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Career Guidance

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Introduction The world of work today is rapidly change and persons considering entering into a career need to have a clear understanding of the dynamics, mainly with regard to Information Communication Technology (ICT)

In Kenya today, it is possible and common to see an individual employed in an area that is neither in line with their professional training nor with their career interests. This is primarily because people go for what is available rather than what is in line with their personal interests, values, abilities and skills. Many also lack the ability to re-orient their interests to the available training and employment opportunities. Career & Guidance Expert

This situation results in job frustrations and low job satisfaction. This is characterized by low work morale and reduced productivity which inevitably has far reaching social and economic consequences. This situation reflects a need for efforts to harmonize individual's natural abilities and interests with their education and training, in line with chang needs of the job market. This can be achieved mainly through and Counseling. Deciding on the future career is not quite easy. It is even more difficult when you lack the necessary information on the different types of careers. In an ideal situation the process of career development stretches through one?s lifetime with a greater emphasis during the secondary and tertiary years. This is because the information on career choice and development requires adequate understanding of oneself in terms of academic potentials, attributes, talents, interests, personality, values, expectations and available resources. This basic understanding is useful in identifying a suitable career option. When this is properly done, young people are motivated through preparation, study, competition and self confidence. Good career planning envisages a match between requirements of a job, aptitudes, interests, personality and expectations. The young person must be aware of his/her motivations, aspirations, strengths, dislikes, limitations and weaknesses. This awareness must be backed by actual achievement and behaviours as well as one?s expectation from the job such as power, money, status, discipline, command or challenge. Interest in the job is completely vital for growth. The Ministry of (MoE) policy documents point out that Career Guidance and Counseling should be part of the Guiding and Counseling support services provided to learners. The MoE has periodically produced career books to support learners in the career development process. Many schools have Guidance and Counseling teachers appointed by the Teachers Service Commission (TSC) while a few others have career teachers in addition. It is positive to note that learners have continued to receive some relevant information on careers from these teachers. The government recognizes that there are a number of emerg global issues which impact significantly on career choices today. Learners making career decisions or teachers involved in career guidance, need to be aware of them. These issues include: 1. Life Skills

These are skills that will enhance one?s employability as well as one?s chances of succeeding in self employment. They are also referred to as generic skills in the world of work. They include skills such as creativity, innovativeness, team playing, organization, goal orientedness, problem solving, decision-making and leadership among others. Career guidance and development entails the inculcation of such skills and related attitudes in learners from an early age. 2. Information and Communication Technology (ICT) Information and Communication Technology (ICT) has reduced the world into a global village where one can access any part of the world anytime and from anywhere. ICT has infiltrated practically all areas of life including , Agriculture, Eneering, and

This implies that career development needs to incorporate the applicability and role of ICT in special fields. The emerg trend is to integrate it into various fields rather than view it in isolation. This calls for learners to be encouraged from an early age to embrace ICT and develop appropriate attitudes towards science and technology-related areas. In addition, individuals will need to continuously update themselves with new skills to match the needs of the dynamic world of ICT. 3. Community Involvement and Volunteerism

Career development today needs to incorporate the concept of community involvement and volunteerism. This entails helping learners to initiate, plan and implement relevant activities within their own communities. This in turn helps one to develop appropriate skills and attitudes relevant to the world of work. In addition, it provides an opportunity to the world of work in diverse fields. This helps them be to identify their natural inclinations towards possible career options. 4. Environment Consciousness

Virtually all learning and work related activities have an impact on the immediate environment. Some challenges posed by environmental degradation have far reaching social and economic consequences. Learners are encouraged to appreciate the value of environmental care, protection and conservation through the inculcation of appropriate knowledge, skills and attitudes. 5. Equity

Learners need to be aware of issues that prevent equal access to career opportunities. Career guidance therefore aims at encourag all learners, irrespective of gender, age, race, religion and social economic status, to persue all available careers in line with their abilities and interests. Learners who are vulnerable or have special needs are encouraged to identify their strengths, talents and interests and tailor them towards appropriate and available careers. The government appreciates that those infected and affected by HIV/AIDS have abilities, talents and interests just like anybody else. They are encouraged to exploit their potential to the fullest. 6. Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurship refers to the ability to identify opportunities and resources in the environment and through creativity and innovativeness, use them to generate wealth. The dynamics of the world of work today requires that learners develop an intrepreneurial mind. Learners are encouraged to initiate and embrace clubs and activities that nurture creativity and innovativeness. Examples include; 4K club, Tutee, Congress, Geographical, Environmental clubs among others. 7. Employability

As learners you probably know of someone who has been trained but has never found a job. You may also be aware of one who was once in a job and lost it and has never been re-employed. Such situations may be reduced if learners are encouraged to acquire a variety of related and relevant skills (multiskilling)

In addition, learners need to develop an attitude of flexibilty to enable them switch roles in line with chang job demands. 8. Work Ethics

In the present day situation where corruption remains a major challenge, work ethics such as honesty, integrity and credibility are virtues that have a far-reaching socia economic consequences. Learners therefore need to embrace these virtues. 9. Life Long is not just for employment, it is a tool for economic and social development. Learners and those already in the field of work are therefore, encouraged to persue continuing education thoughout their life. This is posible with the ever-increasing flexibility of our education system. Today it is possible to enter the job market and re-enter into the education system as illustrated Click view a diagram on The Relationship Between Life-long , Training and the World of Work

Prior to developing this Guide Book, a needs assessment survey was caried out by MoE (2006)

Among other things, it revealed that, learners receive inadequate career guidance, career choices are made out of ignorance, and much emphasis is laid on subject performance with little information on the link between subjects and careers. There also exist gender disparities on career preferences with more females preferring Art related subjects while males preferred related subjects. In addition, both genders indicated little interest in technology related subjects, attributable to limited information and inappropriate attitudes. The survey also revealed that there is often conflict of interests amongst parents, teachers and learners in terms of choice subjects. It emerged that teachers are best placed to provide career guidance to learners although they are inadequately equipped. The purpose of a career guide therefore is to: a. Enlighten the learners and other stakeholders in the education sector on the contemporary and emerg trends in the world of work. b. Provide a list of career opportunities for the purpose of helping the learner gain a better understanding of possible career options, their requirements and possible employment opportunities. c. Help the learners to identify the relevant careers in relation to ones abilities, interests and values. d. Provide the learners with information on the various training institutions available to further their education and training along various careers. e. Provide learners with information on entry requirements for various courses. f. Facilitate the acquisition of appropriate attitude towards learning and the world of work.

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