Most of the Indian youth are unaware of their education and employment options. The path they follow to their careers is indirect, and their decisions are often based on scant information.
Our career guidance system is falling short. The industry is struggling for more properly trained workers, at the same time questioning the value of a traditional college education in providing that training. Research shows a stark disconnect between the courses of study students pursue and existing career openings and business needs.
Students perceive a lack of career guidance in their schools and often cannot name anyone outside of their parents who have been helpful in career advice.
Most young people are receiving little to no career guidance outside the home, and not enough from their parents. Just 6 per cent said school personnel had played the primary role in their career guidance—the vast majority credited their parents as their influence.
It also should be noted that 72 per cent of the students surveyed could think of nothing their school was doing to help with career decision-making.
Similar, to the results, illustrated high percentage of students could identify no one outside of their parents or schools who had played a significant role in career counselling.
To make matters worse, most students and youth view their parents as their biggest adult influence when it comes to careers, more than 80 per cent claimed to have spent one hour or less in the past few months discussing careers with their parents.
That’s not much guidance on which to base a life decision—and most parents have a fairly narrow frame of reference when it comes to career and skills training. This lack of career guidance leads to school students and graduates who are either undecided as to what career to pursue, or who may make a poorly informed decision that they may regret or abandon altogether.
Ask young people what they plan to do after graduation, and nearly all of them will tell you some sort of post-graduate education figures into their thinking. More than two-thirds say they are headed to a post-graduate college or university.
Educators should play a vital role in the process by which students & youth make career decisions. 10+2 schools, universities and employers can do much more to increase teachers’ exposure to different careers so that they help to advise students. The use of industry mentors, scholarships for targeted academic programs or career fields, adopt-a-school programs and more creative internship and work experiences serve as a few examples of how these partnerships can be enhanced.
Salary and job availability are common themes in recruitment campaigns for particular careers. Although these are important, groups seeking to boost high-school students’ interest in specific careers must create campaigns that appeal to young adults. Is a given career interesting? Enjoyable? Does the career allow a person to interact with people, the society directly or indirectly? Are work hours flexible? When creating career recruitment campaigns, these are the questions that should be answered.
The implementation of “career-education pathway” guidance programs can do much to create career awareness among young adults. Education providers can give their students much greater exposure to career options by creating the structure and offering activities that provide meaningful connections between education and the world of work. The use and innovative application of the career pathways concept will better enable educators and career advisors to provide young adults with the information needed to make more informed career decisions.
The value of creating a comprehensive and integrated career development system nationwide cannot be underestimated. A well-educated, well-trained and balanced workforce is central to the standing of the Indian economy in the future global marketplace. The integration of career development systems can serve to streamline efforts, create awareness of career alternatives, and provide young adults with the information needed to make choices and plan for the rest of their lives.