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Home » How to Start a Career Counselling Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

How to Start a Career Counselling Business: A Step-by-Step Guide


Career counselling is one of the emerging career paths in India. Earlier, the problem was of lack of career options for individuals, but now, the problem is not lack of options, but the awareness of the most suitable one.

The process of career selection gets overwhelming with multiple career options to choose from. That’s when a career counsellor comes to aid.

A career counsellor helps bridge this gap and empowers individuals with the right information about careers that aligns with an individual’s interests, goals and capabilities.

If you are here to understand more about the process of starting your career counselling business, then I can guarantee you this article would be worth your time!

It will provide actionable and practical solutions, step-by-step, to kick start your career counselling venture.

Let’s start from scratch!

What is Career Counselling?

As defined by UNICEF,

Career Counselling / Career Guidance is a comprehensive, rights-based development approach which is designed to assist individuals in making and implementing informed educational and occupational choices, which in turn lead to their social, financial and emotional well-being.

Career counselling, also known as career guidance, is a process by which individuals make a successful transition from school to higher education and ultimately to the professional workplace.

The career counselling or career guidance process involves individuals (school or college students or professionals) exploring various career options, understanding more about the opportunities, analysing the career prospects and earning potential. The process also includes an all-inclusive career assessment test which evaluates individuals’ interests, strengths and weaknesses, ability/aptitude, personality traits and capabilities.

Now that you have understood fully what career counselling is, you need to know how career counselling evolved in India and what do the numbers say in the current times.

How Career Counselling in India evolved in the last 10 years?

A decade ago, Career counselling was barely a paramount solution for career-related problems and confusion as individuals mostly opted for the most-common career options like Engineering, MBBS, or Law. The perception that only medical and engineering careers are the ideal career options for students have compelled those who were either not interested or were not fit for such disciplines. 

But things are slightly changing now. 

With the advancement in technology and shifts in demand, new jobs and opportunities are emerging with an exponential rate. Conventional careers like engineering or MBBS are branching out into new and advanced spheres within the disciplinary fields. 

And not just conventional careers, progressive technology is unlocking emerging career options, making career guidance and planning all the more essential. 

According to WEF’s latest report on the Future of Jobs, advanced business operations would need newer work profiles that may/may not exist currently.  43% of businesses surveyed indicate that they are set to reduce their workforce due to technology integration, 41% of businesses are planning to expand their use of contractors for task-specialized work. Meaning the skills of today needed to perform certain jobs would become redundant as half the work done by humans would be replaced by machines.

To tackle such a huge shift in the future, can individuals still follow the old and conventional career routes to build up their future? 

That’s when career counselling comes into the picture. 

Career counselling in India has a lot of untapped potential. 

According to the HRD Ministry, the Gross Enrolment Ratio or the GER increased from 25.8% in 2017-18 to 26.3% in 2018-2019. 

The GER stands for the percentage of students in higher education of the total eligible population in the age group of 18-23. 

India’s student population in higher education has increased by 8, 00, 000 in the year 2019. Every year, the GER increases, implying the dire need for qualified career counsellors to assist such a growing population. 

Did you know?

In order to understand what Indian Youth really wants (in terms of skills and jobs); the World Economic Forum and the Observer Research Foundation conducted a survey of more than 5k young students in India.

Here’s what they found out:

Half of the students report facing multiple challenges in finding suitable job opportunities.

Why are students apprehensive of taking proper measures in making right career decisions?

For starters, factors like lack of adequate and resourceful information on jobs & skills, and lack of guidance in making suitable professional choices are the concurrent barriers for students.

30% of students report a lack of access to career counselling and mentoring opportunities and about 51% of students reported inadequate information on job opportunities and skills suitable for them.

By the year 2030, India’s population below the age of 25 years would be 80 crores.

With each passing year, the rising number of students completing their higher education indicates that the demand for career counseling job is going to see an upward trend. Currently, we are looking at a need of around 15 lakh career counsellors in India. 

Career counseling in India is still not a prominent choice for students and parents alike. One reason being- students and their parents are not much aware of the importance and benefits of career counseling. The road toward a right career path originates from the right approach and knowledge of the future trends and prospects of different career clusters.

The need of the hour is to redirect the young minds toward potential career options that are right for them. If you happen to be already invested in this mission, fair enough, you can start your own career counselling business and scale it to heights with the right support.

Without delaying it further, let’s get started with the How-to part of your career counselling business in India!

Career Counselling Certification Program by iDreamCareer

2 Important things to remember before starting your Career counselling business!

#1 Define your target audience

Before you set on your career counselling business; define who your target audience is going to be. As per the US Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), there are two types of career counsellors- 1) Educational / School Counsellors, and 2) Career counsellors.

Educational/ School counsellors help school students in developing their academic skills and social skills. School counsellors usually evaluate students’ overall performance and identify issues that affect their performance and how students can improve their scores. Counsellors evaluate student’s personality and aptitude using personality assessment tests and individual interviewing etc.

Career counsellors help both school/college students as well as experienced professional. Some counsellors work in colleges and help students in selecting a major or help them in understanding the jobs they are qualified for with their degrees. Career counsellors also help individuals and experienced professional in their job-related issues.

So, before you venture out to start your business in career counselling, decide your target audience. Find out whom you are going target and understand their needs and requirements.

#2 Establish a medium of communication

Digital space has created several opportunities to target your audience easily. If you are just starting in career counselling, the best way you can gain credibility and experience is by partnering with a career counselling firm which has a well-established network of career counsellors.

Also read: How to become a counsellor in India?

What are the basic skills you need for Career Counselling?

Skills needed for career counselling
Skills needed for career counselling

How to Start Career Counseling Business in India?

As it is rightly said, “One person with passion is better than forty people merely interested” – EM Forster.

You can start your career counselling business in just a few steps. All you need is passion and strong determination to make career planning easy and accessible to students all over. With the right approach and best-in-class career counselling platform, you can straightaway start your career counselling venture and make a change.

Let’s finally understand step-by-step, how you can start your own career counselling business.

Step 1:  Get certified

If you are planning to start a career counseling business in India, you must make sure you hold the necessary validation and professional certification/ training from a recognized institute. A valid certification adds credibility to your profile as a career counsellor and gives you a 360 picture of the emerging careers and latest trends in the careers.

Online career counselling certification courses are available that offer great insights and practical knowledge needed to pursue a career counseling job. You must make sure the online certification course in career counseling offers a comprehensive and well-structured curriculum; focuses on building career counseling skills, assessment decoding skills with the help of live case studies.

How to Start Career Counseling Business in India

iDreamCareer offers best-in-class Career Counselling Certification program and ensures end to end holding services for your future endeavours in career counselling.

Step 2: Pick a niche

While starting a business in career counselling, you must be aware of the fact that counselling is a vast field and there are several factors to be considered. You must also understand that students may have different queries and confusions starting from which course to pursue to which college to take admission in.

A lot of thinking, discussion and use of a good psychometric assessment test is needed to help a student decide his/her career goal. If you are just starting in your career counselling job, you can explore psychometric tools and determine their effectiveness and usability for you and then further delve deeper into this field.

How to Start Career Counseling Business in India

As personality and aptitude of the student plays a vital role in his career counseling process, other factors such as entrance examinations, scholarships, college applications and admission are also some of the areas you can specialize in.

It all depends on how you wish to proceed in your career counselling business and which strategy you chose to follow.

Also read: The Best Career Guidance Expert [2020]: How To Find One?

Step 3: Establish your own brand or partner with a career counselling institute

After you have picked a niche, the next step in how to start a career counselling business in India is to establish your own brand. There are two ways you can jump-start your business in counselling; either create your brand or partner with a well-reputed career counseling brand.

How to Start Career Counseling Business in India

Let’s first talk about partnering with a career counselling company.

If, for example, you pursue iDreamCareer’s CCC program (Career counselling Certification), then after a three-month online training, you get eligible to iDreamCareer’s partnership program and also get the opportunity to start your own venture, work as an independent worker or freelancer, or take up the job of a career counsellor.

In partnership with iDreamCareer, you also get to be a part of our talented fleet of 900+ trained certified career counsellors.

Now let’s discuss how you can establish your own brand as a career counsellor. 

There are many ways you can do that. First is, get certified, pick your forte and then gain some practical work experience. You could set up your website and start attracting potential customers. Nowadays you can build your website from scratch in just a matter of seconds. 

Web hosting platforms like WordPress or Wix can be a great start to your own career counselling gig. Make sure you do your own research before purchasing any web hosting services. You can build an online portfolio, add your experiences and certifications and get started with your career counselling business. 

Also read: What is Freelancing and How to Become a Freelancer?

Step 4: Build a network

The success of any business depends on how well you build your network, be it online or offline. Starting up a business is a feat in itself but another one biggie you still have to focus on is your networking skills.

What’s the point of working so hard in setting up a business when you lack the necessary skills of networking? Make sure you reach out to schools, colleges, tuition centres and coaching institutes that can help you find your target audience.

How to Start Career Counseling Business in India

A strong network can be created using various methods. You can conduct online/ offline workshops take live webinars on the importance of career counselling and educate students on how your career counselling services can help students find their true calling.

Step 5: Keep yourself updated

One of the most significant aspects of becoming a career counselor is to keep up with the latest industry trends and merging careers, their scope and career entry pathways. With the recent changes in the Education Policy, many students and parents would find it all the difficult to understand what changes in stream selection and courses would mean with the implementation of NEP.

How to Start Career Counseling Business in India

As a career counsellor running your own venture or side gig, you will have to constantly update your knowledge set and be prepared to learn and un-learn new education policies and changes in the system.  Whether you are starting your own career counselling business or working as a partner career counsellor, you will have to be in touch with the latest industry trends and emerging career clusters.

Also read: How to Pursue a Career in Education Sector

How to Start a Career Counselling Business with iDreamCareer?

iDreamCareer is India’s largest unbiased career counseling platform having empowered 15.1 Million students. With over 929 talented career counsellors, iDreamCareer is making sure career guidance is accessible to all the students all over.

iDreamCareer offers customized career counselling and guidance services to students based on their specific needs. As a Partner Career Counsellor (PCC) at iDreamCareer, you not only get the opportunity to be eligible for iDC’s partnership program but also get the opportunity to start your own career counselling business.

Top 5 Essentials for a Career Counselling Business

Take a look at how iDC can benefit you in scaling your career counselling business:

Start your Career counselling venture with iDreamCareer
  1. Get access to an exhaustive and well-researched career library: Leave your worries about spending time in researching various careers. You can get all the content regarding careers at one place; well-researched, and frequently updated.

    Research is one of the core aspects of career counselling and one of the deciding factors of how well you can help your students. Quality of information matters the most when it comes to understanding about career and its prospects. With iDC’s knowledge and proficiency in research, you can trust the information you pass on to the students.
  2. Get access to a reliable career assessment tool: One of the most essential elements of career counselling is a reliable and accurate career assessment tool. iDC’s psychometric tool assesses students on 16 factors covering aptitude, personality & interest. iDC’s tool is also available in English, Hindi & 6 other languages and offers the highest possible reliability & validity.
  3. Evaluate students based on a comprehensive assessment report: A compressive career assessment report determines the entre future career path of the student.
  4. Easy integration of counsellor dashboard: Career counsellors need to manage and map student profiles and career report asses, for which easy integration is a must. With iDC’s latest technology-enabled services, counsellors can easily use and integrate their dashboard and other services offered on the portal hassle-free.
  5. CCC program: The three-level certification training in career counselling will enable you to fully understand how to implement career counselling concepts for providing career counselling to students. iDC’s 90-hour training will focus on building the counselling skills you need and training in gathering labour market information. Post 90 hours of training, you get the opportunity to partner with iDC or hand-holding services in setting up your own career counselling business.

Watch this video to get a glimpse of iDreamCareer’s CCC program:


If you are passionate enough to start your own career counselling business, then I just gave you the recipe on how to set up one! With iDreamCareer, your career counselling venture can take new heights. So what are you waiting for? Enroll in iDreamCareer’s Career Counselling Certification (CCC) program and kick-start your career as a professional counsellor!

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