K. Zubemo Humtsoe, Asst. Professor
Dept. of Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA)
St. Joseph’s College, Jakhama
Interacting with few students in Nagaland has stimulated my enthusiasm to relook into the subject and to evoke in the mind of our people, the need for consistent career guidance and counselling campaign across the State.
Choosing a right career is one of the most important decisions in everyone’s life. Like many of us, students go through a dilemma of choosing a career among pool of career options after completing standard 10, 10+2 and graduation.
Choosing among career options is an onerous job and one of the toughest decisions we make for our life, in our life. The kind of future we anticipate depends on the choices we make today.
An acquaintance shared his experience on indecision about his career at an early stage. Perhaps, many of us have similar experience or experiencing similar situations like him. He asserted that the delay in choosing a right career was due to lack of knowledge on the career options available in different disciplines and lack of proper career guidance and counselling.
None of us will be surprised to hear statements like, “I want to become somebody in life” or “I don’t know yet what I want to become in life”, from any student in Nagaland. In fact, this is a reflection of absolutely confused state of mind of our students. It is a pellucid statement that they are either in a dilemma to choose amongcareer options or obfuscate on the career options available. We need to seriously analyze the responses received from our students and extend help to them in our capacity. If we take a survey on this, perhaps, many of us will fall in the “No” or “Can’t Say” category of respondents. If we consciously leave it here and wait for somebody to act on our behalf, then our anticipated desirous future will become a disastrous future.
The popular maxim,“Today’s younger population are the leaders and builders of our society, tomorrow”, will make no sense, if, our students and young graduates are still confused about what they want to become or achieve in their life.I do not doubt the capacity of our students to do anything great, yet, the realization of their anticipated dreams are hindered by lack of proper career guidance and counselling, and inability to expose them to wide opportunities at the right time.
It would be unfair on the part of the educated population to shift the responsibility solely on the students, for their inability to take decisions on career at the right time. Instead, the educated population should partake to execute such onerous job, based on their capacity.
While many of us are grumbling for what was not done and what is yet to be done, there are few individuals and groups who understands the career guidance need of the students and have been arranging career guidance sessions in different localities across the State. Their actions, definitely has positive outcomes. They deserve accolades for their contributions. To the rest of the population, it would be worth emulating such good practices.
Despite the selfless efforts of few individuals and groups, it is difficult to reach out to all the students across the State. Therefore, there is a need to identify and analyze on the various channels to reach out to the students scattered across the State. It is advisable to choose an alternativewhich is convenient and consistent. I believe that the most appropriate and effective channel will be the educational institutions, which are set up in different localities across the State and have direct contact with the students.
In retrospect, majority of the educational institutions have kept “career guidance and counselling” outside the ambit of the education system. It will be a deception to claim that the purposes of education are fulfilled, when the majority of our students and young graduates are incapacitated to make career choices at the right time, due to lack of consistent career guidance and counselling. It will be wise on the part of the academically centric educational institutions in our State to accommodate career guidance and counselling in the education package; developing individual’s competencies in self-knowledge, career explorationand career planning, educating and inspiring the aspirant students to anticipate a vivid and better future. Without incorporating such important features in education, it will be an illusion for the educational institutions to attain pinnacle in the field of education.
The entire population will be grateful to those educational institutions, which, not only shoulder responsibility of academically graduating students but also imparting employability skills and assisting the students to make right career choices.
How do we integrate career guidance withinthe established structure? Set up a separate “Career guidance & counselling unit/cell”, with well-definedstructure, purposes, etc. Assign competent personnel to identify and analyze the career related needs of the students,arrange experts from within (if it’s available)as well as from outside,prepare annual schedules for career & guidance sessions, conduct career guidance and counselling sessions, analyze its outcomes and take corrective measures (in case of occurrence of any deviations from the established standards).
There are few institutions which had formally instituted “Career guidance cell or unit”, but its progress has been hindered by various factors, viz. lack of resources, lackadaisical attitude of the management team, lack of competent personnel to execute the plans, etc.
Such changes are ineluctable and require scrupulous planning for effective implementation. The effective implementation of such campaign across the State would also require unflagging efforts of the concerned Departments which are entrusted to promote educational related activities by the State government.
The success of this campaign would depend on the unified and indefatigable effort of the concerned Educational Departments working under the aegis of the State government, educational institutions, non-educational institutions,intellectuals, scholars, etc.