Jobs in Pakistan are more than doctors and engineers
Choosing a career is one of the most difficult tasks in Pakistan. It still haunts me when I think about the time that I had to choose my undergrad degree after failing to secure admission in a Med School. I was so bad at Math and my school teacher made sure that I know I can never pursue my career as an engineer. Little did I know that there are so many more jobs in Pakistan that can make me happy, maybe even more so than what I was told are good careers.
I used to have nightmares when I was a student back in my high school days that I am the queen of a kingdom and some monsters that look like numbers are invading my kingdom but I can’t save it because of course, I suck at Math
I had no idea what to do. I felt lost. I didn’t have anyone who could tell me that you should try to paint, or go for arts, or music or study law or anything for that matter. I was forced to study science subjects, otherwise, I would’ve been categorized as a nalaik student. I’m sure it’s not only my story, every three out of five students are snagged like this.
Who are the stakeholders?
Education being the epicenter of all the development, hasn’t itself developed much since the inception of Pakistan. The curriculum has a lot of loopholes; constant reinforcement of traditional subjects (math, physics, chemistry, and biology) makes it even worse. Students barely get time to have some exposure to art subjects, or science and technology beyond describing what a computer is and what a mouse is (even though mice themselves have become obsolete).
What if someone wants to become a painter? Or actor? Or anything other than “doctor” or “engineer”? And no, I’m not talking about private or elite private schools. I am talking about low cost private or government schools, where there is teacher-centered learning. While the elite schools sure have much more “creative freedom” there actually isn’t much wiggle room there, either.
Parents, the other stakeholder, are too busy in raising a big family, so they wouldn’t take much interest in their kid’s study matters unless he fails. Then, of course, they would be interested, with the chappal.
Apart from this, the government is a big stakeholder for bad implementation of education policies. They should ensure the availability of career counselors in all the institutes in order to facilitate all the students equally. And it’s a request to parents; for heaven’s sake, give your child the freedom of choice and come out of the stigma of raising them to become a Doctor or Engineer.
The vacuum of Career Counseling
Why isn’t there proper career counseling in Pakistan? You don’t realize the importance of it until you reach that phase yourself.
With the advices coming from everyone and the infinite career options right before you, the student becomes distraught and almost paranoid.
— meem elif (@meemelif) March 14, 2018
You might have seen this tweet floating on social media. Almost everyone goes through this phase. Being unsure about your future is fine as long as you don’t end up in depression. You secretly wish that there was someone who would tell you what to do, as counseling is a collaborative and confidential process.
Counseling also isn’t just telling people about what higher education institutions to apply for and what colleges to select based on your grades, counseling for careers is tailored to each individual. It is supposed to provide a person with direction and allow them to flourish based on the skills they have, the passions that drive them and their assets.
But your parents are too strict to let you speak up about the rock star/artist that lives inside you and your school/college doesn’t provide you the facility of a counselor
Parents themselves have gone through the same crisis at your age and most probably they were told to shut up, keep their heads down and become doctors and engineers. It worked for them. So when it has come time to discuss your future, they see that the traditional route worked for them so there shouldn’t be any reason it won’t work for their children.
Unfortunately, technological advancements are happening at a much faster rate than parents, or even you, can fathom. Many careers that were thriving back in the day are quickly becoming defunct. You can’t survive on the same skills your parents did 30 years ago. Aren’t you all seeing the thousands upon thousands of apparently bright engineering college graduates sitting unemployed at home?
All these factors have thrown us into the crisis of intellectual capital and there is no innovation. People eventually get stuck in a job that they don’t like. Tch Tch.
How can you change it?
Go for a personality test online (MBTI test is one of such tests), It will help you figure out your strengths. There are so many jobs in Pakistan and beyond that, you can choose from. Use this to challenge preconceptions and navigate obstacles. YOU are the only person who can save you. Ask for help! I know it takes a lot of courage to seek help, after all, we don’t like to sound needy.
Secondly, the computer is a world in its own. You’re not just in competition with the five hundred graduates of your college, or the ten thousand graduates all over Pakistan. You’re in competition with millions of young people all over the world. Challenge yourself and start creating things on your own. If you are skilled, you will find a way to make money off of it.
But it’s essentially good for you to have a mentor because if you have a huge goal, the “lone ranger” mentality is not a good idea. Reach out to people and allow them to be part of your success story.
Cover image via: tribune.com.pk