Guidance and career counselors

With a plethora of courses available in various fields there is a wide choice of career options. No longer is the selection restricted to mainstream course or courses in engineering and medicine. However this also brought about much confusion. Young impressionable minds with little understanding of their own seem to want almost everything they hear about.

It is not really the wide which should be blamed for all confusion, but lack of guidance and proper direction says a visiting professor in various colleges for media studies. We must now have really qualified and experienced counselors who can really guide the students through all this.

So there is yet another option for young people to get into: of becoming a career counselor. Counselors understand that people are constantly evolving and need guidance during the inevitable transitions in life. In fact, today this career has become all the more interesting and challenging as people from all groups right from college students to even people in their 30s and 40s too now come for counseling when they are faced with a mid career crisis and want to make a career shift.

Everyone needs help at some point in time. Changes in careers, education and emotional and economic transitions happen at all stages of life and counselors help people grow by offering support, therapy, consultation and evaluation. Today counseling is a highly regarded career that is faced with numerous challenges and opportunities. Guidance and career counselors are usually considered together, because the counseling specialties both deal with people who are seeking career, vocational and academic advice and guidance counseling in a school or career related capacity.

In most cases, although guidance counselors assist students of all levels through various emotional and growth phases, career counselors typically work with those who are about to join higher studies and are at the threshold of choosing the streams after class twelve. Sometimes, they may also advise high school students looking to start a career immediately.
Interestingly these days their need in schools and at various guidance centers are felt greatly and many professionally run centers are coming up apart from compulsory counseling cells in schools. The payments typically start from Rs 7000 per month depending on the setup and paying capacity of the school. In some cases the starting pay could easily be as much as 15,000 per month. Normally people start their career as counselors in schools but later go on to join a counseling center or open up their own centers.

Guidance counselors help evaluate students abilities interest and personalities to develop realistic academic and career goals. They use interviews, counseling sessions and aptitude assessment tests to evaluate and advise students. Sometimes they also run career information centers, career day events and career education programs. These counselors also work with younger students who have academic and social development problems or other special needs. A guidance counselor will assist them in finding special education programs, agencies or organizations who can help prepare them for a future career despite their disabilities.

Career counselors typically provide career advice, their focus helping with career decisions. Career counselors explore and evaluate the client’s education, work history, interests, skills and personality traits. They can also be of help at the later career stages if one is looking for a career shift, by arranging for aptitude and achievement tests to help assess the best career moves for a client. Career counselors work with individuals or groups to develop their job search skills and resumes and assist clients in their job hunt. A large part of a career counselor’s job is providing support and guidance to those experiencing job loss, job stress and other career transition issues.

The primary requisite is having a master’s degree in psychology and of course an interest in people and an understanding of psychological make up of various personalities. One has to be naturally inclined towards wanting to know and analyze behavioral pattern of people, their aptitude. This is a trait that one does not recognize easily, but a passion for psychology is the beginning point. For super specialization one can also take a course in psychotherapy and psychoanalysis. But a PG in psychology is a must. So if you are interested in reading people’s mind’s and aptitude and advising them on what they should take up here is a great career option.