What will you be when you grow up? is an oft-sounded refrain that a young child listens to, from friends, relatives etc. In fact, this is the conditioning that enables the child to realize that to make a place in the world, he or she must play a role in the functional world. As a child, I would watch auto rickshaws go by and the khaki colored gentleman who would rev his engine, before taking off in his three wheeler was my ideal, guilelessly believing that the most fun to be had would be pulling out of the driveway, doing a three point turn and driving away carefree. Of course, in short course, like many other children, I’ve imagined being an astronaut, a pilot, a locomotive driver, a doctor even.

 

As a counselor, I have sat across young 12th standard students who have chosen to study Science, as they perceive it to be the stepping stone to a lucrative career in Engineering, Medicine etc. Few others choose Arts as they either did not do well in their 10th grade or were unable to see themselves stuck with ‘Maths’ – the most dreaded nemesis, which even the ‘commerce’ stream demands, so the natural and harmless choice was the ever welcoming Arts stream. However, one fact that most of these students have in common is that they have made their choices based on liking, choices, preferences, parental pressure, peer coercion; none of which seem to be the kind of motivations that would endure through time and the effort it would take these children to build a career eventually from their field of study. No doubt, this is the reason why we have people who, despite training as doctors, lawyers, engineers often end up working in a field, unrelated to their focal area. And we would like to guide you, as counselors to avoid the same pitfalls. Read on to know more!

Recognize your interests in school

In an ironic parody, the children in recent times, end up spending lives so busy that they hardly have time to do the things that children are expected to do, be carefree. Now, carefree and being vacant are two different things. The conundrum arises when despite having attended drawing, painting, origami, Vedic Mathematics etc., there is no clear affinity towards a specific task that can lead to a vocation or marketable skill, in terms of aptitude, except in the case of prodigies.

A solid and scientific method that could prove handy in decoding the child’s affinity is to take a holistic view of the interpersonal behavior, aptitude, innate skills through a psycho-social test as well as aptitude test. These tests can be taken at any reputed counselling center offering this service, in metros or even, non-metros. These tests ought to be administered after the 10th grade as they are highly subjective and likely, the perception of open ended questions as asked in the test would be best addressed with the advanced cognition of a 15-year-old as opposed to a nine-year-old.

Answering the career question

Whether or not you choose to take up the career counselling, the question that lies ahead is the identification of a long term career goal that would be a destination marker for your career travel. When asked this question, most students are flummoxed as they’ve only ever chosen to map the next course of study depending on their results. However, it is infinitely better to mark a goal and then, strive towards it. For this, it would be best to attend career fairs, watch or read biographies of famous people, even meet and speak with everyday successful people who are trailblazers in their chosen sphere. Also, the identification of a stand-out skill would be an excellent indicator of the route that one could take to achieve their end goal. If you have always been encouraged to speak and entertain in front of friends, family, even at weddings, then it is obvious that a career as an Emcee, event management or even the Entertainment industry would be possible avenues for a vocation and one could chart a course of study to attain this goal, building theoretical knowledge and skills along the way.

Getting into the course of your choice

Beginning your tertiary education is the last leg of your journey to go from child to newly minted grad-on-the-block and the definitive step that will enable you to become an impactful and empowered professional. It almost doesn’t seem fair that all of a sudden the power of choice falls into your lap. Your choices for primary and secondary education were limited and likely, had your guardians as the sole decision makers. It is now for you to choose what you study and where you do so.  In terms of choice, the traditional view has always been to pursue a run of the mill undergraduate degree in India and then, go for the big-ticket brands for a graduate program. The US has been the destination of choice for the applied science graduate programs, likewise other countries like the UK, Australia, Singapore, Germany, France etc.  More so, with Engineering/Medicine graduates, the trends have been changing with more students opting to study abroad right from the undergraduate course itself, primarily given that there is a paucity of seats and the number of applicants are many. In such cases, the student looks for similar courses overseas that offer the same parity, cost and value as in India. It would be a good idea to undertake a comparative study of the course offered in India versus similar offerings at the top programs abroad to see if there would be any value that could be set-off. For the cost conscious, the fact remains that while undergraduate education is pricey, the students who score well above 1300 in the SAT’s are offered sizeable scholarships that quickly balance the price of studying in India vs. the US. Also, the added advantage being that the undergraduate degree in the US gives your extra OPT period to stay back, if you choose to defer the work-study, till you complete a graduate degree.  This means that in the long run, the sum total of your undergraduate and graduate education will even out cost wise and give you an added advantage over your peers in the job market.

Study abroad – Undergraduate

As counsellors, we are seeing a vast number of talented undergraduate hopefuls turning to allied fields of medicine like dentistry, podiatry, physiotherapy etc., when their dreams of getting into a good medical college through the NEET get dashed. However, as counsellors, it is our duty to ensure that we offer a variety of avenues for students who hold on to their dreams of studying abroad. Few students realize that the medical practitioner degrees like M.B.B.S offered by countries like Russia, Slovenia, Hungary etc. offer the same parity as does the degree in India, with affordable pricing. This affordable pricing does not reflect on the quality of the education but on the fact that medical education in these countries is highly subsidized by the government on account of the populace’s growing healthcare demands. Similarly, for fields like Engineering, Physiotherapy, Maths, Chemistry, Communication, Anthropology etc. there are many options available overseas that offer an advanced quality of education as well as a clearly delineated career pathway, once you have achieved the qualification. Contact our counsellors through our website at www.imperial-overseas.com or call us on 9167927955 or 9819900666. You can even drop us an enquiry at support@imperial-overseas.com to schedule a call back for your comprehensive career guidance package.

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