There is great need of Career Counselling-Dr.V.S.Ravindran

Dr. V. S. Ravindran
Dr. V. S. Ravindran is a renowned Educational Psychologist,
Counsellor Trainer and Teacher Educator. He has also been involved in the
training of people in leadership positions in educational institutions,
corporates and government organizations for more than two decades. Dr.
Ravindran is instrumental in starting guidance and counseling programs in many
reputed educational institutions in India and abroad. Presently he is
the Director General of Institute
of Counsellor Training Research
and Consultancy (ICTRC). Apart from this Dr. Ravindran is also associated with NCERT,
UGC-Academic Staff College, Aligarh Muslim University, CBSE , Navodhya
Leadership Institute , Kendriya Vidhyalayas, National Institute of Criminology
and Forensic Sciences, Delhi Police Foundation For Correction, De-addiction and
Rehabilitation, Kerala Police, Government of Jammu &Kashmir and many more.
Dr. Ravindran’s contributions are not limited to educational institutions.  He is also associated with corporate houses
like NTPC, Indian Oil Corporation, Maruti etc. Dr. Ravindran has committed his
life for a single mission ie to bring the benefits of counseling and guidance
to every student, parent and teacher in the country.

 He spoke to S.S.Dogra ( Mg. Editor , Dwarka Parichay )
about career counselling in India.
Excerpts:

Q. According to you what is the status of Career Counseling in India?
Ans: In India Career counseling is still in its infancy. People believe that
providing information is career counseling. But, in the real sense, career
counseling is helping the student in knowing himself, his abilities, aptitudes,
interests and personality and then guiding him to choose a course of study or
career in accordance with his strengths and limitations.

Q. Are parents aware of the real meaning of career counselling?

Ans. Even in the urban areas, only a very small segment of
parents are aware of the concept of career counseling. In the rural areas it is
almost negligible.

Q. At what age or class students should be provided career counseling,?
Ans. Ideally the process should start in class IX. In class X they should get
proper career counselling because after that they have to choose their subjects
in class XI. Otherwise the students will choose subjects based on fantasies,
opinions of friends or parental pressures. They will need career counseling
again in class XII to narrow down their options and make a final decision.

Q. What are the characteristics of a good career counselor?
Ans: There is a lot of misinformation and misunderstanding on this topic. Now
what is happening is, some one who has read a few books on careers start
calling himself a Career Counselor and begins to give advice to students and
parents as to what to do and what not to do. This is absolutely wrong. A Career
Counselor must have professional qualifications/training and experience. A Post
Graduation (MA) in Psychology and a Professional Diploma in student counseling
is the best combination. However, a PG in a related area like M.Ed., M.Sc.
Child Development, M.S.W. plus a professional diploma in student counseling
will suffice. What is most important is the counsellor must have undergone
professional training in student counseling. As regards the qualities of good
counselor, there are many. He should be a patient listener, empathetic, warm,
well informed, impartial, trustworthy and so on.

Q. When there is a conflict between parents and child about choice of
career what to do?

Ans: Both parties should patiently listen to the other’s point of view.
The parents should try to give the child maximum information and guidance
available. They must not impose their views on the child. The child also should
scientifically evaluate his options and be realistic about his career option.
He should not be influenced by fantasies.
Q. Will visiting career fairs/career exhibitions
help students?
Ans: This will depend on many factors- who is organizing the fair, who
are the experts providing help, what is the motive behind organizing the fair
etc. Unfortunately, many so called career fairs are only marketing gimmicks of
institutions. Therefore, the information being disseminated may not be
impartial. However, students may visit these fairs because it will widen their
career information horizon. But they should take their decision only after
proper thought. They should not be carried away by the sales talk of the
representatives of the institutions.
Q. What is the response of students to career
counseling?

Ans: The response of students to career counseling is overwhelming. As a result
of overload of complicated information and lack of proper guidance, students
are baffled and confused. They need the help of an impartial professional
career counselor.

Q. What are the fees/charges of a career counselor?
Ans: The consultation charges of a career counselor vary depending on the
qualifications, training, experience and popularity of the career counselor. It
will also depend on whether any psychological tests are conducted or not. The
charges may range from Rs.500/- to Rs.5000/-

Q. Can you name a few career counselors/ institutions who can guide the
students?

Ans: Sorry !I cannot do this because I am not supposed to promote a particular
individual or institution. I have already mentioned the credentials and other
requirements of a career counselor.

Q. What is future of career counseling in India? What are the employment
opportunities for a career counselor?

Ans: Career Counseling has great future in this country. Job opportunities and
self-employment opportunities are unlimited for a professionally trained Career
Counselor. However, there is a big shortage of professionally trained Career
Counselors in India.
Unfortunately, the facilities for training are very limited. The Govt. is doing
what is possible. But it is like a drop in the ocean. The Organization that I
am heading now, ICTRC (Institute
of Counselor Training,
Research and Consultancy) was founded in the year 1992 to fill the vacuum that
existed in counselor training in this country. We are trying to equip the
untrained counselors as well as train new ones. We are also training teachers
as counselors.

Q. How long have you been in this profession? What is your experience?
Ans: I have been involved in counseling and counselor-training for more than
two decades. My feeling is that a lot more has to be done. There is a great
need for creating awareness among students, parents, teachers, administrators
and authorities about the need and importance of Career Counseling.

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  1. Career Counseling for Students

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