Why Schools Should Help Students Make the Right Career Decision

The life of a student today can be exciting, exhausting and overwhelming all at once.

They have school and extra classes to attend, projects and assignments to complete. They spend significant time on social media and keep track of pop culture, entertainment, sports and other news. All this while undergoing major biological changes and desperately trying to find their place in the world! Herein lies the pressure of one of the biggest decisions of their life - choosing the right career.

Navigating the Technological Age

Amidst the stresses of their own lives, students are also just about learning how quickly the world around them is changing. There have been more groundbreaking changes in the last two decades than in the century before that! These developments also affect the way careers and jobs are evolving. For instance, BPO executives were in demand five years ago, and have all but vanished now. This is increasingly true of not just individual careers, but industries altogether.

Technological advancements and rapid growth in fields like artificial intelligence are changing the way we function. A recent World Bank report states that more than 69% of Indian jobs are likely to become obsolete due to automation.

Facing the Generation Gap

No matter how hard they try to keep up, most adults aren’t able to grasp the magnitude of these changes. They are barely coping with the present and far from predicting the future. Additionally, they prioritise financial security, job stability and career prestige while choosing careers.

Students, on the other hand, belong to a generation that dreams of chasing its passions. They spend hours envying Instragrammers and YouTubers for following their dreams. They want to pursue their passion but aren’t able to distinguish between fleeting hobbies and intrinsic interests.

Understanding the Academic Problem

Students’ formative academic years determine their professional and personal development. However, in current times, the world is moving faster than our academia can cope with and there is a gap between what students learn and the skills required to deal with the real world. Schools are trying to bridge this gap by initiating a variety of skilling programmes. However, until students realise where their interests lie, it’s difficult for them to figure out which skills to develop.

Considering the magnitude of this burden, is it a surprise that India sees an average of 26 student suicides on a daily basis? Or that 1 in every 4 Indian teens is depressed?

Addressing the Root Cause

To find the right answers, we need to ask fundamental questions - how can students figure out their interests, personality traits and abilities? How do they identify programmes ideal for them? How do they go about making informed career choices?

Career counselling can be the most comprehensive solution to solve the issue at its core. Professional career guidance entities help individuals discover their true interests and opt for the right career.

Making the Right Choice

Choosing the right career guidance expert is important. Are aptitude tests enough to make the right choice? Aptitude tests were never built for career fitment - they only measure specific abilities, most of which are archaic and outdated. A psychometric test measures an individual’s interests, personality and abilities to discover the right career.

For instance, an aptitude test might detect a student's mathematical abilities and direct them towards a mathematical career, without considering the student’s interest in dance. A few years down the line, the student will lose interest in their career, and dream about the life they could’ve led as dancers! A psychometric test would have considered their interest in dance, as well as their personality traits and guided them towards a career they would be happy pursuing.

But tests alone aren’t enough in helping individuals make a career decision. What happens after they’ve discovered their ideal career path? How do they go about pursuing it? What should they expect from it? How will the career guidance provider handhold them and give them everything they need to know until they actually start working in their chosen career?

The right career guidance system will provide them with these facilities and help students find career clarity, thus improving their overall academic performance. Moreover, if schools implement such systems, parents are likely to appreciate their efforts and spread the word about their children’s schools. Such pioneering initiatives boost the credibility of institutions. Most importantly, they help ensure a happy, productive and successful future for the next generation not just at an individual level, but also as the collective workforce of our country.

About the Author
Author: Khyati Mehta
Khyati works as Senior Editor at Mentoria, a career discovery platform that helps people make well-informed career decisions by helping them discover who they are.

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