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A guiding hand

Career counsellors assess people’s interests, personalities, values and skills and help them explore career options.

education Updated: Sep 22, 2011 11:10 IST

The lowdown
Career counsellors assess people’s interests, personalities, values and skills and help them explore career options. The primary purpose of career counselling is to help one learn how to explore university and college programmes and occupations and match one’s aptitude with various career options. Interest inventories and career tests used by counsellors help senior school/college students organise their thoughts and ideas about majors, careers and occupations

Clock Work
8AM: Review day’s appointments
9AM: Have rapport-building talk with students
10AM: Conduct psychometric testing for abilities and personality types
11AM: Schedule appointments for the counselling session
12O'clock onwards: Hold counselling sessions
4PM onwards: Research; information collecting and updating
5PM: Call it a day

The payoff
Entry level: Rs12000 to Rs15000 per month. At the middle level: around Rs35,000 per month. Senior level (especially if you are self-employed): Sky is the limit

. Good communication skills
. Should have a commanding per sonality
. Should be interested in education and related industries
. One should have an analytical approach and should engage with students at a much deeper level to help them find the right career path

Getting There
After completing Class 12 in humanities or science, you can do your graduation in psychology, followed by a postgraduate diploma in guidance and counselling. A lot of people take up career counselling without a good grounding in psychology but they are not professionally equipped to administer psychometric tests, etc. Anybody who enjoys interacting with people, is sensitive to the other's needs, and is also good at collecting detailed information and constantly updating it, can pursue career counselling as a career

. University of Mumbai
. Karnatak University, Dharwad,
. Punjab University, Chandigarh
. TISS, Mumbai.

Pros and cons
. Challenging and fascinating career
. Varied skills and aspirations can lead to a number of job options

A counsellor needs to have a phenomenal knowledge base. He must know everything there is to know about different career options and should want to reach out and help others

Jitin Chawla, a career counsellor based in Delhi