Recent years have seen an emergence of a multitude of career options across the globe. From well-established professions such as medicine and engineering to new-age options such as social media evangelist and wildlife photography, students today have a lot of choices. So much so that the choosing a profession is nothing short of a nightmare and extremely stressful for students and parents. Career counselling, therefore, has never been as important as it is today.
In such a situation, when you factor in that over 93% of Indian schools do not have counsellors and there is a shortage of nearly 14 lakh trained counsellors in the country today, it is no surprise that this has emerged as an in-demand profession.
A career coach helps students zero-in on the right option by making them aware of their innate talent and inclination. It prevents them from limiting themselves to a set of tried-and-tested popular careers, which may not necessarily suit them. A career coach also needs to impart information on the courses available, the kind of universities one can aim for, entrance exam preparation, and so on, while keeping in mind a students aptitude, personality, interests, and emotional well-being.
What you need
A few skills required for choosing this profession are effective communication, patience and empathy, flexibility to deal with all personality types from various backgrounds, good listening skills, intuition, the ability to motivate others, understand human behaviour and have a positive mindset.
Career counsellors must continuously learn, be aware of changing trends, update their knowledge based on the job market, and stay abreast of technological advancements in this field. The role of technology in this field has vastly increased. Today career counsellors need to equip themselves with state-of-the-art career guidance tools and assessments with regards to courses, exams and colleges.
There are only a few professional courses in India to help one gain proficiency in the domain of career counselling. One such is offered by NCERT a diploma in guidance and counselling. Admissions are taken based on a written entrance test and interview. However, the diploma focuses more on psychological assessments and general counselling practices, and less on the career coaching aspect. There are some online and distance programmes as well, such as one offered by IGNOU, which have the same problem as the NCERT one. What these programmes also miss out on is empowering career counselling aspirants with the right set of technology tools.
On the other hand, getting an international certification can give career counsellors an edge in their field and also gives them practical training in using the right set of tools to scale their practice. The remuneration is not fixed in this profession. It depends on the number of clients. Starting salary can range from 6-8 lakhs per annum with good growth prospects. Leading career counsellors working with reputed organisations can earn 50 lakhs per annum and above.
Being skilled and trained and guidance will put you at the forefront of career opportunities in this domain and help you meet this expanding demand.
The writer is the Founder and CEO, Mindler (a career guidance platform)