The world of education has evolved dynamically over the last decade.
Gone are the days when information dissemination was your biggest priority. An educator today needs to provide the right balance of academics, extracurricular activities, skill development and overall guidance to help their students become ‘future-ready’. In fact, educators around the globe feel that information dissemination shouldn’t even be one of your top priorities. Your students belong to a generation that relies on Google Search and prefers videos over textbooks, especially since Google is more likely to be relevant and ‘current’ than the textbook! So while you try to create a learning environment that focuses on your students’ overall development, we’d like to talk about the most critical point of guidance that your students need in this day and age - career guidance.
Career Options in the 21st Century
You probably chose your career when the digital medium was still in its nascent stages, and your options were a handful. Today’s students have over 12,000 career options. Ask anyone around you; they’d struggle to name over 100 or 200 options. Students, with barely any exposure to the working world, know fewer still. How, then, do we expect them to determine their future path? A lucky guess will do more harm than good, and relying on parental guidance isn’t enough either, because parents, too, are unaware of all the options their children have. Additionally, careers are evolving at a rapid pace, and your perspective on a particular career might not be relevant by the time your student enters that career.
So how do you ensure that you’re guiding your students down the right path?
Find the Right Partner
There are plenty of career guidance entities, but it’s important that you choose the right one who can help your students figure out which career path they’re meant for, and enable them to become ‘career-ready’.
There was a time when career decisions were made on the basis of career popularity or promise. Today’s generation chooses careers that fulfills their passions and gives them a higher purpose. This gives them enough motivation to take on the challenges in that career. Automation is changing just about every field, and only an inherent passion - coupled with adaptability - will help one learn and grow.
So how do you go about choosing a partner that helps your students discover their passions and equips them with the guidance they need to enter that field?
Choose the Right Assessment
A significant portion of career guidance providers may recommend aptitude testing for your students. But aptitude tests do not consider a student’s interests - they can only point out which ability is most dominant in a student, and were never made for career fitment. Opt for a guidance provider who uses psychometrics assessments to recommend career paths based on a student’s dominant interests.
Once you’ve narrowed down your options, try to understand your potential partner’s assessment better. Has it been created for an Indian audience, or is it simply an adaptation of a foreign assessment? Does it cater to all the career options available today? What kind of reliability does it offer? Opt for one that fulfills all your required criteria and is most likely to provide accurate guidance.
Check out the Value Added Benefits
Apart from assessments, look into your potential partner’s additional services. What kind of career counselling do they offer? It’s crucial to find a partner who includes parents in the decision making process, as parents need to accept and support their children’s career choices.
You could also figure out if your potential career guidance partners provide detailed information on the child’s chosen careers, in a manner that’s easy for the child to understand. Even a Google search could tell your students more about their chosen careers, but this information might be highly technical, and not relevant for an Indian audience. Your ideal partner should be able to help your students glimpse into their future career, tell them which courses and colleges would be ideal for them, and even provide them with regular updates on how their industry is evolving.
Guidance providers like Mentoria can enable your students to discover themselves and their ideal careers, and handhold them through the process by providing all the information they need to be career-ready. Most students wait until college or even till they enter the workforce to decide what they’ll enjoy, but this delay in decision-making will hamper their development in the right direction. Every job requires you to be equipped with a certain skill-set. The sooner a student knows what they should pursue and what kind of skill-set they would need, the earlier they can start building those skills and better their chances of being hired right out of college.
Your students will always look up to you for guidance, not just for educating them on different subjects but also guiding them down the right future path. The right partnership will help you garner tremendous amounts of goodwill from both students and parents, and enable you to build a legacy of perhaps enabling the next Indra Nooyis and Sundar Pichais of the world to get a headstart in the careers they were meant for!