Career selection A sweet dilemma

Source: The Hitavada      Date: 22 May 2018 11:16:20


By nitin bakshi

While dealing with hundreds of young students in the age group of ten to twenty five and realising the mistakes that they were making, I was wondering as to what exactly must be going through their minds as well as that of their parents when it comes to selecting a career. In order to come to some conclusion, I decided to have a chat with these youngsters in individual capacity. Accordingly I discussed various issues with them and asked them several questions which, I thought, might prove to be decisive for any youngster while selecting suitable career. The discussion which I had with them completely left me flabbergasted. They had several such issues to which I had no answer. That reminded me of my one such one to one session with an investment professional.

When he asked me whether I was in knowledge of any perfect investment option which catered to all professional investment requirements such as security, any time liquidity, high returns as well as tax exemptions, I replied him that no such investment option ever existed for investors. Similarly there is no career option available to youngsters which provides security, high salary, job satisfaction, bright career opportunities, creativity, harmonious environment, excellent perks etc in one single job. Now the problem is that either they or their parents are in no position to understand the fact that just as there is no perfect investment option available for investors, there is no career option available for youngsters with all the characteristics mentioned above. The problem with our youngsters is that they are in no position to exercise their views in the competitive scenario. In this article, we will try to analyse the root causes to this practically decisive aspect of every youngster’s life.

Psychology of parents: Parents of these youngsters often prove to be a stumbling block for the youngster in the process to select the desired career. More often than not, the youngsters always want to go after their own interests, but the patents have their own interests and own agenda too. We have observed that most of the parents do not allow their wards to go after the desired career. Instead the parents make it a point to prove that it is their duty to select career for their wards and because of their experience, gained by dint of their age, they feel that they would not commit any mistake. They force their wards either to go after the career which fascinated them for what-so-ever reasons or advise them to follow the career option which they could not follow because of certain reason. Here the important issue is that because of the culture in the Indian society, the youngsters are supposed to listen to their seniors even if the seniors are not correct. Another point is that youngsters are not mentally matured to convince their parents about their own options. Naturally they succumb to the pressure and give their consent to go with the career options as suggested by their patents.

Missing awareness in youngsters: It has been observed that the youngsters are not properly prepared to think about the issue of career selection. They do not understand the importance of this crucial issue and just go by the available situation in normal course. The awareness which should be in the mind of every youngster is found to be missing these days. The preferences of students keep on changing year after year. They think about their careers just like that. Either the herd mentality or the mentality of their parents practically compels them to choose career. Their interests, choices, current practices, challenging careers should be the deciding factors while choosing careers. Instead today’s youngsters prefer to choose those careers which are chosen by their friends. They do not realise that their friends have chosen careers out of their interests. When you are interested in some art form, sport, media, upsc/mpsc, economics, management, music etc., there is no point in choosing engineering just because lot many friends of yours are choosing engineering as their career option. Secondly, they do not know how to go about choosing a career at all. I came across a student who told me that she wanted to be a scientist. I asked her what she meant by scientist. She clarified scientists are those who have name and fame and she wanted to have the same in future. I asked her as to how she would become scientist. I further asked whether she had met any scientist so far to understand what a scientist is supposed to do or what kind of courses should be chosen in order to become scientist. She replied in negative. I asked if she was in knowledge as to what are the pay-perks that are given to any scientist. She had no knowledge what so ever about any aspect relating to becoming a scientist. Friends, there is no point in choosing a fancy career just for the sake of it being a fancy, when you are all Greek about even the ABC of the same. In order to stop lamenting later for choosing a wrong career, you should consult a good career councilor before taking any decision about your career.

The pressure of competitive environment: It is very difficult for youngsters of today to sustain the pressure being mounted by environment of NEET and JEE. The environment for these two sectors are being spread in such a systematic manner as if there are no career options available to youngsters in India. In every nook and corner the hoardings of only NEET and JEE are getting displayed to show that these are the only two careers available in India. The pity is that knowledgeable parents and innocent youngsters are falling prey to this hype which is being created with obvious purpose. When equally satisfying and challenging careers in areas like economics, accounts, management, challenging jobs in institutes like Reserve Bank, Public Sector Banks, UPSC, MPSC, media management, teachers, lecturers, languages, armed forces and hundreds of other sectors are available for both boys and girls, it speaks for nothing but sheer stupidity to go for only NEET and JEE. The poor standard of engineering colleges and coaching institutes has started to produce ordinary engineers. Since they are not confident about their own trade, they are ready to work in any field other than engineering. This probably is the worst phase for engineering graduates. The problem lies with parents, students and education system as well.

With practically thousands of colleges are being established in all parts of our country, the quality of engineers is sure to touch the nadir. In addition, the coaching institutes are harping on the tune of careers in engineering only in such a way that the youngsters, who already are in a confused state of mind, are sure to go crazy. In this scenario, unless parents or young students take proper care, almost ninety percent of the youngsters will be forced to choose wrong careers and live with that for the rest of their lives.

The problem of being an MBA: Just like engineers, the number of MBAs is on the rise for last ten years. About a decade back, MBA was supposed to be a high quality professional qualification in management. Just as it has happened in case of engineering, every average student seems to be doing MBA. When we ask them about their intent in going for this post-graduate management degree course, they are not at all sure of their own intent. Now as no jobs are available for normal graduates like BA, B.COM, B.SC., they have made it a fashion to complete MBA. The comparison between engineering and MBA colleges does stop here. Just as the number of engineering colleges is on the rise, the number of management colleges is also on the rise. All youngsters who proudly announce that they are an MBA, know nothing about management and naturally get no job as well. In India, other than IIMs, only handful of management colleges are contributing in producing some really quality management graduates. The real problem lies with admission to these colleges. You need to score heavily in CAT in order to get admission to these colleges.
Visit some good career counseling units to gain correct information about your IQ, EQ and requirements and prospects for your career in the market. If you stick to these basics and follow your instinct rather than following your friends, you could be in for a rewarding as well as challenging career to suit your interest. (The author is Directore, The First Step and can be contacted at [email protected]) n