Have you ever wondered what the importance of career counseling in students and schools is?
Perhaps you think having an office for career counselors in high schools is needless. Read this article to find out the importance of career counseling. Also in this article, you get to see the short and long-term benefits of exposing your kids and wards to counselors before they make some decisions that could be detrimental to their professional growth in the future.
In today’s world with numerous choices of courses to study, it has become so imperative that students get adequate career counseling from certified professionals who know how to set their feet on the right paths.
A certain student had spent 5 years in the medicine department of a federal university when he made a rather tumultuous transfer to the psychology department in another faculty. It came as a shock to a lot of people considering how high medicine is held but only he knows how hellish the five years had been to him.
Going for the course was not his intention. Even though he was gifted in calculation subjects, going for medicine was a decision made for him. He was not asked what he wanted, nobody asked him where his interest lies, they just assumed that medicine is for geniuses like him.
Well, the result of it was his dismissal from medical school after wasting five solid irrecoverable years of his life. One, he couldn’t stand the sight of blood, and two, experimenting with a cadaver seemed such a herculean task for him.
All of this could have been avoided if someone in his family had taken out time to study him. He obviously wouldn’t have wasted all that time and other resources doing a course he didn’t like.
In a nutshell, the following are the importance/benefits of career counseling.
- Absolute Advice: It is almost a normal thing when kids are asked what they want to do when they grow up and chorus many known professions like doctor, nurse, pilot, dentist, etc. And they can hardly be blamed. These professions are often advertised as the only ones there are while any other professions come behind them.
However, with the help of a guidance counselor, the orientations of these kids are corrected by first of all letting them know that all professions are good and that the success of any of them depends on several factors. The factors include the ability of the individual to pursue it, the labor market at the time of its completion, and the skills the professional has to compete in the labor market.
Secondly, the guidance counselor gives them a piece full of information about as many professions then he/she talks to them based on their different abilities in class.
After the session, one would be surprised to know that the students’ minds would have been broadened. It wouldn’t be unexpected when they start choosing other professions instead of the ones they have always known.
- Aptitude And Psychometric Tests: Exposing the children and students to the available courses is just one of the steps to achieve the total advantage of career counseling. After a list of other professions or careers has been provided for the consumption of the students, the next thing is to conduct an aptitude test to ascertain their level of intelligence and put them through a psychometric test with the latest technology to know what they are best suited for.
The import of this is especially for students in Jss three classes in high school. Some of them will surprisingly go to different classes instead of their ideal classes. For example, a student who is a voracious reader and finds literature generally easy might go to science class where she would be drilled in the brain-cracking calculation.
In the same vein, a mathematics genius who does excellently well in other calculation subjects will go to a class where he has to read all sorts of books when he should be in a science class.
The consequence of this mismatch always shows quickly. The student always struggles to cope in their classes, trying very hard to grasp whatever their instructors/teachers are teaching them. Very often, the errors are not quickly detected and rectified until the students finish through SS3. By the time they notice that their vehicle has been running on wobbly tires, it is always too late. Would anyone suggest that a 17 years who has finished secondary school go back to Jss three because no professional guidance counselor conducted the right aptitude test for him?
- Exploration Of Interest And Choice:
Another importance of career counseling is the exploration of interests and choices. Here whatever career the student chooses is carefully analyzed. The pros and cons are meticulously declared. For instance, someone who chooses medicine because she feels doctors make tons of money might end up grossly disappointed. In Nigeria especially, it is a known fact that doctors are underpaid and that is why many of them, at the first chance they get, plan their exit to other countries where health providers are well paid and better appreciated.
Nonetheless, if her reason for wanting to study medicine is because of her large heart, her humanity to serve people with no expectation of reward from anyone, and her desire to see that the health sector improves, then she might go ahead and not end up frustrated when the paychecks are not rolling in as expected.
Without proper analysis of choice and interests, a lot of students, even when adequately qualified, would pursue careers for instant gratification and be disappointed when the reward doesn’t come.
Another thing that comes under interest and choice is schools to attend. There are senior secondary schools that specialize in pure science while others major in art. A secondary school that focuses on a line of subjects would do better than its counterpart where there is a mixture of science, art, and commercial In the sense that it would possess well-stocked science laboratories.
For this reason, a well-trained career counselor would work with the student to choose the best secondary school and subsequently, a university where his choice, of course, is being studied.
All these are gradual processes that must not be skipped lest things become topsy-turvy.
- Knowing One’s Strength:
Career counseling helps students to know their hidden strengths and also embrace their known talents. A professional career counselor would know the ways to bring out the strength one never knew one has. Not only that, they know how best to channel it and harness it for greater purposes.
A child might think he hates mathematics and prefers English and other subjects that don’t involve calculation but a trained career counselor, upon closer examination could realize that the student is not poor in mathematics but has only been exposed to poor teachers of the subjects who have been coaching him for some time.
At this realization, the parents of the student would be summoned and be urged to organize private lessons for the child with a competent mathematics teacher.
Consequently, the child starts developing an interest in the subject and gradually he starts tilting towards liking it more than the other subjects. With this, his area of strength is not just known, his hidden strength is also exhumed.
That is what career counseling does.
- Fixing weaknesses:
The opposite of strength is weakness and interestingly, we all have both. Just like strength can be discovered and harnessed, so are weaknesses. A professional career counselor would help a student to discover his weakness and effectively work on it by involving his parents and guardians.
Together, they can overcome it and even make something positive out of it.
- Improves Self-Esteem:
The right guidance counseling can improve the self-esteem of the student. In the instance above, a student who instead of science class goes to art class would no doubt be frustrated because his case is that of a monkey in a river instead of the forest. But a student who with the guidance of a career counselor gets it right and was placed in the appropriate class would be like a fish in an ocean.
He doesn’t have to struggle too much because he is in the right habitat. His self-esteem is top-notch because he doesn’t have to be scared or cower when a particular teacher is approaching the class. When any question is posed, he answers confidently.
Career counseling has the power to do this and more
In all, career counseling is important to set students on the right path. As has been explained above, its benefits can not be overlooked. If anyone tries to cut around it for one reason or the other, the effect would be unpleasant in the long run.
Right now the question tugging at your mind now is, “where do we get competent career counselors?”. If this is you, then get in touch with Zenith Education today.
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