 10 lakhs of students appeared for JEE and NEET this year (2022), the competition is extremely high for the courses but the acceptance and employment rate remains low.

However, there are over 250+ career paths available for students but knowledge about these different occupations are quite low.This is the reason why India desperately requires career guidance and awareness for its young generation.

Every individual is unique. They have an unique personality, aptitudes, skills, values, and intelligence and emotional quotient (IQ and EQ)

Every career is different and it requires a certain set of educational qualifications and capabilities.

Strives to match the right occupation for the right individual. This increases career growth rate, motivation, productivity, and provides a healthy work life balance.

The importance of combining career counseling in the education

A career is an essential part of life. The sooner the process and awareness of career counseling is conducted to the students, the sooner they can train and work their way towards their career success. The early career guidance is provided to the students, it helps them transform into future successful leaders. 

These are the common difficulties faced by or services required by the students when they opt for career counseling:

i) Career indecision

When a wide range of options are presented to the student and they are feeling lost, confused, and overwhelmed, career indecisiveness occurs. Career Counseling helps them narrow down their possible choices and eliminate others. It builds focus and aim.

ii) Career conflict prevention

When a student is confused between or multiple career choices that they are interested in, counseling helps them pick the path which is the most suitable for them. 

iii) Lack of accurate and reliable information about academic programs

In many situations, proper information about courses is not available for the students. This can cause uncertainty, hesitancy, and lead the students to pick an unfit course and career path. Thus accurate information is essential and must be available to the students at all times.

iv) Career skills and qualities development

When the student has taken a decision about their career path, the next step involves assisting them with their choice. The necessary skills required by the occupation are developed and the potential of the student is grown.

This helps them be prepared, get trained, and gain practical knowledge and experience before they actually begin working. Career counselors get qualified through Career Counseling Certification Course in India and obtain their certificate.

They often refer the students to certain materials and recommend suitable internships that students can undergo to gain experience.

v) Identification of root causes behind their career decisions

Students, more specifically children, are individuals who get influenced easily. Parents, teachers, friends, and even external media can have an impact in their decision making skills. It is essential to help them realize the reasons behind their decisions. It is of utmost importance that individuals make choices for themselves and not for others. Because such decisions can lead to dissatisfaction and career slumps in the future.

vi) Avoiding the Herd Mentality

Herd Mentality is a concept known as Conformity in Social Psychology. It is the tendency of a person to imitate the behavior of others in a group to match attitudes/beliefs and to feel accepted by the rest. As we explored before, this is also a leading cause why hundreds of students pick a stream or career not suitable for them.

Students tend to choose careers because of their friends or peers. Career counseling helps to break this mentality and help students pick an occupation that is suitable for themselves.