Creating a societal mindset shift towards careers

The most important goal that Indian parents have for their children would be a stable and successful career. It is a clear sign that the career of their children is extremely important for the parents, but it also shows that their definition of a ‘successful’ career is highly constrained.

–-by Mohammed Zeeshan

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Digital transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. We know digital change will have a significant impact on future jobs and skills.

There is a raging debate on nepotism in the Hindi film industry. But we need to take a step back and ask ourselves, is nepotism exclusive to just that industry? Not surprisingly, the answer is no.

The traditional pathway

It exists in almost every field. A doctor’s child usually becomes a doctor. A business person’s child grows up to take over their parent’s business. In such cases, already limited are the chance of career options for the child. A doctor’s child rarely wonders if they could venture into business or the liberal arts. No, they choose from becoming an ENT specialist or an oncologist!

Mohammed Zeeshan is the CEO and Co-Founder of MyCaptain, an online mentoring platform. His vision has always been to impact Education and bring a societal mindset shift when it comes to Careers in India and all across the World, and MyCaptain is a step towards this. He comes from a B.Tech Mechanical Engineering background and has a keen interest in Policy, Education, and Impact.

Then there is another section of the society that aims for something different, something bigger for their children. But yet again, this different, bigger option is wrapped up in a few select career paths like engineering, medicine, management, CA, etc.

Parents and students alike may know the neighboring uncle who is an engineer and doing well, so engineering becomes an obvious choice. They might not personally know a writer or a psychologist or a designer; hence, they do not see such fields as concrete career options. Rather, it’s an abstract concept, something that’s not for them or beyond them.

Survey on subject preferences

A study conducted by HSBC across different nations had some unsurprising findings. Most Indian parents surveyed wanted their kids to take up engineering (23%), business management (22%), CS and IT (16%), and medicine (14%).

The same study also found that the most important goal that Indian parents have for their children would be a stable and successful career. It is a clear sign that the career of their children is extremely important for the parents, but it also shows that their definition of a ‘successful’ career is highly constrained.

Developing skill-set

Digital transformation is the change associated with the application of digital technology in all aspects of human society. We know digital change will have a significant impact on future jobs and skills. Companies that are successfully adopting digital technology don’t view it as an add-on — they see it as an entirely new way of doing business. Students looking at the future should also adapt to the digital transformation.

The very concept of work is changing. Newer technologies are changing the dynamics of many industries at the same time. 3D printing, AI, ML, automation, all these are disrupting the standard workflow.

Manufacturing one item that required the work of 2 or 3 auxiliary subunits of an industry can now be done with a single 3D printer.

Companies like Ola and Uber have changed the demand-supply change of not just the car manufacturing and retail industry but also the need for hiring full-time drivers or maintaining a car. So, yes, the industries and their demands are changing. But unfortunately, the college curriculum and higher education system are not keeping up with that. McKinsey did a study that found 60% of the graduates from countries like India, Brazil, China, etc. have a severe skill mismatch from their industry.

Reorienting methods

Industry expectations have changed. With each passing year, industries are recruiting graduates who are highly skilled apart from their educational qualifications. And this change has created demands for a new style of the workforce, one that is as flexible and creative as its demands.

Consequently, the creative and lesser-known industries like writing, designing, psychology, analysis, and marketing are coming to the forefront in terms of demand. There are online educational platforms that provide offbeat courses where both the child and the parent can together explore a plethora of opportunities.
Students are test-driving these fields with the help of such courses that give them an overview of life in that profession. These courses also often take the help of young professionals in the field who can inspire and advise the students about the benefits and risks of approaching the career of their dreams.

Role of career counselors

Career counselors say that two out of ten students end up choosing a career pursuing their hobbies and are keen to take courses relating to those fields. In recent times, many have recognized the importance of career counseling in India. A career counselor helps to shape up a student’s vision and bring out what is best for them.
Because of the cut-throat competition in today’s world, students and their parents are ready to get the help of career counselors who can draw a clear picture of what the student wants based on the assessment of their skills and capabilities. Popular career counseling platforms organize webinars, job fairs, and seminars to impart knowledge on career opportunities and current job trends. Some reports suggest there are nearly 12,000 careers, and knowing all of them is impossible.
Career counseling not only plays a huge role before the start of a career but also helps in settling the right career path throughout life. People who are unsure about their career choices also turn to career counselors to discover where their true potential lies.

Career counseling not only plays a huge role before the start of a career but also helps in settling the right career path throughout life. People who are unsure about their career choices also turn to career counselors to discover where their true potential lies.

Breaking the stigma

The entertainment industry in India is getting bigger by the day, where entertainers are not being restricted to the tough barbs of Bollywood. Hence, we see independent content creators, YouTubers, and stand-up comedians coming up and making a living out of these otherwise offbeat careers! Then there is Design, which as a field has been reaching new heights, and with tech reaching the most rural of the rural areas in India, the demand for these jobs has increased. And because such empowerment is being seen by students and young professionals alike, it’s no surprise that Entrepreneurship is on a hike, and it doesn’t just stop there—India has a growing gig economy—an army of freelancers disgruntled by the 9-5 of corporates and start-ups alike, and want more independence. This is slowly becoming a way of life for many young people and it’s only going to grow from here.

Each day parents and children together find alternative career paths and discover new fields. And through this, each day, our society’s definition of a ‘good’ career is broadened to include something new.

It’s a slow change, but it is certain.