Vocational Guidance

It is the assistance given to an individual to choose a vocation, an occupation, prepare for it, enter upon it and progress in it. In other words it helps a person to have a satisfactory vocational adjustment.

There are so many vocations as there are so many individuals; and certainly all individuals are not suitable for all the vocations. Every vocation needs certain background, preparation and aptitude and only those having them can succeed. The business of the vocational guidance worker is (1) to find out what positions and jobs are available and what are their requirements and (2) to find whether the person under observation fulfils those conditions. Here again the observation continues much after the suggestion, and in certain cases re-adjustments may have to be made’. It is mostly at the secondary schools stage that this particular type of guidance is most needed, because at the end of this stage, pupils usually join a professional training institution.

Some Definitions

National Vocational Guidance Association (USA): According to the definition accepted by this organisation in 1954, “vocational guidance is the process of assisting the individual to choose an occupation, prepare for it, enter upon and progress in it.”

Conference of International Labour Organisation(1954): “Vocational guidance is an assistance given to an individual in solving of problems related to occupational choice and progress with due regard for the individual’s characteristics and their relation to occupational opportunity.”

G.E. Myers: “Vocational Guidance is fundamentally an effort to conserve the priceless native capacities of youth and the costly training provided for youth in the schools. It seeks to conserve these richest of all human resources by aiding the individual to invest and use them where they will bring greatest satisfaction and success to himself and greatest benefit to society. ”

Super: Vocational Guidance is the process of helping a person to develop and accept an integrated and adequate picture of himself and of his role in the world of work, to test this concept against reality and to convert it into reality with satisfaction to himself and benefit to society.”

In this way the vocational guidance is a kind of guidance that is concerned with the vocational needs and problems of the individuals. In strict psychological and educational sense, we can define it as a process of helping a pupil to get adequate information regarding the world of work around him, make a proper choice for his future vocation and achieve maximum success and satisfaction in it.

Importance, Significance and Scope of Vocational Guidance:

1. Looking forward to a better future. Young people need to be better educated and trained for adult life. They must have a wide range of opportunities in education and training. And they must have information and guidance to allow them to make sound choices as they go through school and beyond.

2. Beginning at Home. The process starts in the home. Families and friends have a crucial role to play in shaping people’s expectations and aspirations. This should be properly recognized in school. Parents should be involved to the fullest extent in what their children are doing and the choices they are making.

3. Continuation of Schools. Schools play a vital part in developing expectations and capabilities from the earliest age. Good school encourage self-awareness, the ability to work with others, and a sense of initiative and enterprise qualities which are every bit as valuable in adult life as examination certificates. A broad and balanced curriculum makes the most of each pupil’s potential in every area- regardless of sex, ethnic origin or disability.

4. Vocational Success. From the primary years onwards much can be done to give children insights into the world of work and a preparation for the decisions ahead which will affect the future directions of their lives. Full and reliable information and sensitive guidance must be available at the right time for all if these decisions are to be properly informed.

5. Choice of Subjects. When choice of options for further study first have to made – around 13+ it is essential that the right decisions are taken in each case – the crucial stage for which pupils must be fully prepared.

6. Information for Choice. At 16+ and 17+, important choices have to be made between staying on at school or going on to college, vocational training or employment. These choices must be properly informed.

7. Choice among Options. Those children on the point of leaving school or college need a realistic appreciation of all the choices open to them. At subsequent stages too, students must have access to relevant, reliable and complete information and skilled guidance about options.

8. Adverse effect on Health. Wrong choice of occupations adversely affects the health of workers. A delicate eye-sight in injured by work which greatly affects the eye-sight. Nervous system is shattered by making efforts to maintain a speed of production beyond one’s capacity and so on. Therefore, vocational guidance is very much needed.

9. Utilization of Human Potentialities. The society loses much through its failure to discover potential genius. A great deal of genius remains undiscovered in every generation in absence of vocational guidance.

10. Individual Differences. The fundamental reason why guidance is needed is that there are differences among individual and differences among courses of action open to them.

How to Impart Vocational Guidance to the Pupils

Vocational guidance work, like Educational guidance can be accomplished in three phases; namely, (i) Collecting of information or data (ii) Rendering guidance on the bases of this information and (iii) Follow-up programme.

(1) Collecting of information or data regarding the nature of the child like his abilities, interests, aptitudes, personality characteristics and circumstances of life has to be obtained carefully. On the other side, the guidance worker also tries to get all the adequate and relevant information regarding the world of work and job opportunities. He makes himself well informed by having living contacts with all the current literature and publications. He has contacts with the employment bureau, state and central Bureaus of Guidance and counselling and is well acquainted with the current trends of employment market and the demand and supply position.

(2) Rendering guidance on the bases of this information. Here the pupils are informed about the world of work and Job opportunities through lecture, display of literature and pamphlet or library readings. They are now helped to match their individual characteristics with the requirement of different Jobs or occupations and thus helped to make adequate vocational choices. Further, they are helped to select courses and activities related to their vocational choices. Many times, they are helped to join special courses and vocational training for the necessary pre-preparation vocational guidance worker, also shares the responsibility of helping the pupils in entering into the vocations of their choice by rendering adequate information about the employment opportunities and having an intimate contact with the employment agencies. In some case vocational guidance helps in seeking self-employment. All this sort of work comes within the area of active vocational guidance or follow-up programme.

(3) Follow-up programme. The evaluation of the process of such guidance is also essential not only for evaluating the merits and demerits of administered guidance but also for the benefit of the individual concerned. One may be further helped in this proper adjustment to his vocation through such follow-up programme.

In this way we see that the task of rendering vocational guidance to the pupils is quite extensive and laborious. It cannot be left only in the hands of career masters or a separate guidance worker appointed in the school. The parents, teachers and head of the institution should also play their dues roles in rendering vocational guidance to the pupils. The guidance services in the school should be properly established and the co-operation of all the essential forces should be secured to draw maximum benefit from these services. .

Correlation of Personal Guidance and Educational and Vocational Guidance

Personal guidance cannot be totally separated from educational guidance because personal guidance is the basis of educational guidance. A student cannot make progress in his education is he is a victim of personal problems. Hence the class teacher is to first solve his personal problems before solving his educational problems. Again, an individual cannot be successful in his vocation if he is a victim of some personal problem. His personal problems can be solved only by an expert and skilled psychologist. Therefore, the scope of personal guidance is vast. It includes educational as well as vocational guidance.


About John Parankimalil

John Parankimalil, SDB, M.A. (English), M.Ed, Ph.D (Education), popularly known as P.D. Johny is a member of the Salesians of Don Bosco. He is presently the Rector and Principal of Don Bosco College, Tura, Meghalaya and Director of Don Bosco College of Teacher Education, Tura. He received the 1st Computer Literacy Excellence Award from Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, the President of India in August 2002 and the Guruvar Best Teacher Award from Shri Kapil Sibal, HRD Union Minister in 2009. He was formerly Principal of St Anthony's Higher Secondary School, Shillong and National President of All India Association of Catholic Schools (AINACS), New Delhi and the Charter President of Rotary Club of Orchid City, Shillong. He has authored several books. He is an Eduationist, Story-Teller and Leadership Trainer. He conducts seminars for Principals, Teachers, Students and Parents. His popular books include, He Can Who Thinks He Can (Macmillan), An Elocution Manual (Orient Longman), Progressive Parenting (Unicorn), Inspirational Stories for Purposeful Living (Babhani) The Way to Success and Happiness (Savio), How to Win Over Your Problems (Babhani), The Secrets of High Achievers (Babhani).
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