Career counseling in a post-Covid world

New Delhi (IANSlife) The ongoing pandemic has caused unprecedented economic disruption and unemployment worldwide, prompting both a financial and a humanitarian crisis. Career counsellors need to now focus on how they can provide effective career counselling for the post-Covid world.

Abhishek Gupta, Founder and CEO of High School Moms (HSM) and International Alliance of Counselors and Educators (INACE) suggests what one should be mindful of, hereon.

At the outset, it is important to understand that career guidance helps learners understand their strengths and weaknesses and then match them with their skills and interests so that they can get the best suitable career choice. The pressure to make career and higher education choices is a nerve-wracking experience for most learners. Career counselling enables students to manage their careers and move from a general understanding of life and work to a specific understanding of the realistic learning and work options that are open to them.

As society is trying to come to terms with this global crisis, technology inevitably has emerged as our knight in shining armour in many ways. Nicholas Picic, a US-based lecturer, rightly pointed out, our new Covid-related glossaries have forced us to learn and get crash courses in a number of unanticipated fields–from biology and immunology to statistical rhetoric, government operations, and civics. This pandemic has shown us the power of technology, exposed cyber security risks, and helped businesses develop new ways to use data effectively. It is now time for students to up their game in order to expect greater job opportunities or alternate career options in the post-pandemic world.

Gone are the days when medicine and engineering were the only two options that students were presented with. The pandemic has compelled us to turn to virologists, yet, virology has been a neglected area. The field is a rapidly evolving branch of medicine with immense relevance to medical studies.

Conventional subjects like zoology, botany, and physiology have been left back in the race by the domains of microbiology, biotechnology, biochemistry, and other applied programmes. The amalgamation of biological and medical sciences in these applied programmes has made them very much sought after in recent times among the student community who are looking for alternatives to medical sciences.

Careers in computational biology have also emerged to be promising in recent times. Computational biology is basically the study of physical principles which are the part of biological phenomena and processes. Statistics say that this is exceptionally a great time to start a career in computational biology. With a relevant degree, students can work in the commercial, academic and government domains.

As the pandemic spread across India, most of the processes went online, generating huge amounts of data across sectors. This has led companies to develop more sophisticated algorithms, creating a need for more data science roles. With the world starting to open amid the Covid-19 pandemic, the number of jobs available in data science is seeing an upward trend in India as we inch closer to providing vaccines for everyone.

Coronavirus is turning our world upside down. It has shown us how fragile so many of our political systems are and how dependent our normal lives are on things that we take for granted. This is where career guidance comes in as it is essentially a set of tools that helps people to think through how they live their lives, manage their work-life balance and so on.

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