What is the right time to start career counselling? The question is very dicey. You start too early, students wouldn’t seriously consider their decisions or change their minds later. There is also a chance they will be overwhelmed and stressed out. You start too late and your options become limited. That is why we suggest starting the career counselling process when students are in their 8th or 9th grade – old enough to realize the impact and importance of a career decision, but early enough that they have time to explore their options.
Does that mean all channels to seek career counselling after the 10th class are closed? Once you’ve selected a stream for 11th and 12th grade, that’s it? You can’t change your mind anymore?
Of course, YOU CAN!
In the past decade, there’s been a tremendous rise in awareness about career counselling among students, their parents, and schools. Yet, many students either wait until after 10th grade to seek counselling or make an uninformed decision while selecting their steam for the 11th and 12th classes.
Whether a student has selected the right or wrong stream after 10th class, there is still a long road ahead of them as they embark on their career journey. So, yes – career counselling after 10th class is still necessary, if not even more important.
So What If You’ve Chosen the Wrong Stream After Class 10th
Okay…let us assure you first – You’re not alone. Thousands of students are on the same boat as you. Unfortunately in India, many students still select their stream after class 10th based on their scores (90% and above in boards – Don’t even think about anything other than Science!) Many select their stream to satisfy others’ expectations of them – be it parents, relatives or teachers. Whatever the reason might be, sooner or later the realization sinks in.
So what next?
Option 1: Well, first you need to figure out what course and career you want to pursue in the future and what subjects you’ll need to take up. Career counselling will help you with that if you are still confused. Then you need to check if you can take those subjects as electives alongside your compulsory ones. This gives you the chance to go for the course and career of your dream once you finish high school.
Option 2: If you have decided that even though the stream you’ve selected isn’t right, you want to continue with it, you can! You can still pursue the course and career of your choice after high school. Your options aren’t closed since many colleges today offer interdisciplinary courses and liberal arts degrees. Students from the science stream have complete flexibility to change their area of interest after high school. While students from the arts and commerce stream don’t enjoy the same flexibility, they can still take a few elective subjects.
Option 3: If you’re very sure that the stream is all wrong for you and you don’t want to pursue it any further, then you can always start all over again. Sure, it is a daunting prospect – there is no denying that there’s a stigma attached to dropping out, but in the long run you’ll be happier and wiser. So gather up the courage and talk to your parents. Have an open and honest discussion with them about your career choice. You can always seek career counselling to help you navigate this bridge between your parent’s expectations and your interests.
So You’ve Chosen The Right Stream; What’s Next?
If you’re satisfied with the stream you’ve selected after 10th class – that’s great! But does that mean everything is sorted in life and there’s no need for career counselling? Absolutely, not! Selecting the right stream was just step one. There are several more milestones for you to cross – finalizing a course, shortlisting colleges, applying for colleges, getting admission.
Many students who are happy with their stream in 11th grade still don’t have a finalized career option they want to pursue. Think about it, how many science students appear for both engineering and medical entrance exams? (Both are vastly different fields even though both are ‘sciences’). How many students apply to colleges for more than two courses, often completely unrelated?
Seeking career counselling is as important after 10th class as it is before you’ve decided on a stream. Finding the right career is not a sprint, it is a marathon. You’ll face many turning points where you’ll need to make a choice. Every right choice you make will take you one step closer to your goal – a career that is right for you.
Proper career counselling will equip you with the information to help you make the right decision. It’s never too late to seek help when you know you need it. The sooner you do it, the better it will be for your future.