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What is career guidance? Is career guidance really important? Who needs a career guidance expert? What are the benefits of career guidance? Where can I avail for career guidance for students?

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These are doubts that people still have or worse, most don’t even know that these questions even exist!

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In India, students, even after completing their post-graduation, are not considered fit for jobs, while they are expected to be employable rather than just qualified. These qualified students lack the skills, which in today’s fast-growing industries and companies are hunting for.

While now we know that the mammoths of FAANG (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google, interestingly all American!) have taken a stand against hiring only candidates with college pedigrees or proper codified formal education, all others are soon to follow. This makes it even more necessary to use instruments like career guidance & counselling to appropriately channel talent to the needs of the industry.

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Apart from graduates from the elite colleges like IIMs, IITs, BITS and a handful of other similar top ones, the rest struggle to place their students. India’s labour productivity is $19,693 a year, compared with $32,677 in Brazil and $127,046 in the US and $210,119 in China, according to the International Labour Organization statistics of 2019. After Covid-19, these have only fallen. Imagine India’s now!

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Surprisingly, the highest is of Luxembourg. It is $241,729. It is also an awfully expensive country with a very high cost of living. Travel expenses are high too.

In India, we are making a cardinal blunder. Closing skill gaps of our qualified workforce is critical for India. A young population is India’s demographic dividend. It gives India even more potential.

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How Can We Close This Gap?

One way is.

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Developing a fleet of qualified career guidance experts & facilitators and leveraging their expertise to map talent to the needs of the industry and ensure that people have the best possible chance to succeed in the world of work.

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Career Guidance and Counselling in education have to be approached as a continuous incremental activity.

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Students face tremendous pressure (both from peers and parents) while making life-changing decisions. Career counselling is a supremely essential exercise & its need is increasingly being felt at all spheres of the industry today.

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What is Career Guidance?

This is not something that can be answered in just a few lines. However, in short:
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“Career Guidance refers to the advice and information about careers that helps individuals, esp. young people, decide on a career and also teaches them how to pursue their chosen career.”

Collins dictionary

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The practice of career guidance for students involves assisting them to move towards career options suitable to their competencies. A career guidance expert doubles as a guide and a planner for the entire course of action.

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The 3 Major Missions of Career Guidance Practices

  • Match skills and provisions with the needs & demands of learners, employers and industry
  • Ensure that people have the best possible chance to succeed in the world of work
  • Drive sustainable and inclusive economic growth
  • Guarantee that every sector of the industry has a significant impact on the labour market
  • Help rural economies and communities, at large continue to flourish and grow
  • Prepare for a future that is increasingly unpredictable

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With rising mental illnesses and depression among students..

..the scope of both psychological and career counselling in the coming years is going to be incredibly high.

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  • According to TOI, our country needs approximately 15 lakh+ counsellors for more than 315 million students. Another report by India Times also suggests that Indian schools need more counsellors as the percent of students facing mental distress are rising to an unprecedented level.
  • Counsellors in the educational sector may offer freelance career counseling services, join public or private career counselling firms, or even work in schools/ colleges as academic/ educational counsellors. You can become a counsellor in India in government schools through training/ certification from National Career Service NCS by Ministry of Labour and Employment

Career counselling for students or adults is still not extremely popular in India as a social practice, probably because these are still commercial endeavors in our country and does not come from the GoI (Government of India, silly!) directly.

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What is the Difference Between Career Guidance and Career Counselling?

In a flat, non-technical way:

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  • Career counselling is a general term for school and college students, is more focused and mainly targeted towards freshers emerging from the academia. This essentially includes testing instruments like psychometric assessments to gauge a young mind.
  • Career guidance, development and planning has a broader spectrum including all individuals looking for job or career transitions as well. This may or may not include testing instruments, especially for experienced adults.

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However, career development professionals are experts whose services can be availed at any point in life, whether in your academic life or at a later stage during your professional life.

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Final Thoughts

I hope you’ve got a little space in your mind swamped with ideas and knowledge regarding what is career guidance, who needs career guidance, benefits of career guidance and career guidance for students or adults. Career planning is a very daunting task as well as an adventure. But it has its own tribulations & challenges which can be answered by experienced and seasoned careers advisers and consultants (CCs). iDreamCareer’s fleet of CCs has helped millions of young minds discover their true mettle and is ready to help you too! For a thorough look at what things should be like, check this site.

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