Many successful and well known individuals like Usha Alburquerque, Pervin Malhotra, have contributed immensely to make the profession of a Career Counselor a desired option which can be quite lucrative and way to fame. But it is not one that can be pursued by anyone. It requires skills, efficiency and a dedication that not all can master nor deliver. You have to understand the needs, psychology, demands, the market, and the field of education and jobs so well that they are at the tip of your tongue. If you believe that you can imbibe these and have a great desire to help out people in making the right career decision, then you should consider this profession seriously.
It is not a clock bound profession, where you work fixed timings. You are to examine a closely study people's ambitions, interests, personalities, capabilities, and scope of career to provide the right choice of college or higher education, and job. You need the drive in you to understand aptitude of your clients and help them to the maximum by counseling them, designing questionnaires and tests, and by constantly keeping an eye on their development. It is thus a full time commitment. You will have to dedicate time to each client, hold workshops, attend seminars and conduct them, talk on careers in educational institutions ad organizations if you are invited, and keep yourself updated about the education and job market, demands, and new avenues.
You can be from any educational background. The best way is to take up psychology as your undergrad subject. Then do a post graduation in counseling. The skills you acquire and your efficiency depends on your personal hard work, dedication and ambitious nature.
In India, you can pursue such studies from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in Mumbai, IGNOU, University of Mumbai, Annamalai University, University of Karnataka, University of Punjab, etc.
Excellent communication skills is essential. So is people skills. You have to be approachable and humble so that you can be confided in. You need to be assertive and make yourself believable, trustworthy, and convincing. Also a certain level of maturity is necessary as this is the least frivolous profession. A deep desire to help people and understand them, as well as solving their problems should ideally be the motto of your life. Constant hard work, research and keeping yourself updated forms part of the job.
You can start your career by assisting or working with an established counselor for some years. You can earn around 15,000 per month at this initial stage. At the middle level, the package keeps increasing. There is immense scope to work as a freelancer, and then your success, fame and remuneration will depend on your skills, recognition and popularity. With the rapid increase in number of career options, courses and business organizations, and specializations within the same field, students as well as adults are getting confused as to what is the right way to go for them. Thus more and more individuals are consulting such professional who have a better sense, experience and research to back their deductions about a client. So the demand and scope of this profession has gone up considerably in the recent past. For those who love challenges and newer experiences every day, for them this is the apt career.