Career Guidance and Counseling Services in Pakistan from the Perspective of Students and Career Services Providers
Keywords:Career guidance, career counseling, perception, behaviour
Career guidance and counseling (CGC) could be helpful for career related matters of students however, there is a dearth of research evidence about several aspects of CGC services and students’ approach towards CGC is one such aspect. This qualitative research was designed to bridge this gap by using triangulation method to explore perspective of students as well as service providers. Twenty-five semi-structured interviews were carried out using a self-devised interview protocol. Convenient sampling strategy was used to conduct eighteen interviews with university students (n = 10 men, n = 8 women) with age ranging from17-23 years and seven interviews with career service providers (n = 3 men, n = 4 women) working at the university level. Thematic analysis revealed two major themes, eight macro themes and thirteen micro themes. Findings of the study revealed that CGC was perceived to be valuable, multidimensional, and necessary for students at all stages. However, students’ approach to CGC was predominated by cultural and circumstantial influences. Students’ awareness was limited and their academic choices were misaligned with their personal interests. Student’s decisions were enforced or poorly made and they were largely engaged in procrastination. Expectations of students were not congruent with reality, moreover, their theoretical knowledge was detached from practice. Results were discussed and future research directions were highlighted. Research implications pinpoint that appropriate provision, awareness, access, and utilization of CGC could be beneficial for many students and their career issues.
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