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Guiding students for the last 20 years in selecting right career option – Dr Salman Abid

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Some people think that career counselling is a new concept that has created a need of career guidance since last 4-5 years. It is believed that the concept has emerged due to several new career trends because of advancement in technology. However, defying all these perceptions, Dr Salman Abid, an associate professor in one of the affiliated colleges of Osmania University, Hyderabad has been working in the field of career counselling for 20 years. He has been helping students since many years and giving them career guidance so that they can select a right career option.

Many students lack resources when it comes to career guidance

Dr Salman Abid is a PhD in Urdu from Osmania University which he completed in the year 1993. When asked how he entered in the field of career counselling at the time when nobody knew about its existence, he says that 20 years back, there were no services such as the internet and it was difficult for students to get the right information about different career options they had. Students generally used to take guidance from their teachers and career magazines from the library. He himself had to face several difficulties while opting for higher studies. He realised at that time that he had resources to access some information about different career options but poor have no resources. To this, their inner instinct guided him to take career counselling as a profession and help students across the region in getting their dreams fulfilled.

To help the students, he started writing a weekly column in The Siasat Daily (Hyderabad). He has been writing 2 articles weekly in a renowned newspaper for last 11 years. He gives information to the students in employment, education, education abroad and personality development. Many times, he answers students’ questions on their career dilemmas. He guides his students based on his personal experience, interview with the student and their personal assessment. With the advancement in career counselling field, there is increasing use of scientific tools such as psychometric tests which he also uses in some cases when appropriate.

It is not always beneficial to guide students and their parents together – Dr Salman Abid

We asked him about how he feels whether student and parents should take a career counselling session together. He replied very practically that a group counselling can be done only when the goals are similar. On topics, such as educational goals, student-teacher relationship, discipline and responsibility handling, group counselling can be done. More candidly, the issues which concern the parent or teacher can be included in a group counselling. He suggests from his experience that the approach should be to guide student and parent separately so that you can provide right guidance after learning different aspects of the situation. 1:1 counselling is more appropriate since in a group he could be pressurised to say something that he does not believe in.

There should be fire in a career counsellor to help students unconditionally

For a career counsellor, Dr Salman believes that being sincere is the most foundational skill. According to him, a career counsellor needs to have a dedication and a fire within him to enlighten the next generation without any biases. Apart from this, a career counsellor should take a proper training before practising to start guiding students. He should be of helping nature and should be able to understand student psychology, low tempered, flexible, understanding behaviour, and well informed. He believes that proper criteria can never be defined in words for a good career counsellor. Qualifications such as a degree or a certificate can never define if a person can be a good career counsellor. A perfect combination of qualities and qualifications make a good career counsellor.

A career counsellor should be able to see even what is not visible

Dr Salman agrees that these days several new trends have come up when we talk about career options. Advancement in technology and market needs has given rise to different fields which students can select for their bright future. A career counsellor should have vast knowledge in these fields. They should be able to see even what is not visible. He gives an example of career field of ‘Cyber Security’ which is relatively a new career option. He says before guiding any student about the career, a career counsellor needs to know pros and cons of entering in this field. He should have complete knowledge of different hacking courses that are available. He adds that with the advent of the internet, students are very updated of recent updates and if a counsellor is not fully aware, he won’t be able to answer all the curiosities of students.

Students should remain updated by regularly visiting career information

He suggests to students that they should make a practice of reading at least one newspaper daily which can be in any language. Newspapers are a good source of information for the students to know what is in trend these days. Newspapers also put several columns for students regarding upcoming careers and educational options. Apart from this, they can be a regular reader of any career publication. Students can also take these from their school libraries. Also, government career website is a good source of information for students who want to update themselves. Students should regularly visit this website.

He thinks that is doing a great job in providing students with an unbiased and impartial career counselling. He wishes that should continue working in the same manner to help more and more students.

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