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Career Counseling for Middle & High School Students

A school is the first step to any individual’s future, and most institutes today are pretty cognizant of that. Schools have plenty of features, programmes and collaborations that can help students be better prepared for the career of their choice at earlier and earlier stages in life. Students can now access coaching for a variety of aptitude assessment tests for a variety of professions, and are provided with special programmes with advanced material in particular fields.

Which is why it is even more surprising that schools haven’t been coming forward to provide students with the tools with which to make the choice about their careers. While it is debatable whether or not students in their early teenage years are, in fact, equipped to make these choices and stick to them, making advanced classes and test training sort of moot, career counseling in schools is absolutely essential if students are to make these decisions in good faith.

Most schools have some kind of counseling facility, helmed by trained psychologists, for students to be able to sort through the emotional and mental quagmire that is being a student. It is even more important for similar importance to be given to career guidance at the school level. Trained career guides have plenty of experience, and have access to the kind of career and college admission related information that not even the most well trained of teachers, principals or psychologists can be expected to possess, not even about their own fields.

  • How to Choose a Career Based on Interests - The Strong Interest Inventory Assessment
    YouTube Video
    How to Choose a Career Based on Interests - The Strong Interest Inventory Assessment

Rather than appearing for every extra class or activity or training programme that they can find, trained career guides can provide students with comprehensive plans that can give students proper direction to their endeavours. Career counselors can also use their expertise to help provide solutions to personal career related concerns, the right kind of motivation and solutions to drug and peer pressure related issues and a lot more, but in the context of careers.

For instance, consider a student of grade 8. We’ll call her Belle. Belle wants to become a graphic designer. She knows that this is a field that can give her a creative outlet, as well as a solid career. However, her parents are concerned, and do not want her “wasting time” on something that they don’t see as a viable option for a safe and lucrative career. The career counselor here has to take a two pronged approach. 

The counselor will first talk to Belle, and make sure that her choice is a conscious one by outlining everything that matters about graphic designing as a career – the good, the bad, and the ugly. One the counselor is satisfied that graphic designer is what Belle really wants to be after having considered other options and gone through all of the pros and cons, they will then talk to the parents and try to reconcile them with Belle’s decision in the same way – through information, the weight of experience, and a strong knowledge of the human psychology.

Career counseling for schools is a woefully neglected arena, as schools miss out on so many opportunities to provide their students with better and smoother futures. Professional career counselors can do everything from providing liaisons between schools and colleges, to leveraging alumni circles, to providing individual students with the right kind of motivation to keep working harder to achieve their goals. Schools do a great disservice to their students by not improving on this integral aspect of any child’s education. After all, what is the point of giving a kid the tools to build a future, but not teach them how to use them?

My name is Kelly Brooke and I am 26. I finished my master’s degree in Mass Communication this academic year, post which I accepted a job at Univariety. I studied at St. Francis College for Women, Hyderabad, India. I enjoy writing about just about anything, and find the vagaries of education and admissions frankly fascinating.