CAREER COUNSELLING

Making A Choice

The Choices that you make today are going to shape your TOMORROW.
It, therefore, becomes imperative that you take time TODAY to evaluate your options so that you make a CORRECT and an INFORMED CHOICE.

We have, based on our experience with students, created this document that would help you MAKE A CHOICE. It is a guide for a student to refer to and take the next step towards achieving their GOAL.

We will cover the following points

  • Making a choice
  • Influencing factors
  • Collecting information
  • Applications to the University

Making a Choice
For each student the order of the steps may vary, but the steps will be constant.

  • Your choice of CAREER
  • Your choice of COURSE
  • Your choice of COUNTRY
  • Your choice of UNIVERSITY

Your choice of CAREER
Your career decision should be carefully evaluated and based on your UNIQUE QUALITIES. The unique qualities of a person is a summation of the following :

  • Abilities
  • Talents
  • Needs
  • Values
  • Interests
  • Lifestyle

Knowing your “unique qualities” is not easy. It is a challenge for everyone. But, the clearer picture you have, the more likely you are to choose a satisfying career. Here are some steps that you will find helpful:

  • Take tests or inventories that measure your abilities, interests, values, and personality. Write out your reactions to the results. Tests such as these are available online and with Career Counsellors.
  • Look at your course work and other achievements. Which subjects have you done well in, or not so well in? What does this tell you about your abilities — mechanical aptitude, verbal ability, numerical ability, and so on? Write your analysis down.
  • Examine how you use your leisure time. What does it suggest about your abilities? Interests? Values?
  • Talk with a professional counsellor; learn about career counseling.
  • Identify your skills, especially those you enjoy using, your motivated skills.
  • Write a personal mission statement. Write: what you want to be, what you want to accomplish in life, and what values or principles you want to guide you.
Get a CLEAR PICTURE of yourself
  • IQ and Personality test
  • Course work , the subjects you enjoy
  • Other achievements
  • Leisure time
  • Friends/family/teachers
  • Professional Counselling
  • Write a Personal Mission statement
Decision Making: A.C.I.P
  • Alternatives
  • Consequences
  • Information
  • Plans

ACIP is a step by way of EVALUATION. It is always better to weigh your OPTIONS and then take a decision.

Alternatives: FIND an alternative. If you can’t be ‘?’ then you can be ‘?’. Find alternatives to everything. Before you start making any decision you should have a couple of options for you to examine and evaluate.

Consequences: By definition means ‘Something that logically follows from an action or condition’. Weigh the Consequences of each Alternative that you have narrowed down on the factors such as Finance, Employability, Quality, and Future Scope.

Information: True genius resides in the capacity for evaluation of uncertain, hazardous, and conflicting information – Winston Churchill.

Collect all relevant and sometimes even IRRELEVANT information for your reference. Finance, Ranking, Experience, Expectation, Requirements are all parameters that a student should look into.

Plan:Once you have evaluated your options then chart down the plans that you will need to make to be able to go ahead with your Choice. Planning is an integral part of your preparation. A career is a result of a well laid PLAN, so make your plans very carefully. If you need to plan for time, finance, support or even travel, then ensure that you have planned it WELL and in TIME.

Your choice of COURSE
The choice of your course will depend on the following boundaries. Compare between what you have and what are expected in terms of entry requirements to make a choice of course.

Present Subjects
  • Your interest
  • What do you do well in
  • What you don’t enjoy
  • Your special abilities
Course Modules
  • Check what the course has to offer
  • How each module helps towards the career you want to build
  • The nature of the course
Entry requirements

Each country, University and the Course has a specific Entry Requirement. The Grades, The Academic Subjects, English Language, Entry Tests are some of the essential requirements. Check the Country specific details and the course specific requirement when you narrow down your search.

Work Experience

Base your choice on your past experience. It could be an internship that you have done, a summer job or a regular employment that you might have overtaken. The experience- GOOD or BAD can give you a clear indication about what your career choice can be.

Employment Opportunities

Look at the trends that are emerging worldwide to know your employment opportunities that might be present in the future. The jobs will lie in the sector that might be booming today and also in those that are expected to rise in the future.

For example, while most people would expect an MBBS doctor to go on and practice, the changing trend in the HOSPITAL business has ensured that a qualified doctor armed with a Business Administration Degree can get you a job in the Hospital Admin.

Explore the opportunities of today and study the expected fields of tomorrow to evaluate your Employment opportunities.

Your choice of COUNTRY

Financial requirements

When looking for studying international, Finances form an important in fact more often than not, a deciding factor. Budget your education and make a choice in accordance. Some countries will be more expensive in terms of tuition as well as living cost, so it is important to know your finances and budgets. If your parents are funding your education, ensure that they are aware of all the options and the expenses.

Culture

Some countries are more global in approach compared to others. Being an international student it is important to study in a socially acceptable environment. A student friendly environment and one that accepts your diversity is important.

Studying for a degree means that you would spend a long time in the foreign land it becomes important that you find out about the culture of that country and see if it is acceptable.

Language

Be sure to know the language that is common in the country that you plan to study in. A language barrier can make both the education as well as living, difficult.

Job opportunities

If you are looking to find a job in the country that you wish to study in, then you should find out about the rules and regulation of the respective country. If Job option is deciding factor, then you should find out the options in all the countries that you have narrowed down. Some countries invite immigrations and are thereby more flexible, while some do not encourage immigration and therefore securing a job after your degree is more difficult.

Economic factors of the country also play a large role in the JOB opportunities. It is advisable to know the status of the country in that regard.

Friends/family

If you have friends and family in the country that you wish to study in then the ‘Settling In’ time becomes easier and smoother with their proximity. Find out if you have any friends or family in the area and if they would extend their hospitality.

Your choice of UNIVERSITY
The choice of University is primarily based on the 4C’s

  • COURSE
  • CAMPUS
  • COST
  • COUNTRY

You must do a detailed research on this aspect, since YOU have to spend the next year/years in that university. It is absolutely imperative that you find out all information that is relevant to you and to your course. A lot of factors together give the University it’s reputation – ranking, quality, proximity and international student body being some of the few important factors, ensure that you have found all possible details.

Course
  • Offered
  • Entry requirements
  • Modules
  • Choices available
  • Credit transfers (if Considered)
  • Degree
Campus
  • Size
  • Location
  • City
  • Facilities
  • Accommodation
Cost
  • Fees structure
  • Scholarships
  • Living cost
  • Travelling cost
  • Books and equipment
Country
  • Culture
  • City
  • Job Opportunities

In addition to these, for most International students, a number of other factors play an important role. While each factor has a different WEIGHTAGE for different student, each of these factors goes on to help you decide.

  • Ranking University ranking: worldwide, Country Course Quality ranking: E.g. TQA, RAE
  • Faculty
  • Alumni
  • Employers List

Influencing factors
The concentric circles of the influencing factor vary from student to student. The level of importance varies; hence the influence on the student will be different.

It is important to know what influencing factors you need to filter and absorb. While a lot of factors influence your decision it is important to identify the factors that are important to you and thereby important for your decision.

Collecting Information
  • Prospectus of the colleges
  • Internet
  • Counsellors of your school
  • Career Counsellors
  • Meet the officials
  • Visit education and career fairs
  • Alumni
Shortlisting

To “ZERO IN” the course and the university is a long process. Like we have pointed out, different factors at different points of time influence your decision. A student should SWOT their choice.

SWOT- Strengths, Weakness, Opportunities, Threats.

On a piece of paper, analyse the university and the course for a SWOT. Divide the paper into 4 sections and head each section with S-W-O -T. Once you have made an initial choice, the SWOT would help you into short listing your choice.

E.G. of SWOT of a Course

Divide the following characteristics of the course into Strengths and weaknesses on two sides of the paper. The same characteristic can be strength for one, and weakness for another

  • Ranking
  • Quality
  • Cost
  • Duration
  • Credit Transfer
  • Accreditation
  • Recognitions
  • International Student %
  • Competition
  • Individual Capabilities
  • Student past experience
  • Location of the university
  • Job Opportunities
  • Employer’s List

Opportunities and Threats are usually considered the external factors, by which in our case we would say, factors that affect the university or the course externally. It is not the strength or the weakness of the university or the course. Some of these can be analysed on the following:

  • Socio-economic factor
  • Culture
  • Geographic location
  • Countries Political Situation
  • Job Market
  • Comparison to Home Country
  • Season/Weather
  • Accessibility
  • Acceptability

Shortlist your choices and then see what suits you the best, or which comes across with maximum advantages. A university/course that has the maximum strengths and offers maximum opportunities will be the best option, so evaluate carefully.

As a student you are standing at the most crucial junction of your life. It may seem like a ‘roundabout’ and you are not sure which direction to go to. With each road leading you in a different direction, it often gets extremely confusing for the students and the parents alike. Obviously, if we know our Destination, than our own GPRS system would help, you might even take a wrong turn, but eventually reach the destination. It is therefore more important to know your Destination or Goal. The option of the ROUTE can be many; some are shorter, longer, some with traffic jam and some without. Let your evaluation be the GPRS system to you.

Remember that the choice you make today will not only affect your life, but also that of your loved ones. Although this is an important decision, in no way is it like writing on the wall. Life gives us many Chances; we need to know how to grab it. Chose your course and university wisely, but keep in mind that there are many ways that you can amend it, if you so desire tomorrow.

ALL THE BEST!!!

Career Choice

A set of questions have been designed too assess your ‘MOST LIKEABLE’ choice of profession. It links your interest and capabilities with the personality that emerges and matches with the JOBS that maybe best suited. While these questions are effective, in no way are they binding. By which we mean, that these questions will act as a guidance, however, each person is unique and his CHOICE of job maybe unique and will depend entirely on your own Goals and Choices.

Even if these questions point you in a certain direction, but you feel that the DIRECTION is not taking you towards the goal, then find the route THAT SUITS YOU THE BEST.

ALL THE BEST!!!

SECTION 1

What do you like to do?

Six activities are described below. Read each statement and decide if it describes you.

  • 1. I like to work with animals, tools, or machines.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 2. I like to study and solve math or science problems.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 3. I like to do creative activities like art, drama, crafts, dance, music, or creative writing.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 4. I like to do things where I can help people — like, teaching, first aid, or giving information.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 5. I like to lead and persuade people, and to sell things and ideas.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 6. I like to work with numbers, records, or machines in a set, orderly way.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True

SECTION 2

What are your abilities?

Six kinds of abilities are described here. Read each statement and decide if it describes you, when compared with other persons your age.

  • 1. I have good skills in working with tools, mechanical drawings, machines, or animals.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 2. I am good at understanding and solving science and math problems.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 3. I have good artistic abilities — in creative writing, drama, crafts, music, or art.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 4. I am good at teaching, counselling, nursing, or giving information.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 5. I am good at leading people and selling things or ideas.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 6. I am good at working with written records and numbers in a systematic, orderly way.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True

SECTION 3

How do you see yourself?

Read each statement and decide if it describes you.

  • 1. I am practical, mechanical, and realistic.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 2. I am precise, scientific, and intellectual.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 3. I am artistic, imaginative, original, and independent.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 4. I am helpful, friendly, and trustworthy.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 5. I am energetic, ambitious, and sociable.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 6. I am orderly, and good at following a set plan.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True

SECTION 4

What do you value?

Read each statement and decide if it describes you.

  • 1. I value practical things you can see and touch like plants and animals you can grow, or things you can build or make better.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 2. I value science.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 3. I value the creative arts — like drama, music, art, or the works of creative writers.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 4. I value helping people and solving social problems.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 5. I value success in politics, leadership, or business.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True
  • 6. I value success in business.
    • True
    • Mostly True
    • Not True

SCORE

The Career Choice measures how similar you are to six basic types of people. The higher your score, the more you are like that type. For example, if you score the highest on the “Artistic” scale, that means you are most like the Artistic personality type.

How Do you Score?

In each section each line reflects a certain type:

  • 1st question – Realistic
  • 2nd question – Investigative
  • 3rd question – Artistic
  • 4th question – Social
  • 5th question- Enterprising
  • 6th question – Conventional
For each answer give yourself the following points:
  • True – 3 points
  • Mostly True – 2 points
  • Not True – 1 point

Add the points in each section as per the type. For Example if you have said TRUE to all the 1st questions in each section then your score will be 3+3+3+3 = 12

Your scores:

  • realistic =
  • investigative =
  • artistic =
  • social =
  • enterprising =
  • conventional =

Occupations can also be grouped according to these six types. Generally, you will be happiest in a job that matches your personality type. It is a good idea to look at the jobs listed for the two or three personality types that you have the highest scores.

REALIST
ARTISTIC
CONVENTIONAL
ENTERPRISING
INVESTIGATIVE
SOCIAL JOB

NOTE: ENTIRE LIST OF CAREERS ARE ONLY SUGGESTIVE. A STUDENT SHOULD ONLY USE THIS AS A HELPING GUIDE. ONE SHOULD EVALUATE THEIR OWN ABILITIES AND SKILLS TO ARRIVE AT THEIR BEST SUITED CAREERS.

Question your choices

When searching for a post graduate degree, it is important to first decide what is most important to you. Map your priorities and your goal that you wish to achieve, and see how the course/institution will help you take a step towards it.

Every student is different, and it is important to think about your own primary reasons to pursue a graduate degree away from home. These reasons may change over time, but they will help guide your program search.

1. Think and Define your SHORT TERM GOALS
  • The field of study in which you wish to pursue a post- graduate degree?
  • Is there a subcategory in this field or a special topic of interest to you?
  • What will be your next degree level in the United States? If any
  • List any research or professional experience that you would like your graduate program faculty to have:
2. Think and Define your LONG TERM GOALS
  • After you finish this degree what type of job or employment do you plan to seek? For example, doctor, engineer, social worker, teacher, etc. Map how this degree will help you.
  • What skills do you want to improve while you pursue your higher education?
  • How will studying the course help you improve these skills?
3. Your Past Experiences
  • The previously earned degrees at a college or university.
    • Specialized training/certification
    • Bachelor’s degree
    • Master’s degree
    • Doctoral degree

    Consider the Entry requirement of the course. Most post-Graduate degrees have a prerequisite of a bachelor’s degree.

  • Are you pursuing the degree in the same field as your bachelor’s degree or are you changing your field? If you are planning to change your field, do you know the prerequisites?
  • Do you have the required the professional work experience
    • Related field
    • Non-related field

You need to find what work experience, if any, will be required prior to beginning your graduate program.

4. Manage your Finances
  • What is the cost involved. Consider the following avenues:
    • Tuition
    • Living Costs
    • Entertainment
    • Travel
  • How do you plan to fund your education
    • Own
    • Parents
    • Scholarships
    • Loans
    • Assistance
  • What is you Budget and what funds that are available to you?
    Chose a university that would fit into your budget, keeping in mind that the funds available to you has to cover the Living and Accommodation cost besides the Tuition Fees.
    Put the university in the bracket according to their tuition fee and see what bracket suits you the best.
  • What Financial Aid’s are available to students? The aid depends upon the Country, University and even the subject. Look for all the options available.Does your country provide any Financial Aid or Sponsorship?
    Are there any trusts or organization that would consider you eligible for their scholarships?
    Are there any trusts or organization that would consider you eligible for their scholarships?
5. Type of Institute

As you begin to narrow down your choices, you should think about

  • Which type of program would best fit your needs as a graduate student? Different countries have different choices offered to students. Degree as well as certified courses is available. Consider your options.
  • Your past academic performance and the availability of funds will play an important role in the decision.
  • The performance on the required Entry tests or the Standardized Admission tests.
  • The size of the college or the University campus. The percentage of the International Student at the Institution will also be an important factor.
  • Is it a public or a private institution? in different countries , the state and the government has different rules for the institutions. Check the status of the institute before you decide.
6. What Environment suits you the best
  • Different countries offer different culture and tradition as well as climatic environment. It is best that you ensure that the country that you chose has culture and climatic condition that you can accept and deal with and also be sure that the culture of the country will accept you.
  • The location and the economic setting of the region are all important factor. Do you wish to study in an urban city or countryside? The cost of living and the convenience varies at different settings. You should decide what setting would suit you best.
  • The Housing and the accommodation is an integral part of making your stay comfortable. Decide what sort of accommodation you want. Would you want to live on campus or a private accommodation off campus? The choice will depend on your needs and also circumstances such as whether your family/spouse plans to stay with you. Accommodation that caters to all these needs are available in most countries and institutions. Ensure that you take time to find the accommodation that suits you the best.
  • The campus life that you are looking forward to and the facilities that you expect on campus will also influence your choice. Map your requirements such as sports facilities, library, religious facility etc and match them with the available facilities.

As student find answers to all the questions and queries that have been mentioned and you will find that it will help you find answers. Often some answers are difficult to find and need some research, so collect information in accordance. For each student the importance of different questions have different weight for different students, it is for you to decide what matters to you and what does not. However, you should find out all the answers so that you are WELL INFORMED and can TAKE A DECISION.