Counselling

Is Career Counselling & Coaching Worth the Cost in India?

Career counselling & coaching services have become so popular, that it almost makes you feel guilty if you don’t spend on them. But is it actually beneficial? Will it even help you choose the right career? Is career counselling & coaching worth the cost in India? Read below to find out!

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The Importance of Career Guidance in India

India is one of the most populous countries of the world. Anyone who can pay for it values education. And everyone from the rich to poor cares about improving their quality of life. And yet, the process of choosing one’s career is one of the most overlooked things in this country.

For a poor country, it comes as no surprise that Indians have been driven by payscale when it comes to choosing their children’s careers. And as a culture where families are close-knit, it also makes sense that parents are the decision makers in everyone’s career choices.

The good thing is that, for over a decade now, both youngsters and parents have started giving serious thought to career selection. But unfortunately, if you’re a parent, you’re limited by your personal experiences and knowledge. It’s a common scenario these days when there’s a random career your child dreams up, trying to convince you and you know nothing about it! Your choices are limited.

How do you help your child? So it keeps coming down to paying career counselors for their service. And whether you like it or not, you have to trust their guidance. This is where it starts getting challenging.

career counseling services in india

Is Career Counselling & Coaching Worth the Cost in India?

So today, I want to start a conversation about the importance of career counselling in India and understanding whether these services are helpful or not. To answer this question, let me first take you over the challenges of career counselling in India. Once you understand these concerns, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether spending on career counselling & coaching is worth it for you.

10 Reasons Why Career Counselling in India is Challenging

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1. India has no history of choosing careers for job satisfaction

India is a very young country. In the post independence era, we’re barely the 4th or 5th generation of people. We’re the first timers who have actually grown up with financial security enough to be able to think of career options. Before this, Indians had to choose whatever job opportunities they found. Choices weren’t a thing. Careers weren’t a thing either. There were just jobs and salaries.

2. Parents make the decisions but provide limited career options

It’s also only now that India is seeing its first or second generation of parents who are genuinely trying to find a career option for kids they are interested in. Before this, parents only recommended (or forced) options of becoming a doctor or engineer.

3. There is a general lack of available guidance

Career counselling industry in India is not structured at all. One usually has to find whatever service is available in their city, or go with whatever one’s school is offering.

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4. The concept of career counselling in itself is flawed in India

No matter how qualified or experienced one is, they can’t make a decision or perfect suggestion for you in a matter of a day. Choosing a career requires a wealth of knowledge to browse different options, so you can understand what’s required to take up a certain career, both in terms of academic qualifications and skills. And there’s no proper knowledge bank available anywhere about different career options available that a youngster can learn from. This leaves both the youth and their parents helpless.

5. Career counselors may be biased in their recommendations

Even professional career counselors have limited knowledge. They may not have an understanding of  upcoming careers. They’re usually full of common buzzwords that are already “trendy” in India. Moreover, they frequently have ties with institutes where they get a commission for suggesting a particular college, new course or university.

challenges of career counseling in india

6. Career counselors have limited knowledge of jobs of the automated future

Career counselling doesn’t consider job automation risks 10 years ahead! In the next decade or so, job safety will be one of the most important factors while choosing a career. Similarly, career counselors also don’t consider how well-paying a particular job will be by the time the child graduates. For example, ten years ago, MBA was considered a sought-after choice! However, these days there are so many MBAs in India that graduates from low-ranked colleges struggle to even find a job.

7. Career options still have positive or negative preconceptions in India

Most schools and parents still don’t invest time or energy to help their child find the right career for them. For a lot of parents, it’s about joining a family business, or whatever your grades qualify you for. Lots of degrees like BA and careers like acting or cooking are still looked down upon.

8. Choosing a career for life before 12th creates an urgency, leading to rushed decisions

One of the most important challenges is that career choice has to be made at high school level. From then on, it’s pretty much set for a student for their lifetime. It’s difficult to find jobs if you change your mind after college. And even colleges don’t offer cross-registration classes. For example, a B.Com student isn’t allowed to take a class in architecture and so on.

indian college universities

So learning and skill-building opportunities are very limited and this also limits your work opportunities in the future. That’s why career counselors start seeming like gods or doctors who will “find a cure” for you. You feel guilty about not spending on them even if it still leaves you unsure.

9. Success of career counselling services has never been proven at all

Career counselling is almost always a standardized service, not individualized. And career selection is a very personal thing, full of nuances and complications. It requires lots of knowledge about different options and time to think them over. So results are never satisfactory for students. Furthermore, there’s no data available for their success rates at all to prove how helpful or unhelpful career counselling services are.

10. Career choices require rethinking, experience and self-analysis over years

career coaching guidance service counselor

Lastly, career counselling isn’t even something one should have to pay for. A paid service makes the counselors focus on a target-driven methodology where they develop a standardized test and limited results. So they can focus on immediate client satisfaction and their own fee. Whereas career selection is a continuous process that keeps happening throughout high school to college and even when you become a professional. It’s a personal investment that needs time and serious thinking. Career counselling is an iterative process.

So perhaps, instead of career-choice tests or one-on-one sessions, one should be encouraged to meet professionals and take up short duration courses to understand whether a career is right for them or not, and vice versa. Unfortunately, such courses are not offered by colleges in India. Well, I do hope to start them one day, where you can understand how a particular course or career will be like day in and day out.

Conclusion…

So all in all, I hope these reasons can make a case for why paying for career counselling service in India may not always be helpful. Does it really work? Comment below with your thoughts. If you have a positive personal experience that helped you build a long and successful career, let me know below.

6 Comments

6 Comments

  1. Sarth

    November 14, 2018 at 5:19 am

    Loved this article, wish career counselors did a better job.

  2. Barkat

    March 15, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Hey I am so happy I found your site, kudos for a fantastic post. I want to read much more, Please do keep up the awesome work.

  3. N. Kritika

    June 20, 2019 at 2:02 pm

    Hello! I simply wish to give you a huge thumbs
    up for your excellent info!

  4. Aman Nigam

    November 6, 2019 at 9:16 am

    Loved all that you have shared and you are right career counselling in India is very challenging and is not even structured at the moment but every individual needs some sort of career guidance in making important career decisions and career planning. We at Tucareers provides accurate insights with our extensively researched framework to effectively guide individuals to the most promising choices. Our best in class career planning framework, validated in research and build on O*NET is open and free.

  5. Arun Kumar Prasad

    November 14, 2019 at 2:28 am

    Good and nice tips.

  6. Arun Kumar Prasad

    November 14, 2019 at 2:43 am

    I would like to cite this page for a report. Who is the author?

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