What is career guidance for students?
That’s one of the questions many never took seriously. Maybe it wasn’t their fault. But they didn’t seek suitable and adequate career guidance.
Why? That’s part of what you’ll discover in this piece.
Are you doing or studying what you think is best for you?
Or have you heard of stories or come across people who quit their jobs or drop out of school, wishing they had treaded a different path?
Most likely, you’ll have a couple of them. But do read this article to the end as you learn about:
- What is Career Guidance
- Who needs Career guidance and Career counseling?
- What is career guidance for students
- career guidance for students in secondary schools
What is Career Guidance?
More than ever, choosing a career out of a bunch of alternatives has become more daunting. Especially at this time in the history of man where new (and many) disciplines are being birthed out of development and shifts in technology.
It’s even more overwhelming for someone with no one around to stand as a guide— as far as their career journey is concerned.
So don’t be surprised when you hear things like: “I studied engineering because my parents wanted me to study it.”
While that shows the absence of thoughtful career guidance, it shows that following a career path you never loved or appreciated is tiring and unfulfilling.
Now, what is career guidance?
Career guidance can be defined as expert advice given by a professional to a person or group of persons as regards their life career. It helps people establish clarity concerning what they want to do or become. And even more.
Yes, through career guidance, a student is aided in selecting a suitable career, courses, and educational programs with absolute consideration of his skills, abilities, giftedness, aptitude, strengths, and weaknesses.
Who needs career guidance and Career counseling?
What would be your response if you’re asked: “Who needs food?”
Chances are that you’ll smile at the question, which sounds ridiculous. Or perhaps, you get irritated altogether, depending on the context.
In any case, everybody needs food to live as they need guidance in their career path. In other words, everybody needs career guidance and career counseling to avoid despair and regrets later in life.
That’s true because our career occupies a crucial part of our lives. So it cannot be less talked about. Instead it should be given careful thought, especially when trying to choose from thousands of career options.
And that starts from a tender age: from childhood and beyond.
Imagine an eight-year-old who lives in a street or community where no one has been an astronaut but wants to study astronomy.
You’ll agree such a girl needs serious guidance from a career counselor who understands and knows what it takes to be an astronaut. But beyond this, this counselor must be able to connect the girl’s intelligence, skills, aptitude, interests, and passion together.
Will she do well in that field or discipline?
Career guidance for students in secondary schools
The school is an agent of social change and is where a person’s career journey starts. Because that’s where placement starts.
Take Nigeria, for example; secondary school is where one experiences placement in terms of aptitude and interest.
Just in case you’re not conversant with Nigeria’s educational system– which is 6-3-3-4. And that represents 6years in primary school, 3years in junior secondary school, 3years in senior secondary school, and a minimum of 4years in university.
As said earlier, secondary school is where one’s career journey gets initiated. And in Nigeria’s educational system, that kicks off at the senior secondary school level, to be precise. That’s because that’s where a student has the liberty of choosing between sciences, commerce, and arts.
That may not be the same for you, especially if you’re not a Nigerian. But then, that’s where many students MISS it for lack of adequate career guidance.
Some get into sciences because their close friends made that decision, but only to regret it later. And vice versa.
You see why career guidance is paramount in secondary schools, and even preferably in elementary levels.
Why is Career Guidance important for students?
Below are reasons students need career guidance, especially in this 21st century.
- There’re plethora of courses, certifications, job opportunities, and educational colleges are sold to students daily, making it pertinent that students get proper guidance. Because with career guidance, they can choose rightly.
- Career guidance assists students make informed and well-planned decisions concerning their educational pursuits, which culminates in satisfaction and fulfillment in the long run.
- Career guidance helps young minds in schools maximize their potential. By allowing them to recognize their passion and facilitating them to leverage it as a foundation when choosing what courses to take up as they progress in their careers.
- Make students aware of their strengths and weaknesses—through self-awareness, without being victimized by trends. Or what others are basically doing.
Role of career Counselor in providing career guidance to students
The role of a career counselor in schools is paramount and cannot (shouldn’t) get downplayed. Yet the reverse is the reality in some schools, leaving students in the hands of their parents, elder siblings, and loved ones to give them career guidance.
And often, the outcome is not palatable, especially if they are not well informed in this matter.
Meanwhile, don’t get it twisted! Parents’ role toward ensuring that their children choose careers that match up with their personalities, interests, abilities, passion, and skills cannot be denied. But that doesn’t shadow the role career counselors play or should perform in schools.
On that ground, below are functions career counselors perform in providing career guidance to students:
- Ask them a salient question about their interests, passions, and aptitude.
- With this information gathered, they provide career options from which they can choose.
- Dispense valuable information to students geared towards their career advancement. It could be an education course they might need to undertake or certification to obtain in one’s pursuit of a career, as well as possible groups or bodies to join.
FAQ: What is career guidance for students
Is career guidance related to career counseling?
Many believe there’s a world of difference between career guidance and career counseling, even though they are interrelated. Many believe guidance is different from counseling because it’s more broad and preventive.
However, they are both used interchangeably and sometimes together. That’s why you hear career guidance and counseling being used together.
Can I refer to my parents as career counselors?
Casually? Yes, you can. Especially if they truly are. But then one must know that career counselors are professionals, often certified, who help people with career choices.
The job description of some may be captured in a school only, helping students make sound and wise educational and vocational decisions in their career journey. Whereas others provide this form of guidance to individuals who are not necessarily students in schools.
Should career guidance be persuasive?
Every professional counselor knows and admits that the guidance they give should be void of force or persuasion. That’s why it’s called guidance. So they provide a list of alternatives, taking the needs of their clients into perspective and then leaving them with the power to make choices.