By 8th standard, all parents are worried about their child getting serious – but what should they ‘get serious’ in? This decision may be easy for students with a STEM inclination – first engineering, then figure out what you really want to do. However, for the 90% of students inclined towards commerce and arts, this decision is not easy.
There are so many teenagers – smart, but not inclined toward science. Commerce and arts fields offer so many choices, but they have such little exposure to understand what these fields actually mean.
Today, with the explosion of new careers like Data Analytics, UX Design, Branding, and more – early exposure or a ‘test-drive’ of careers can be the best way to give your teen exposure as well as gauge their ability and interest in a given field. Most importantly, you get to make sure that you choose with confidence.
Here are the reasons why.
Early exposure shapes career choices
Young people’s pathways are formed early—with career aspirations often following traditional gender stereotypes, and tending to reflect students’ interest and achievement in traditional school subjects. A lack of interest in STEM subjects at age 10 is unlikely to change by age 14.
Varied opportunities to engage with the world of work through career talks, mentoring, and excursions to job sites can be valuable from primary school through to secondary school, particularly for students at risk of disengagement.
Moreover, teens’ most crucial decision of choosing the right career they are going to be in is done on the basis of second-hand information right now. They learn from their parents’ profession, from uncles’ advice, and from what friends are doing.
On this front, corporate exposure at an early age leaves teens with first hand exposure to be able to see if they are interested in the field and if they enjoy doing the kinds of tasks it brings, hence giving surety.
Transition from classroom to boardroom
School leaning is compartmentalized in English, Maths, Science and other subjects. The real world does not have problems strictly in these silos or which come neatly divided up into subjects—rather, the real world operates in terms of people, technology, and money. The problem is that students and employers have different ideas of what “career-readiness” means for a specific skillset. Hence, students need the tools for better preparedness to deal with problems in the real world. Therefore, students should also figure out which of these domains is their strength.
Let’s say a student is confident in their communication skills because they connect well with their peers and teachers. Texting and chatting with lots of emojis may have worked in school life, but workplace communications are different. Their essay writing skills might’ve gotten them an A+, but it’s not a guarantee they’ll be as effective when it comes to writing work emails and reports.
CVs which go beyond exams
All graduating students have a very typical or rather bland CV – marks and some extra-curriculars. But the most important thing that a CV needs to reflect is what a student is able to do beyond exams. For example, imagine two CVs in front of a recruiter, where one student has extra-curriculars like football, debates, and MUN. The other student has built his own business plan or worked on some interesting campaign for a brand; which one would the recruiter prefer for the internship/job? The answer is obvious: the one with some work experience. Therefore, early exposure helps build skills and a portfolio to help students showcase their abilities in the real world, beyond grades.
The average youngster completes graduation and then waits for an MBA specialization to figure out their interest. That’s 7 years and lacs of money invested in figuring out what to invest in. Just think, if they could start ahead of time with ‘test driving’ careers with corporate exposure – it’s a saving of time, money and most importantly, confidence in knowing you’ve made the right choice for your child’s future.
Views expressed above are the author’s own.
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