Now that board results are out, it's time take crucial career decisions. Prateek Bhargava, Founder & CEO at MINDLER, shares his views on how to make a good career decision...
The admission season can well be termed as the season of confusion. It’s the time when students wait anxiously for their results, as it is probably the most important time of their life where their career is at stake. They are both excited and nervous at the same time, thinking about what lies ahead and what shape will their careers take.
While this is an important decision, one should not get overwhelmed by it and lose sleep over it. A sound career decision means taking all the facts into consideration and weighing all the possible options. Unfortunately, a majority of the students’ career decisions are biased and based on inadequate information.
In a research conducted by MINDLER* on a sample 5883 students, 83% of the students were targeting one of the traditional 7 career options- Engineering, Medicine, Management, Chartered Accountancy, Civil Services, Computer Application and Law. This highlights a sheer lack of awareness. Today, there are hundreds of courses that align more with the mindset of Gen Y and freely allow them to merge their passion and profession.
Another interesting issue that emerged from the research is that students mistake their interest for their passion and, in many cases, take it as a sole deciding factor while making their career choices. What they fail to realize is that, interest is a volatile factor and there is a lot more than just interest that influences career decisions. While a good percentage certainly opens many doors in this world of cutthroat competition, everybody does not make it there. For the rest, – it is a fight to attain the best from the possible options. In any case, life doesn’t stop there. Contrary to what is felt when a student does not get the desired 95+% in the crucial 12th standard exams, it is not the end of the world. There is still a lot that one can do. This is where right guidance at the right time can be a game changer. The key is to plan in advance and think of alternative options or backups.
Another thing that is a hurdle in the career decision-making process is that, right at the onset of a career-planning journey, students are faced with pressure. More often than not, the brand value of the institution takes precedence over the child’s dream. A student’s parents, friends, and relatives influence the decision even if it means compromising on the interest, choice and ambition of the student who has to study the course for the coming years.
Confusion topped with the age-old classic “log kya kahenge” often leads to comparison, and it’s exactly at this juncture that everybody throws in their experiences, preferences and opinions to pull an already confused mind in a hundred different directions. The onus lies on the parents to give the child the freedom to take up a career and help him/her tread along that path.
However, gradually things are changing. There is more openness in the mindsets of both students and parents when it comes to choosing careers. Students are venturing into more unconventional but promising domains. They are looking at new age careers like ethical hacking, sports management, flavor chemistry, film making, wedding planning, fashion technology, wildlife photography to name a few. Career decision making is a subtle science and an exact art and finally students are accepting it that way.
With the internet and social media becoming a part of our lives, careers like digital marketing, social media management, user experience design, content writing, graphic design and app development are on the rise. Wellness and lifestyle careers such as spa management, vacation design, fashion styling, image consulting and various forms of therapies are also becoming popular to keep up with the stress of modern life. Careers that were unheard of like gastronomic experience design, sommelier, wine tasting etc. are fast picking up pace too.
This change has come because of the ‘scope’ of these industries. Careers today are driven by practical application, novelty and innovation and that’s why ‘scope’ has transitioned to an ‘opportunity’. The essence of making a good career choice today lies in keeping abreast with time and understanding yourself to play by your strengths. The reality is that the jobs we are training students for in 2016 may not even exist in 2020, so adaptability and learnability are the key skills for success in the future.
A paradigm change in the thought process around career decisions needs to happen and consequently career decisions need to be taken with a more scientific approach. It is only then that we will see a nation where children are able to realize their unique potential and excel in their chosen endeavours.
By Prateek Bhargava – Founder & CEO at MINDLER
Bringing to you the World’s Most Advanced Career Assessment
* MINDLER’s entire product offering is based on the world’s largest research on modern career avenues and has been standardized and validated on over 4.8 million research data points.