Career Planning in the Developing Countries

Selecting a career is an uphill task and most crucial decision in ones life. Occupation of a profession of a person determines his mode of living and economic prospects. Moreover, a particular working atmosphere and service structure influences attitude and behavior of an individual. A particular line of work is the focal way to accomplish goals, materialize ambitions and realize dreams in the twisting and meandering life course. Therefore, appropriate information and guidelines are mandatory to select a vocation according to ones aptitude.

Educated parents, relatives and peers, teachers of educational institutions, experts in career planning, various websites and mass media are fountains of information that can help students in choosing occupations according to their inclinations. However, students of the Developing Countries do not have apposite awareness about different professions due to non-availability or less availability of credible information about vistas and prestige attached with various fields of work. Resultantly, due to ignorance about contemporary upscale horizons in these backward countries, many educated people move like rudderless boats in selecting careers and frequently change their occupations.

Lack of awareness about career planning has grave implications for the future of the candidates. Time and again changing of profession results in wastage of energy and resources. Education and experience gained for one profession become useless after changing the row of employment. For example, several doctors and engineers in the developing countries join civil services through competitive examination. In bureaucratic service, they get opportunities once in a blue moon to use their medical knowledge and engineering expertise.

It seems that their career is determined by fate than by choice. Thus they are slaves of the environment and are driven by its waves rather than permitting their passions and determination to dominate over fate. A doctor becomes a bureaucrat while an engineer becomes a businessman.  In this way, a lot of states’ resources to train professionals went down the drain. As these backward countries already face shortage of such experts; therefore, change of profession also results in internal brain drain.

Changing of vocation also generates frustration in the educated people because of comparison with previous professions and looking for future avenues in the new service. Some people do not adjust and get satisfaction in the new fields and return back to their parent professions. When they compare their professional training, skills and educational progress with their previous colleagues, they feel chilling frustration due to fear of lagging behind. These turncoats are prone to indulge in criminal activities leading to drug addiction, damaging of determination, psychological illnesses, etc.

In the Developed Countries, the kids are directed properly at institutional level; therefore, they choose professions according to their tendencies. Career planning institutions of these countries conduct seminars to guide the learners. They also carry out career planning tests to judge capabilities and aptitudes of the students. Through these assessments, experts direct the new generations to choose professions according to their mental propensity to develop apposite faculties. While in the developing countries such direction at institutional level is negligible. Therefore, the students remain ignorant about suitability of professions, scope of careers, admission processes, available institutions for a range of subjects, cost of adopting a particular business, social esteem pinned with different professions, etc.

In the well-lined countries, children are being encouraged by parents and teachers to take decisions independently. Such positive encouragements instill self-confidence and self-reliance among them. Paradoxically, in the developing countries social pressures and established cultural values are driving forces that compel the people to change their line of work. In many cases, decisions regarding career and marriage are imposed by parents without considering liking and disliking of offspring. Ignorance of parents about aptitude of their siblings and new learning horizons result in imposition of decisions regarding career of children. For example, in Pakistan parents of talented students want to make their children doctors or engineers without considering bent of the children towards arts, literature, accounting, social sciences, etc. Such practices act as stumbling blocks and mount failure probability of such students in educational and practical life manifolds.

In Pakistan, the students especially face problems at matriculation and intermediate level. They choose pre-medical or pre-engineering subjects and those who fail to get admissions in medical colleges and engineering institutions are left with few options because they do not know about variety of available educational opportunities and learning avenues. Some professionals appear in competitive examinations and join bureaucracy.

Culture of restricting and selling information is also a major barrier in the way of carrier planning for students. Majority of the public sector educational institutions in the UDCs are not in a position to properly guide the students while the private sector institutions exorbitantly charge fees that is beyond the reach of majority of the students. The students are left on the mercy of the academies to fleece them.

Uneducated parents fail to guide their siblings in career planning. For such students, the public and private sector institutions are the only source of information. This happens in the countryside where poverty-stricken masses are living. If some talented and hardworking person gets an opportunity to get good marks in matriculation, he fails to get guideline whether to opt pre-medical or pre-engineering. After passing intermediate examination, majority of those who fail to get admission in medical colleges or engineering institutions lack awareness about rest of the available career opportunities.

Mass media is the chief source of information but our media do not provide appropriate programs about career planning. Similarly, our educational institutions and instructors lack proper capacity to guide the upcoming generations about career planning. Thus lesser the opportunities to attain information about career planning, greater are the chances of frequent change of profession. “There is a saying that a person spends much more time choosing a car than a career.”

In order to preserve state resources and for appropriate human resource development, the Developing Countries should establish career planning institutions by taking inspiration and guidance from the Developed Countries. Career planning can be included as subject in educational institutions to create consciousness among the students vis-à-vis significance of selecting a particular profession at early stage. Moreover, these backward states should launch a herculean media campaign for guiding the commoners to choose a vocation according to their bent of mind. By educating parents to let their offspring to take independent decisions in choosing a profession will develop self-confidence and self-reliance in the upcoming generations. The UDCs have failed to properly direct their youth in career planning. If they will continue to tread on the same indifferent path, they will not be able to make any headway in the welter of the contemporary melting pot.

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