Career Counselling Part 3: Stress of making the right career choice takes its toll on students

Prajakta Joshi
Saturday, 26 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: While a lot is said and written about the pressure the students face due to examinations, the career counsellors believe that the stress of making the right career choice and the lack of confidence in the chosen stream of education is leading to anxiety and aggression in many students these days.

Also Read: Career Counselling Part 1: Arts gaining popularity among students

Speaking about the issue, Nilima Apte, a career counsellor with Jnana Prabodhini, said, “Through the tests for coping strategies that we conduct, we have noticed that the anxiety amongst students is increasing with each passing year. However, this year, we observed it even more significantly than earlier. One of the main reasons for the anxiety is career-related. We encounter many students who wish to take admission in science stream because they have just the adequate number of marks for the same, and have also enrolled into expensive classes to prepare for the entrance examinations. However, they are constantly under the fear that what if they are not able to perform well and make it through the numerous examinations lined up in Std XII. They are also scared that all these exorbitant fees paid by their parents for the coaching classes would just prove to be a waste if they don’t do well.”

Therefore, the counsellor added, it’s necessary that the parents don’t just make decisions considering their child’s marks but also their potential and interest and that is why the aptitude tests and professional career guidance have become more necessary than ever today. 

Also Read: Career Counselling Part 2: Rural kids also taking aptitude tests

Anxiety leads to aggression
“Especially in cities, we see the ‘overeducated’ parents pushing their children to pursue certain courses like engineering or medicine even when the child is not interested in these careers,” said Sheetal Bapat, Executive Director and Career Counsellor at Shyamchi Aai Foundation.

She said, “Maybe the parents have their unfulfilled aspirations, dreams, which they try to fulfil through their children. However, what they don’t realise is the amount of stress these expectations are causing to their children. We recently had a case where the father wanted his son to take admission for engineering, but the son wanted to do something different. The father was so adamant that the son collapsed due to the constant pressure and had to be given medical treatment to come out of it.”

One of the major reasons behind the confusion related to career is the outcome of the lacuna in our education system, said Bapat. “Till Std VIII, we have continuous comprehensive assessment model for the children. Suddenly, in Std IX, we impose the pressure of studying, examination and good performance over them, which leaves them with no window to find their identity and make an informed decision for their future,” she added.

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