Career Guidance for college students

Career guidance in colleges all over the world is big business today. It has been observed keenly that academics are not always the best measuring yard stick for the career preference and aptitude of the student. There are many times a 180 degree change from the main stream where the student shows interest and the job he/she chooses. There are many questions coming up in this context, such as

How to identify the real aptitudes of the student?
Ans: There are a number of aptitude tests which can be applied. Also there are counseling methods though the students discovers the inner strengths, desires and aptitudes, information which will indicate the direction for the profession best matched with the student.

How to motivate the student to take up the best choice available?
Ans: By bringing and maintaining continuous interactions with leaders of the industry where students can interact freely and find out whether the job in question really answers their needs for professional and personal growth.

How can the college help the student make an informed decision?
Ans: By conducting continuous training, introspection sessions, and upto date information of the market trends.

These are some of the few relevant questions that come up in the mind of the career guide. In order to bring about complete clarity in the mind of the student, career counseling should be effected early, as soon as the student takes admission, and not as popularly believed at the end of the course. The reason why it makes sense to carry out the counseling sessions early, is that when the student will learn about their aptitude well in advance, they can concentrate on their identified direction and excel at it, rather than flounder through all the courses only to find in the end what exactly they should have concentrated upon.

Recognizing this need, many colleges undertake right from the beginning a series of exercises for the guidance of their students. These include:

  • organize lectures/ seminars/ talks by leaders of the industry - CEOs, MDs, etc with whom the students can interact freely to get an idea about what the industry really demands of them
  • group discussion among the students from their own college, and other colleges - whereby the favorite trends, myths, beliefs, and reality of the market situation is thrashed out
  • organize mock interviews where the students gain valuable insights of what the interviewer is look for and at when the interview is going on
  • promotion of entrepreneurship - whereby a student need not seek a job, but become a creator of jobs
  • facilitate personality development - whereby the student gains confidence and is able to use his/her strengths better to reach their professional goals
  • keep students informed about opportunities to study aboard as well as work abroad
  • keep students posted about opportunities for self-employment and provide adequate backward and forward linkages to launch such an endeavor
  • offer help and guidance for students who want to train for GRE, TOEFL, CAT, etc
  • invite companies to the campus not only for recruitment, but also for continuous interaction with the students
  • conduct regular training classes in communication skills

Career counseling is an extremely vast area, where no matter how much you do, you will still have lots left to do. The effort should always be focused in such a way that the student can make an accurate informed decision of the best possible match of a job with his/her aptitude and knowledge. When this happens, you will have a happy human being and an exceptionally well-settled professional.