Linking Career Options and Academic Advising

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Economies of the world are constantly changing and evolving. Recession is now a global reality which tends to slow down the growth of different businesses. If organisations want to grow, they have to devise strategies in order to offset the realities of recession. This and other economic realities seem to have now forced upon an overlap of career and academic devising. Through this article, we shall attempt to explore the unique career opportunities that are presented to the students of today.

What is Career Advising?

Before we get into any further details, it is important to understand the definition of career advising. This is a dynamic and interactive process which helps students understand how their personal interests and abilities can play a role in defining success in academic and career fields, so that they can align their goals accordingly. It is quite different from the other intensive career counselling which looks into psychology and is probably the one that most of us are familiar with.

How Career Advising Effects Students

One of the major reasons a student enrols into a college is for obtaining a better job. However, it is also true that most students do not know what exactly a ‘better job’ is. Students need to learn how to differentiate between skills, interests and passions. In other words, there is no clear personal reference point from which career and academic options can be evaluated. So for this situation, academic advisors are at a unique position where they can assist students in making wise academic-oriented and career choices.

As per Terry O’Banion (1972), the following are the five steps included in the academic advising process:

a) Going through life experiences
b) Looking out for vocational goals
c) Choosing a particular academic program
d) Selecting courses
e) Scheduling the courses

Of course, in comparison to the time at which O’Banion made this list, there are many more career options today, which highlight the importance of career advising.

Often students come into higher education without any kind of career guidance at the high school stage. Academic advisors closely work with students to help them work towards their future academic and career goals. In turn, students are able to realise what kind of curricular and co-curricular activities would be suitable for the same. This prevents the kids from entering into a particular stream just because their friends took it up, or parents ‘advise or even interest at just the outset.

Both academic and career orientations are grounded in student learning theories and student development. Academic advisors have tremendous knowledge of academic policies, procedures, degrees and GPA. However, they are not always the right persons to link up with the candidate’s future career. On the other hand, career advisors have specific knowledge of skills required for certain jobs, employment options for various fields and strategies for getting employed. They know the job market well and assist the students in making a smooth transition from the institution to the workplace.

Communication Between Academic Advising And Career Counselling

Most experts in these fields believe that close communication between the two groups of professionals must take place. One theory is to have them working together in the same office. Staff of these offices would know exactly whom they are referring to, while sending students to career counsellors. It would also be suitable in generating appropriate student feedback. If one of the counsellors has a strong relationship with one of the academic advisers, it would make the job of both a lot easier.

Career opportunities

There are many universities that provide courses in career counselling and academic advising. Degrees and certificates are more important for advising, since the candidate has to know his or her specialisation well. After certifying themselves in these courses, they can practice the same at reputed universities. Individuals can work in career development centres, employment and immigration agencies and in academic secondary or post-secondary institutions.

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