Since career counselling has been added to the educational scenario relatively recently, its impact and scope are still subject to various myths. Specifically, in India, it still has a long way to go, when it comes to playing a pivotal role in students’ educational and career-making decisions.
The fact of the matter is that most students are aware of only the major career paths available to them such as Engineering, Medical Studies, etc. However, there are as many as 40 domains with over 250 career options available in India. Having no knowledge about these career paths means most students still end up choosing the prominent options. This is where someone like a career counsellor can play a huge role. By simply making students aware of the options, they open up numerous career paths for students.
Another alarming issue in the country is the rate of suicide among students, which tends to go higher and higher. Young students in India are forced to enter the competitive scene but many don’t have the right tools to handle the pressure. Even today, factors like peer pressure and parents’ and society’s indulgence are some of the major influencing factors when it comes to career decisions, or even major life decisions, of a regular individual.
In such a scenario, it is hardly surprising that career counselling hasn’t been as widely accepted as it should be. Debunking the myths about career counselling with facts might help people get a better idea of what it is all about and encourage students to be more participative in the matter.
Myth #1: Career Counselling is all about placements in the best colleges
Many people still think that the sole job of a career counsellor is to make sure students get placements in colleges where they or their parents desire. However, the fact is that career counselling involves helping students understand exactly what they want to do and what they can do. A career counsellor helps bridge the gap between a student’s desire and capabilities. The best colleges are not even the right fit for most students. A counsellor works with students to help them find a college that will suit them the best.
Myth #2: Career Counselling is only helpful for the high achieving students
High achieving students indeed have a higher chance of getting accepted in the top universities. But in most cases, these students will get to where they need to be one way or the other. There is hardly much value a career counsellor provides to them. Instead, students who have the potential but need some guidance and assistance to channel it correctly for being able to achieve their goals are the ones who need the help of a career counsellor.
Myth #3: Personal issues don’t matter in career counselling
An individual’s career is one of the most personal aspects of their lives. To determine their career choices, several personal issues such as financial struggles, family dynamics, etc play a huge role. As such, it is only obvious that a career counsellor would have to deal with personal issues of students as well.
Myth #4: Career counsellors are fortune-tellers and psychiatrists
As much as any career counsellor would love to be able to read a students’ mind and predict their exact future, they are not quite capable of doing so. They cannot specify what a student likes or wants to do unless the student shares with them. When it comes to predicting the future, what they can do is analyse the prospects of future and trends of the past to give the students an idea of what to expect down the line.
Myth #4: A career counsellor has to tell students what career they should opt for
The job of a career counsellor is to facilitate students in understanding where their interests lie and what they might be able to pursue in future. They don’t just specify a career option and tell students to follow that. Instead, they help them build a path that would lead to the career of their choice
Myth #5: Hobbies cannot become careers
A hobby can turn into a career if applied wisely. Career counsellors help students look at the options that they can utilize to make a career out of their hobbies.