What Are The Most Preferred Career Options For Kids In Indian Rural Areas?

11th June 2024

Studies on career option awareness among Indian students reveal that 93% of the students aged 14-21 are only aware of seven career options among 250 types of opportunities available in the country.

Children in rural India majorly aspire to get into professions like teaching, police, engineering, army, and medicine. Moreover, there is a notable gender difference between the choices. While boys prefer career options like the Army and Police, girls are more inclined towards teaching, medicine, and police. Here is a breakdown of what career choices in rural India look like.

Why Students Want Certain Careers?

The ASER 2023 'Beyond Basics' research states that 2.1% of rural children between the ages of 14 and 18 do not wish to work, and 21% have not given their future employment any attention.

The research also emphasizes differences in employment preferences by area. For instance, more than one-third of the females in Hathras, Uttar Pradesh, were unable to name their desired occupation. However, in Solan (Himachal) and Dhamtari (Chhattisgarh), the most common career options for girls are to become doctors and teachers.

Significant geographical variations are revealed by the microdata. In Karnataka, Maharashtra, and Gujarat, children's top career choice is the police force; meanwhile, in Tripura, Rajasthan, and Chhattisgarh, females are most interested in teaching, with over 30% of them hoping to become teachers in these two states.

Career for Students

Across the country, the mountainous states of Himachal Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and Nagaland are attractive places to pursue a career in the Army. But among girls in these states, the preference for the Army is smaller, at around 7%. Among the top five job options for adolescents from rural areas, engineering is especially popular in Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh, and Karnataka, where more than 15% of male students choose to pursue this subject.

The survey also notes that since 2017, rural children's job goals have stayed mostly consistent. Men still choose to be engineers, police officers, or members of the Army, while women prefer to work in education and medicine—police are now the third most popular career choice for females, above nursing. Additionally, the research highlights the need for schools to take a more active role in influencing children's professional goals.

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Need For Teachers As Career Counsellors

The striking lack of knowledge among Indian students about their prospects for future careers might be the death knell for any economic benefits that India could have received from its demographic dividend that is, from its youthful and working population. There aren't many qualified career counselors in India who can help students go through the myriad options accessible to them and choose the right one.

When it comes to a child's job selection, school, instructors, parents, friends, and mentors are all involved in the process. Children are continually interacting with their surroundings, thus good career planning would need to take into account all the stakeholders, in which parents and teachers are the most important, given the time they spend with the child and the impact they have.

Parents in India put pressure on their children to choose traditional professions like engineering, medicine, law, or public service, among others. Parents should be aware of their child's areas of strength that help them succeed in the workplace.

Therefore, parents should step out of the stereotypical situation where they force their child to take up one of the most popular careers. Moreover, teachers should spread awareness regarding the new career options that are emerging every day to help students discern their passion and make the right career choices.

How Can Students Escape The Stress?

When a student is aware of professional alternatives, he or she frequently confronts pressure from parents who, too, may not be aware of modern career options that might lead to more fruitful lives for their kids. It is always advised that parents should be involved in their children's job decisions.

The main source of conflict between parents and children is that families often have very little knowledge about the career path selected by their children. Career counseling may help both parties achieve the desired happiness. As a result, parents who make use of the technology and resources accessible to them can become more aware of which vocations will help their children grow the most.

Broaden The Horizons

Children in rural areas should be made more aware of the different career options available to them. They should come out of the confinement of the traditional paths and try to explore their passions and interests. Teachers with a minimum qualification of Bachelor of Education (B.Ed.) in Pre and Primary Education should try to counsel the learners to enable them to find the right fit and build their lives on their terms.

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Written By : Sanjana

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