Career Guidance and Student Counseling
Dr. Radhika Kapur
Career guidance and student counseling is an extremely broad and a
comprehensive concept, in order to implement this task effectively there are
number of factors that need to be taken under consideration. The guidance
regarding ones career and the counseling of students involves a conversation
between a career counselor; who should be an expert in his field, he should possess
all the skills, abilities, knowledge and information regarding the job openings,
prospects, opportunities that are available and possess the ability to effectively
communicate with the person who is seeking counseling and guidance. On the
other hand, the students or job seekers or a person who is already engaged in
employment and is willing to make a transformation is required to posses effective
communication skills, a pleasant personality, an approachable nature, an amiable
attitude, should be well qualified and possess the required skills and abilities to
work and get engaged into an employment setting. In this research paper, the
researcher has conducted research in order to recognize the significance of career
guidance and student counseling; the main areas that have been underscored in this
research paper are understanding the significance of career guidance and student
counseling, the consequence of career guidance and student counseling, purposes
of counseling and guidance, characteristics of career counseling, assumptions
underlying the practice of career counseling, and influential factors in career
guidance and student counseling. Career guidance has gained importance in all
educational institutions, in higher educational institutions, there is a separate
counseling center where people who are in an apprehensive state or worried or
stressed about their career prospects and future life, come to acquire help and
assistance, so that their concerns can be alleviated, they are able to acquire an
employment opportunity or get engaged in a good career which may bring them
Keywords: Career Guidance, Student Counseling, Professional
Development, Education, Practices, Abilities
Understanding the Significance of Career Guidance and Student
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization
(UNESCO) elucidates that the career counseling of youth comprises of four main
components: (a) providing assistance to the individuals to acquire greater self-
awareness in areas such as interests, values, abilities, and personality style, (b)
linking individuals to sources so that they can become more well-informed about
occupations and professions, (c) involving human beings in the decision-making
process so that they can choose a career path that is well suited to their own
interests, values, abilities, requirements and personality style, and (d) supporting
individuals to be dynamic administrators of their career paths including
management of career transitions and balancing various life roles as well as
becoming lifelong learners in the sense of professional development over the
lifetime (Career Development, n.d.). There have been individuals who choose
career counseling as a profession and provide guidance and assistance to
individuals who need counseling regarding the selection of subjects or programs.
When individuals graduate from high school; they are at times confused between
two or more fields or subjects, when they have the required percentage and both
engineering as well as medical college offers them admission, then they seek
career counseling whether they should choose to become an engineer or a medical
doctor. Career counseling and guidance is provided to an individual on the basis of
ones interests, abilities, requirements, values and personality traits.
It is vital for an individual to learn how to manage ones career management
skills; as it has been stated that career is a lifelong objective, a career should never
come to a halt and an individual should develop the skills regarding the
management of his career. For example, an individual is an educator and has
chosen the teaching career, therefore, the management of the teaching career
centers upon enhancement of the skills such as having efficient knowledge of the
subject that he is teaching, good communication skills, appropriate behavioral
traits, proper training strategies, regular attendance and efficient formulation of
curriculum and instructional methodologies. In any kind of profession, job or field,
it is essential to develop career management skills, hence the areas that should be
taken into account are: (Career Development Guide, n.d.).
1. One should realize that career management is extremely crucial for ones
successful living, and should become a possessor of ones career
2. Identification of ones career goals and objectives is essential; what one
wants to achieve and what are the possible passageways that would lead to
the achievement of the desired career goals and objectives.
3. Identification of all the areas that would lead to ones professional
development is also regarded to be a vital career management skill; ones
professional development and ones career management goes simultaneously.
4. One should formulate a career development plan; in the plan all the areas,
requirements, capabilities and interests should be stated that the individual
5. One should become aware and knowledgeable regarding how to carry out,
contribute and get involved in successful career conversations.
The Consequence of Career Guidance and Student Counseling
Career counseling has transformed considerably since its beginning while
preserving most of its essential constituents. This was at first instigated to assist the
youth in the process of identifying the work and the kinds of jobs for which they
were suited. As the value of this undertaking became widely recognized, vocational
guidance units were added to school curriculum and became an essential part of the
educational institutions. Vocational guidance served both those who are work
bound and those who are college bound, in other words, both the people benefit
from this undertaking, those who are working as well as those who are pursuing
their higher education. Although, in fact the two groups often received extremely
different types of training, and differences between the two groups have yet to be
addressed adequately in the field of career guidance and student counseling
(Capuzzi & Stauffer, 2012).
The main consequence of the guidance of students in the field of education
is that, adequate and professional counseling and guidance of students not just
involves communicating to them about the jobs and work opportunities available in
accordance to their skills and abilities but it also involves communicating to the
students regarding the labor market factors, main aspects of appropriate decision
making and even different kinds of unpaid work available, because, people
normally do get involved in volunteer jobs which are without pay in order to
acquire work experience, because normally all kinds of jobs require either short
term or long term work experience. Adequate counseling and guidance of students
takes place in all kinds of educational institutions, even in kindergarten schools,
counseling and guidance of young students is considered to be a crucial aspect.
Purposes of Counseling and Guidance
There have been many purposes of counseling and guidance in all aspects;
but in this case, the significant purpose has been identified from the perspective of
education and the purposes have been stated as follows: (Ojo, 2006).
1. The individuals have to be made aware of their basic personal prerequisites,
abilities, assets, liabilities and potentialities; hence they have to be made
aware about their own positive points and negative points.
2. Effective, meaningful and significant information has to be provided to them
in solution of their problems.
3. The students should learn how to scrutinize their weaknesses and then
overcoming them; the role of the counselor and a guide is to help them how
to catch the fish on their own and not catching fish by themselves and giving
it to them.
4. Students may also need counseling and guidance services regarding the
selection of a career; in this case, they should assist them in making
appropriate, satisfying and interesting educational choices.
5. The teachers as well as the parents should also meet with the counselor or
the guide, because it is crucial for them to effectively assist the student who
is undergoing counseling and guidance sessions. The parents and the
teachers should understand the needs and problems of the students and harsh
behavior or screaming at the student is strictly prohibited.
6. The school authorities or the administrators should be assisted in improving
the educational objectives, planning and course curriculum.
7. The school environment should be formed in such a manner that students
should feel safe and sound, they should develop proper attitude towards
school, teachers, classmates, values, norms, policies, interests, beliefs,
discipline and rules.
8. Students should be guided to identify their flaws and inconsistencies in the
field of education and improve upon their learning. They should be guided in
a manner to promote effectiveness.
9. Students who get addicted to underage drinking and usage of drugs should
be shown the right direction and prescribe ways to get rid of such things
because they are the major hindrances to ones personal and professional
10. It is essential to promote amongst the students a sense of awareness, ability
to acquire sufficient knowledge regarding their studies, when studying they
should put complete focus, and become more capable and intelligent.
Characteristics of Career Counseling
The following are the characteristics of career counseling: (Soumeli, 2012).
1. Counseling is part of an extensive sector of applied psychology, which has
been extended in the structures of career counseling as well as of guidance
and sustenance of the individuals during their attempt to practice a career
according to their skills and capabilities, or their endeavor to decide upon the
psychological problems correlated with their educational and professional
2. Education and career decision making is vital for every individual.
Especially, in the present existence, in an era, distinguished primarily by the
quick transformation and internationalization of labor, determining and
managing a career becomes difficult and it is often aggravating. The person
is needed to hold upon the knowledge, be familiar with the objectives,
values, requirements and functions that are involved. With the new data and
information available, one is discussing about a new model for Professional
Development which is the model of Personal Career Management. As far
this model is concerned, the individual is required to have the opportunity to
reassess the connection between the obtained educational qualifications, the
jobs and the personal skills and abilities that he possesses, to be organized
through a lifelong learning process in order to be forwarded effectively
along with the speedy transformations taking place in the labor market.
3. Accordingly, the professional selection is not a single final decision but it is
the outcome of a complete sequence of progressive conclusions, a procedure
by which a person finds every time, that is vital in his life and recognition of
his or her main priorities.
4. Through the development of the above model, one approaches the
contemporary and practical measurement of the individual career as a
measured, continuing and a complicated process that involves the
counseling, the psychological and educational measurement and last but not
the least; it also requires the active participation of the students, job seekers
and graduates. The model of Personal Career Management is advanced as a
regular and multifaceted process that involves the counseling, the
psychological and educational measurement and similarly also requires the
active participation of the students, job seekers and graduates. The student
has already made a preliminary educational selection. After that, he has to
make a professional selection which can either be additional education
professional training or organization of seminars, workshops, obtaining a
master degree, doctorate and so forth.
Assumptions Underlying the Practice of Career Counseling
The following assumptions have been classified that form the fundamentals
of career counseling: (Handbook on Career Counseling, 2002).
1. People possess the capability and prospects to formulate the career choices for
their lives. The amount of freedom in making career choices is to some extent
dependent upon the social, economic, and cultural framework of the individuals.
2. Prospects and selections should be available for all individuals, irrespective of
gender, socio-economic class, religion, disability, sexual orientation, age, cultural
background or socio-economic status.
3. Individuals are generally presented with career selections throughout their lives.
4. People are generally involved in a wide range of work roles and different kinds
of jobs across their lifespan. These roles include both paid and unpaid work.
5. Career counselors assist individuals in discovering, pursuing and accomplishing
their career goals.
6. Career counseling mainly consists of four elements: (a) helping individuals to
acquire greater insight and perceptions in areas such as knowledge, importance,
aptitudes, and personality development, (b) uniting students to resources so that
they can become more well-informed about occupations and professions, (c)
involving students in the decision-making process in order that they can select a
career path that is in accordance to their own concerns, norms, proficiencies,
aptitudes and personality, and (d) helping the individuals to be self-motivated
administrators of their career paths including direction of career transitions and
balancing various life roles as well as becoming lifelong learners within the logic
of professional development over ones lifespan.
7. The reasons why individuals make an entry in particular professions vary
according to the amount of significance positioned upon individual choices, such
as interests, or external influences, such as labor market factors or parental
8. Career decision-making is not something that occurs only one time in a person’s
life but, rather, it is a continuous process that may take place at any age.
9. All forms and kinds of work are important, and contribute to the
accomplishment and welfare of the society.
Influential Factors in Career Guidance and Student Counseling
There have been four categories of factors that influence career guidance and
student counseling: (Report on Effective Career Guidance, 2002).
1. Genetic Endowment and Special Abilities- Race, gender, physical appearance
and characteristics; individuals vary both in their capability to benefit from
learning experiences and to acquire access to various kinds of learning experiences
because of these types of inherited qualities.
2. Environmental Conditions and Events- Social, cultural, political, economic and
natural forces and natural resources; these are normally external to the control of
any one individual; their influence can be prepared or unprepared.
3. Learning Experiences- Each individual has a unique history of learning
experiences that result in their selection of different career opportunities. They
often don’t retain the information of the precise nature or series of these learning
experiences, but rather they keep in mind the wide-ranging conclusions from them
for example, one possesses the ability to work under stress and working with
young children. The two main types of learning experiences identified in the theory
are an instrumental learning experience which consists of preceding conditions and
incentives, behavioral responses that are explicit and concealed, consequences and
associative learning experiences where individuals recognize the relationship
between two or more sets of stimuli in the environment for example, observation,
reading or hearing about occupations; these can result in occupational stereotypes.
4. Task Approach Skills- Communications among learning experiences, genetic
illustrations, and environmental influences result in the development of task
approach skills. These include personal standards of presentation, work habits and
emotional reactions. In the past, the trained task approach skills that are functional
to a new task or problem both affect the effect of that task or problem and make
themselves adapted and transformed.
In the lives of all individuals at some point of time, they do feel worried and
concerned about their careers, job opportunities that are available to them and their
future lives. When a child is young and is about to get enrolled in a preparatory
school, then his parents feel anxious that which would be the best play school for
their child to get admitted into, hence they seek guidance and counseling regarding
the bringing up of their child in an improved manner from experts, professionals
and even their close friends and relatives, therefore, at the initial stage also
counseling and guidance is essential for the child and his parents. When the child
reaches the age of ten years and above and is pursuing his formal schooling, then
there are different subjects that he has to study such as mathematics, social science,
science, English, hindi, and also gets involved in other extra curricular activities
such as art and craft, music, singing, dancing, sports and so forth; these extra
curricular activities may take place in schools or even in other organizations
outside school; all the academic areas and extra curricular activities for the
children may not always take place in a smooth manner, they do face problems and
difficulties, which may aggravate or upset them, therefore, in order to solve their
problems they seek counseling and guidance from tutors, instructors, parents,
relatives, friends and other professionals for the main purpose of improving their
performance and doing well in all the activities that they are engaged into.
Therefore, it has been understood that counseling and guidance is also imperative
for children who are young and teenagers.
In higher educational institutions such as colleges and universities, there has
been an establishment of a separate department or an office where experts and
professionals who possess efficient knowledge and information are engaged in
employment and their main job duties comprise of providing adequate knowledge,
guidance and information to the individuals who visit them for the main purpose of
acquiring better career prospects and jobs. Career counseling and guidance not just
involves communicating to the individuals regarding the job opportunities that are
available, but it involves thorough analysis of ones skills, abilities, qualifications
and past experience so that a counselor is able to guide him towards the proper
direction. Student guidance also comprises of guiding the students appropriately
regarding their performance and achievement of grades within an educational
institutions, because at all the educational levels, it generally happens when the
students are not able to score good grades, they approach the guides and the
counselors to provide them assistance regarding how to improve their class
performances and grades. Career counseling and student guidance when
implemented in an appropriate manner does prove to be productive and beneficial
to the students, job seekers and graduates, hence it is considered to be an
imperative concept at all levels of education and on completion of education.
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Soumeli, L.K. (2012). Career Counseling in Secondary Education: a comparative
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