Becoming a certified professional career counselor requires at least two to three years of career counseling training following completion of a bachelor’s degree in Psychology or other related Social Science. Our training does not purport to make you a professional career counselor. Instead, we seek to equip TSC certified teachers who are relegated the responsibility of career guidance with skills that will enable them to function competently as career masters and career mistresses.
Having trained over 80 career masters and mistresses, over 90% of them told us that they were delegated this responsibility without prior training, career materials, professional networks and sources of information. In most cases, the teachers are subject experts in their teaching subject.
This introductory training course aims to equip career guidance teachers with skills that make them more efficient in executing their advisory roles. The teachers are trained in helping their students identify their areas of gifts, talents, skills and interests; guiding the students in subject and course selection; staring and managing a career office and ultimately encouraging and supporting students in realizing their ambitions and career dreams. All participants will also take a career test so that they learn how to administer and interpret it to their students.
- Career guidance is assumed to involve talking between teachers and students. However, it requires more practical exposure to various careers, and can be achieved by taking students to the world of work and inviting experts to talk to students. This requires money and without funding, teachers are handicapped.
- In many schools, psycho-social counseling takes centre stage and the assumption is that it also covers career guidance. In part, counseling advises and helps students with social-psychological challenges. In many schools, the same teacher runs the Counseling and Guidance department, thus making the two roles one.
- Another career guidance constraint is time. A teacher needs adequate time to interact with students to assess their career potential. All this may not be possible as the teacher has the usual duties as a subject instructor.
- Career guidance is also limited because teachers do not have up-to-date information. In a fast changing world, careers are continuously restructured with some becoming redundant and new ones created. If teachers are to be useful, they need to know local and global trends.
- As a result of not understanding the career guidance process, the majority of teachers erroneously focus on grades as the basis for making career decisions. Focus is therefore placed on ‘making the grade’ to qualify for higher education and not on helping learners understand themselves.
The training takes six days to complete. However, the training has been customized to meet the availability of teachers. During the holidays, training can be availed at the beginning and end of the holiday month. During the school term, we try to schedule it very early in the term before the school work load becomes heavy, and again around mid-term. Of course, each county has its preference.
All training participants obtain a certificate of completion. One has to complete the entire six days to get certificate. Additionally, participants will get a training manual that they will keep.
In partnership with Storymoja, we have recently published resources that will prove invaluable to any career teacher.
Careerpedia Discover Your Career workbook (create link to materials in Storymoja website) is a step-by-step toolkit to guide students as they plan their career. It will help students identify specific careers most suited to their personality, skills and interests. They can get detailed descriptions of those careers and research many others in the volumes of Careerpedia encyclopaedias, which also include a directory of institutions that offer the courses for each of those careers. After using these two resources, the student will come up with a Plan A and Plan B, and know where to apply for further education on their career journey.
Other Careerpedia workbooks include:
- Find a job workbook. This workbook includes a series of essays and exercises to help students learn the life skills, soft skills and job search skills necessary to find and succeed in any job.
- Create a Business workbook. This workbook covers the basics required to start and manage your own business. It includes essays and exercises about managing money, yourself, people, and time. It covers topics like writing a basic business plan and finding sources of support.
If you familiarise yourself with these Careerpedia resources, you will make a huge and positive impact on the student(s) you influence.
We will communicate our next training date in the newsletter, but also make it a point to check our calendar of events so that you don’t miss out on important activities!