As opposed to common belief that you choose your career in a day, career planning is not an event or a one-day program. You will not wake up one morning with this vivid dream and shout, “I found it”. Instead, career planning is a successive process that helps you set goals and identify the means to achieve them.

Some of the factors that influence your career plans and decisions include economic and social conditions, personality and interests, cultural background, financial aspect, previous experience, and education levels among others.

In this entry, we look at the role of education when it comes to career planning and decisions.

Here are the established roles of education in career planning:

Education influences our attitudes values and beliefs

Although the self-assessment stage is about you, your interests, your passions, and your desires, these variables are influenced by what you learn in schools. In most cases, for instance, the instilling of values and attitudes takes place in kindergarten and lower grades. For example, if your kindergarten teacher constantly repeats that teaching is a dishonorable career, then you are likely to develop a negative attitude towards teaching. Your career decisions are likely to be influenced by what you value and consider important.

Education is like a mirror coupled with a few aspects of culture and preferences. It informs your decisions and tells you what to think about certain professions. Through education, you learn the most marketable career, the most popular career, and the best career for introverted people among other specifications.

Through education, you can discover your talents and abilities, thus knowing yourself better

Most education systems at both the tertiary and the basic level integrate the holistic training approach. This is whereby they educate the body, the mind, and the heart. Opportunities such as games, music and drama, entrepreneurship and environmental clubs, swimming, baseball, and dancing allow students to identify what they like and where their ability lies.

By exposing introverted students to a social setup, educators help them discover themselves as people who need solitude and the extroverts as people who need the multitude. In this way, introverts are likely to choose reserved careers such as banking and finance while the extroverts will choose sales or marketing. While these examples are personality based, it is only through the social exposure that they can be identified.

Education exposes you to variety of courses and careers

Through education, we are exposed to new trends, technologies, and the emergence of new careers. For example, most colleges and tertiary institutions do a career research each month and add the new courses to their curriculum. This means that they create awareness and inform students what the course entails.

This also includes courses that are declining in the market and the emergent issues in traditional career choice among others.

Education helps grow your social network and boost confidence

Career planning is all about choosing your goals and setting action steps on how to achieve them. When you earn a degree in a field of your choice, it gives you the confidence to move forward knowing that you are on the right path. The knowledge skills and experience gained influence how you view life and career in general. It also helps you diversify your social network by meeting people from other professions.

With the above knowledge, it is clear that educators and knowledge providers at all levels have a role to play in the career planning process of their students. Some of the ways they can positively influence career choice is by:

  • Providing correct and accurate information about career choice, marketability, qualifications, work specifications, courses duration, and other important details at all times.
  • Advising learners in all levels about courses that would be a perfect fit for their personality, interests, abilities, and talents. This is in addition to providing relevant information.
  • Helping learners in the self-assessment and exploration stages choose the right careers without pressuring them or imposing it on them.
  • Researching trends, upcoming careers, analyzing future opportunities, and advising the learners accordingly.

Career planning is an individual choice. In other words, it is also the duty of an individual to seek relevant knowledge and education in order to make relevant decisions. This means engaging career coaches, parents, mentors, role models, or other stakeholders in order to make the right career decision and plans.