Why Career Counseling is Essential for College Students


Academic excellence is often a pursuit that puts students in the race to get good grades, making them so engrossed in their activities that they dangerously ignore the importance of orienting themselves towards a career path. Due to the preconceived notions students have regarding the career path that will be best for them in their professional lives, most students tend to enroll in programs that are biased towards those career paths.

Because of societal pressure and peer expectations when it comes to choosing an “acceptable profession”, it has become a norm in today’s competitive and cut-throat environment that students often harbor guilt for pursuing their own interests. Career counseling is a tool which can be very effective in allowing students to realize their true potential and find work that aligns with their natural inclinations. The best time to give students an exposure to the idea of career counseling is when they are at the start of their degree programs. Career counseling is not a quick fix; it is  a process which takes time and understanding as the counselor needs to get attuned to the capabilities of each student.

Inexperience on part of the student highlights the need for proper guidance through qualified career counselors. Academic institutions regularly hire psychologists as career counselors. However, more and more academic institutions are hiring experienced professionals from the corporate arena to serve as counselors and mentors to guide students. This allows the student to see what will be expected of them in a certain career, which makes it much easier to determine if that career path aligns with their personal career goals.  Students often harbor unrealistic expectations of certain fields. Getting corporate professionals to help guide students allows them to better understand the realities of a certain career, enabling them to change their career choice if they find that career does not fit their personal goals and interests.

Once a career choice is made by a student, a counselor can be of invaluable help. Counselors are great at teaching students to make relevant connections between their interests and possible career paths. This type of guidance acts as a supplement to the knowledge students gain through their academic pursuits.

Career counseling can also help students make sound financial decisions. Many students get overwhelmed by student debt, which they see as a burden on themselves. As a result, students begin a career that will aid in paying off their debt faster, rather than a career that they actually want. Counselors help students gain a foothold by teaching them the importance of a step by step process to stability and debt repayment, which allows students to pay off their obligations in an efficient manner. Unfortunately, many students end up with anxiety, depression, and other ailments later in life because of a bad choice they made earlier on in their careers. Career counseling is invaluable to students and it is highly advisable that teachers and parents get their students to engage in it at the start of their education in order to get the most out of it.

By Henry Kingston
Henry Kingston