Career Counselling Part 1: Arts gaining popularity among students

Prajakta Joshi
Thursday, 24 May 2018

While students await their Board exam results, the number of students taking aptitude tests & career guidance has increased significantly. Sakal Times speaks with the career counsellors regarding the new and old trends observed by them in the process of counselling students

Pune: Though the number of students opting for ‘arts’ stream over ‘science’ or ‘commerce’ stream has increased dramatically in the past few years and ‘arts’ continues to be one of the favoured inclinations amongst students this year as well, career counsellors in the city observe that ‘engineering’ still has a stronghold in the minds of maximum students as far as career choices are concerned.

Seeking career guidance from professionals besides aptitude tests has become a common practice among students who have appeared for the SSC and the HSC examinations. While the number of students taking up aptitude tests is rising with each passing year, the inclinations of the students are taking different shapes in forms of unconventional choices.

Arts, a preferred choice
“I think apart from the greater exposure to scientific method of career counselling, many parents these days are keen on finding out their child’s potential and interests before they pay the exorbitant fees of the coaching classes,” said Nilima Apte, a career counsellor who works with Jnana Prabodhini.

She said, “In the past few years, we have observed some interesting changes in the students’ career paths. Earlier, we had to inform the students that they had a great potential in the ‘arts’ stream that they needed to explore, and yet there weren’t many who would be ready to take it up happily. However, now I find so many, who themselves want to make a career in ‘arts’. Around 30 per cent of the students today, I would say, are inclined towards ‘arts’.”

Apart from pursuing competitive examinations like UPSC/MPSC, those opting for ‘arts’ are also the ones having interest in studying psychology, mass communication and different languages.”

“These days, many students also wish to pursue a career in professional social work. For this, many take arts and learn social studies at the institutes like Tata Institute of Social Studies (TISS). Pursuing professions related to the art that you are passionate about like music, dance, films, photography, etc., is also a great career option that many students pursue. However, there is a huge lot that only wishes to get into these careers as they are fascinated by them. We need to identify and tell these children right away, otherwise, it may break their career in future,” said career counsellor Sanjay Kulkarni.

However, Kulkarni said that despite all these, there is still a large number of students with average intelligence who want to take up arts because they find it ‘easy’.

Fascination for engineering continues
“The drive towards engineering hasn’t really dropped among the students, however, nowadays, instead of taking admission at any mediocre engineering college, students go for it only if they get admissions at good colleges that assure placement,” Kulkarni said.

Apte stated, “We do have children who wish to pursue and learn pure sciences as well. But engineering allures the most. But in upcoming years, we might have a higher number opting for pure sciences as the career opportunities in these are growing at a tremendous rate,” Apte said.

The parents, however, don’t yet seem to be comfortable with this change yet. The counsellors pointed out that even when the students are ready to take up ‘arts’ or ‘commerce’, parents are still unconvinced and prefer ‘science’ over any other stream.

Simantinee Gokhale of Dr Thombre’s Institute of Holistic Healing, said, “Until around three to four years ago, the craze students had for engineering, especially software engineering was tremendous, as there was a huge fascination for IT industry jobs. This is very slowly reducing in the past couple of years. But it’s too early to say if people are driving away from engineering because the admission numbers don’t show that. Engineering is still considered to be the best of career options by many parents and children in urban as well as rural areas.”

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