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Home » Ms. Lavanya Raj’s article in The Hindu, Nxg. Date: 02/04/2009
Ms. Lavanya Raj’s article in The Hindu, Nxg. Date: 02/04/2009

Choose your job

I conducted a study three years ago on what influences students to choose their career options. What motivated them to become what they wanted to become? One alarming and significant finding of the study was that 70 per cent (300 students were surveyed) indicated that their schools did not help them choose their career. From an educationist’s and psychologist’s point of view, this is extremely disturbing.


Discuss creativity

Although the fact that schools and educational institutions today have become considerably business oriented, this cannot be generalised. In the competition for moolah, an over-obsession with Information Technology and weak educational leadership, the very purpose of education is lost. What else could education provide, other than sowing the seed of a career interest and watering it to a mature passion/plan in the minds of the student? We look up to other countries and admire their education systems. Our own educationists have observed that our educational system is far behind in encouraging creativity. Is it not time to make things work here? To me there are workable solutions to build an effective educational system. And the happy news is that many of the educational institutions have begun to put these solutions into work.

First of all, all educational leaders, teachers and students have to develop a more structured system to handle career development: set up career cells with counsellors who not only guide students but also meet outside parties such as business owners, parents and teachers. Also a career choice will be influenced by the method of teaching, the extent to which creativity is encouraged… Of course some changes need to take place at the macro level.What role does a student have? After all, he/she is the one who has to follow the decision. I feel students need to play a much more active role in deciding. Right now, there are other opportunities apart from the most sought-after field — IT. They need to look beyond it. The student’s personality is a key to his/her success.

Students must begin to ask for career guidance in school. This should be top priority. They must approach their teachers or counsellors for guidance in making career choices or to put them in touch with professionals. Once a field of interest is chosen, studies are the next logical step. But this is not the only gateway to a successful job. Employability is the next big dimension students (and institutions) must work on. How employable am I? This is the key question. This will lead them to acquire adequate training, increasing knowledge in the field, and developing the right skills required for performing the job.


Educational leadership, a field with immense potential, has a huge role to play. It has the potential to change and transform many of the problems our education system faces. Sadly not many graduates look at education/teaching as a profession. Once more students begin to make education as their career choice, as more young educational leaders begin to make a mark, the situation will turn.