THE CHOICE OF A CAREER
The choice of a career is one of the most crucial decisions of our lives. Unemployment among the educated is very high in India today. It is largely due to unrealistic professional aspirations of the job seekers who continue to seek out traditional careers where job opportunities are limited. A career is an integrated life-long plan of earning a living. Choosing of a career requires meticulous thought and care and planning. While doing so, you have to keep in mind your goals and a clear idea about the expectations from that career.
THE ROLE OF EDUCATION
Education demands a special kind of alertness to create a judicious mix of what is needed today and what will meet the needs of tomorrow. Higher education seeks to preserve, transmit and advance knowledge. It is one of the most important instruments of change and progress. Quality of education at higher level is more important than mere quantitative expansion. Quality of consumer goods and capital goods can be measured as per standards laid down by those who are vested with authority to decide the quality of those products. But quality of education imparted or received can not be easily measured because determining the quality of a living organism is not so easy as determining the quality of an inanimate object.
The quality of education of a student depends on various factors like the teaching to which he is exposed, the educational facilities and environment available in the institution of his studies and his own temperament and approach to studies.
It is observed by experts that learning takes place when there is a need, drive or motive and an appropriate goal, the attainment of which would satisfy the motive. When this component is found missing, the student does not show any significant progress in learning the requirements of the course. It is not in the field of education alone that the factor ‘motivation’ is important. It is given high emphasis in the fields such as industry, management, leadership development programmes, personality development and human resources development.
Motivation is the key to better performance. As an ancient proverb says, ’If you meet a hungry man and give him a fish, he will not be hungry, but if you teach him how to fish, he will never be hungry.’ This is the crux of the motivational strategies. So also is the quality of imagination. Albert Einstein, the famous scientist once said, ’Imagination is more important than knowledge.’ Creativity is unleashed imagination. It is the ability to see alternatives and solutions that others do not see. As emphasised in the Korean proverb, ‘All the beads in the world won’t make a necklace until you string them together,’ likewise, unless all the skills, capacities and competence are linked together through motivational string, your performance and achievements will never be actualized.
HOW TO CHOOSE A CAREER?
Selection of a suitable career needs meticulous care, thought and proper planning, keeping in mind one’s goals, and a clear idea of the expectations from that career. Before deciding on the choice of a career, you should have a clear notion of your interest, aptitude, ambition, scope and qualifications. Before selecting a career, you have to consider your interest in it. You should ask yourself whether you really like it or whether you are going to like it or whether you would lose your interest in it after some time. Your aptitude for the career is also equally important. So also is your ambition. ‘Not failure, but low ambition is a crime.’ However, ambition need to be toned down in consonance with the scope in a particular field and your inherent qualities. Without ambition, you can not climb the ladder of success and attain anything in your life. To find out the scope in a particular area of interest is also of very great importance. You should see whether it is a new field. If it is a new field, ask yourself whether it is growing. If it is a growing one, the corollary is that you will also grow with it as an employee. In a growing field, typically there is an exploitation to your advantage. Then you have to consider your qualifications for the career chosen. As you are aware, each career requires an amount of theoretical knowledge and skill which are gained through education and training.
SEARCH FOR HIGHLY PAID JOBS
It was at first the era of Indian Civil Services and it was a gleam in the eyes of every graduate to become an I.A.S. or I.P.S Officer or one of the other All India Services. At another stage doctors were very much in demand in society. Medical profession was not only very highly paying but also enhanced the social status of a person. Then there was another time when there came up a sudden demand for Engineers and most school leaving students wanted to join one of the Engineering Colleges or IITs. Today the trend is changing rapidly. With the era of high technology upon us, it is the dream of most of the young people to get absorbed in highly paid jobs. It encompasses anyone from the ambitious 16-year old school leaving student wanting to get a competitive head-start to the frustrated 25-year old employed youth wishing to take an early career change or improvement decisions.
CAREER OPPORTUNITIES FOR YOU
Today for every subject studied, there are a myriad career options, both in the organized as well as in the unorganized sector. New jobs and new career options are being created everyday. Tremendous growth in the technology in all spheres of life has ushered in an array of career opportunities in almost every type of industry. Medical technology, advertising, computers, science and engineering have all advanced to such an extent that a multitude of job options have sprung up, today. The demand for qualified professionals is only growing and is not expected to diminish in the near future. In this scenario, it is apt to review all career options and make decisions based on what is right for you. Besides problems and predicaments faced by the young, there are pressures of conforming to social norms and parental expectations. Parents by and large tend to make their children objects of their ambition. Career charting for children begins even before the child is born. Normally career planning is done on the basis of what the parents perceive as the scope in that particular field. As a result, an enormous amount of pressure is brought to bear on the young till they finish their higher secondary. At this stage, there is a sudden respite. Those children who have been able to live up to the expectations of their parents are idolised and those who have not are consoled. The offshoot of this is the sudden fall in motivation accompanied by a feeling of despondency among the majority. This problem is aggravated by the unemployment situation.
There is also the lack of training institutions and a dearth of career guidance. It is also dominated by heredity and material considerations. As a result, a career decision is made on the basis of chance rather than choice. Never has it therefore been as important as it is today for the young to identify their interests and abilities and work towards a career that matches their talents. With the advent of liberalization and the opening of the Indian economy to the international world, countless job opportunities are being created not only in our country, but also abroad. New jobs and new career specialisations are coming up every day. You have to be well aware of all these factors before choosing a course of study.
Careers can be classified into three major sectors – (I) careers in the organised sector including Govt. and Private, (ii) Professional career defined by specialized knowledge, craft and skills where advancement comes in with the growth of skills and reputation and (iii) the informal or unorganized sector of entrepreneurship of creating a product or service of value where advancement comes in the form of increase in turnover or profits.
A recent employment study indicates a shift in the concept of employment. Job opportunities in the organised sector is showing a diminishing trend and more over, there will be fiercer competitions and a greater demand for professional and entrepreneurial skills. As stereotyped jobs go out of the window, young career seekers are to be pragmatic. In addition, one needs to acquire some basic job skills essential for every career. Almost every position today requires a basic level of computer literacy, though language proficiency is also equally important. You should have verbal and written communication skills besides having good interpersonal skills and the ability to work in a team.