With the world’s largest youth population and the highest number of student enrollments in post-secondary education, Indian pre-university colleges and schools require college and career counselling to play a unique and crucial role. Research estimates that by 2030, more than half of the world’s youth in low- and middle-income nations will not possess the skills necessary to be part of the modern workforce. It has also indicated that increased participation in activities related to career guidance is strongly associated with improved career readiness. In 2022, the Institute of Student Quest survey of high school students in India revealed that students find College and career guidance very valuable. With India’s new National Educational Policy emphasising skills training, it is crucial for high schools to reflect on the direction they provide students in this vital stage.
College and Career Guidance (CCG) at CMR-Ekya schools is a program of significant importance. Intending to provide a comprehensive education, we enable our senior school students and parents to make informed decisions about their educational and extracurricular choices and empower them through a journey of self-discovery to culminate in their successful admission into a desired program and University. In addition, the CCG team provides opportunities that help students develop the skills and mindset they need to succeed in the long term. The program also includes assisting students in building their resilience, adaptability, problem-solving and communication skills.
The critical initiatives helmed by CCG include:
We at CMR-Ekya schools ensure that we prepare our students with the necessary skills to make informed decisions about their college and career pathways. College and career guidance for high school students are about more than just helping them choose a college or career. It’s about helping them develop the skills and mindset they need to succeed in an uncertain world, which enables them to create a fulfilling and meaningful career landscape that aligns with their values and goals.
A visit to a college can sometimes completely change the course of your plans. Something close to that happened to me when we visited the Shrishti Manipal Institute of Art, Design and Technology on Friday, 2nd November. The first look of the college brightened my eyes, seeing countless murals on the walls surrounding the campus... and that was not all! The first glimpse inside the labs and students' workplaces took my heart away. InI had planned to go abroad and take up engineering. However, here (and especially with design as one of my passions), I could see myself among these students.
Proceeding from a fun-filled introduction at the cafeteria, we reached a place where numerous people had displayed their work for a particular competition. I looked at a few showcases and talked to their respective creators. Left bewildered by their creativity and imagination, I continued asking questions, being intrigued about the process involved. I met someone who had taken up the problem of waste/ old flowers and turned them into bright, colourful dye. The final products showed fabrics of various kinds coloured by those dyes, along with some cute jewellery bags. Yet another group had created posters on which the illustrations were augmented. With the help of a teacher, I scanned the code given on the sign and watched their images come to life. Another person I met showed a redefined jewellery cart for street vendors to ease their selling process. Every student considered every problem every time.
As our guide told us, we continued into one more lab, where art and science came together... Me being who I am, I started jumping with excitement inside. We led up a staircase where an instrument mysteriously started playing. The room at the top was filled with speakers, a piano, a 3D printer and a few people who were introduced later on. One of them told us about an experiment he was working on involving mind control which I was interested in.
Finally, we were brought downstairs to the bus. It was a wonderful experience, and I would love to come here again!
Ekya School, Byrathi
We bustled through the uniform staircases of CMR NPS, chattering amongst each other about how the Talks would be. Finally, we reached the auditorium, scanned the familiar place, and scouted across the sea of students for a place to sit. We were indeed late, but we made sure not to create a distraction and soon found seats in the back.
An expert speaker from Plaksha University and LaSalle College welcomed us into the first section of our eventful day. Both universities made sure to entice us with their benefits and painted a picture in our minds of our typical day in their college. Smiling and reconsidering our options for college, we awaited the next part of our day, Resume Building.
The resume-building activity started with the expert speaker introducing us to the generic format of writing resumes; she made sure to inform us what to write, what not, and how to phrase your achievements in a way that convinces the receiver to ‘draft’ you. After a quick question-answer session, she bid us good luck and farewell.
The third part of our day was with a professional architect and doctor; this, by far, was my favourite part of the day, as they gave a glimpse at their life and an insight into how they reached the position they are in now and why they decided to pursue their ambitions and passions. They motivated us to go out there, find our love, follow it, take advice from those around us and always have a second perspective on such life-changing decisions. They gave us informative advice that I will imbibe in my life.
They all split into pairs in the last session and visited different workshops. We were presented with various options for spending our last few hours; we were all scratching our heads; so many good options….Ravinder Koushik, Manoj Kumar Agrawal, Dolly Nihalani Desai, Gaurav Madan, Sheetal Soni, and Deepthi Naik. After debating the possibilities for a long while, I chose the Internationally acclaimed filmmaker Gaurav Madan. He provided information on how to go ahead with a filmmaking career and what not to do. Although I do not have any particular interest in the topic, I always wanted to keep my choices open, so this session was definitely with it.