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Problem of Plenty

A plethora of career options has made students rush to career counsellors, who, in turn, are minting money.
Hindustan Times | By Neha Sharma and Rahul Sabharwal, New Delhi
UPDATED ON JUN 17, 2008 10:20 AM IST

Carrie Bradshaw’s quote in Sex and the City could not have been more apt for our very own Delhi. “In a city of infinite options, sometimes there is no better feeling than knowing you only have one.”

Board results are out and DU will be following soon. A plethora of career options has left the students confused who are rushing to career counsellors for advice who, in turn, are minting moolah with long sittings. A one-hour session with a counsellor may cost between Rs 1000 to Rs 2000.

What is it that is sending students flocking to these ‘Prophets’? While for some it is a matter of finding focus, others have a problem of plenty. Vedant Gahlaut, who recently finished his graduation from Delhi College of Arts and Commerce, is in such a fix. Love for the country attracts him to the army, power lures him to the IAS while glamour tempts him to try for event management. He adds, “Every second person does an MBA these days. But then it is an important field. I am so confused, I’d much rather just go to a counsellor and ask for advice.”

Parents aren’t far behind with most being equally, if not more anxious, about their children’s future. Anita, who accompanied her son to a career counsellor for advice on what to do after school, wasn’t satisfied. She says, “They didn’t tell us any clear cut solutions but rather gave abstract advice. I’m still as confused.”

The counsellors testify that the number of students coming in for counselling have drastically increased. Pervin Malhotra, Director, CARING, a career-counselling institute, says, “The number of people seeking counselling doubles every year. I have kids coming from schools who have problems deciding their stream to graduates and even people in a mid-career crisis looking to move on from their first job.”

Some counselors think the answer lies in your stars. They counsel through Astrology or Vaastu. Others offer complicated techniques like mind-power training. However, there are quite a few who have benefited from these career counselors.

Nitika who went to a career counsellor immediately after school says that although she was a science student, she had no interest in the subject. The counselor took an aptitude test and told her that she would do well as a graphic designer. “I pursued that and now I am a successful graphic
designer,” she says.

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