As a practitioner of holistic human capital development, I believe in being preoccupied with readiness for study and career choice early in anyone’s life. However, it is surprising that people are only involved in this subject at the educated high school level. It is as if preparing for studies and choosing a profession only becomes relevant during the transition from high school to college and university. It is for this reason that we find many learners unwilling to choose a course of study that is informed of the final careers they wish to pursue.
My goal is to encourage all parents, guardians, and scholars to engage with this topic early in their study journey. Secondly, I would like to highlight the topics that should constitute the engagement. It’s more complicated than it looks, and it’s always an emotional topic to deal with. Scientists become victims of many fault lines that were not clear to them before.
The timing in addressing this transitional topic is a challenge for all scholars. They don’t always have the necessary insights and information to base their view on. Access to information is costly for some, and in most cases the school’s career guidance officers are not exposed to the latest trends. As a result, they wake up late and end up taking studies and career directions that are not well researched.
Schools and parents are encouraged to invest in the mentorship program to support scholars in their studies and career choices. However, these programs alone are not enough. Schools shall work together with various mentors in conceptualizing and designing educational tours for higher education institutions (universities and colleges), attending studies and job fairs, fairs, etc.
The interaction between schools and industry must take place in the early years of development of scholars. Schools should employ career counsellors, guidance teachers and relevant liaison officers. Companies should be encouraged to adopt schools as part of their CSR programs and to identify scholars through universities. These scholars can become scholarship recipients for these companies. Eventually they will graduate to become their own employees. However, the idea here is not for companies to subsidize schools for their own benefit. This is done for the benefit of society with the hope that the economy will benefit the educated.
We cannot ignore the marketing of student information activities, such as career fairs and special exhibitions. They occupy the space left by schools and educational authorities. As a result, such initiatives are seen as aimed at middle-class children and affluent parents. There is a need for cooperation between private and public regulators. The main objective should be to assist scholars in their studies and career readiness regardless of their status in society.
As the Fourth Industrial Revolution becomes a reality, we need to be mindful of the role technology is already playing in delivering education and the new jobs emerging in industry. Scholars should be preoccupied with the kind of professions that will exist by the time they graduate from college/university.
It is a matter of concern to have career guidance desks in school that are not well equipped with technology. We need interactive digital libraries and a place for global contact for learners. They should be more than libraries but digital information centers. Parents cannot separate themselves from their children’s studies and career aspirations. They must be committed to and harness the potential of their children. Schools cannot be left with the responsibility of guiding these children alone. Their overall development is a partnership.