Hunting for the Right Job

Ali Asghar Fani: Educational guidance packages benefit the students as they are the products of national and international experience and based on successful models
Hunting for the Right Job
Hunting for the Right Job

It is no secret that STEM (science, tech, engineering and math) jobs are where the money and opportunities lie. But recent studies show that most parents’ hope their children’s choice of career is in the government service or state-run organizations as such jobs are deemed secure and stabile.

The faith in private sector employment also seems to be pretty shaky. As it turns out, parents want their children to avoid taking risks, and so prefer that they go for a professional future in a ministry or a state institution. This has resulted in long queues for government/state jobs that have only a limited capacity, Fararu website reported.

However, some other studies and surveys by the Education Ministry and research institutes still show that parents’ top aspiration for their children is to become doctors, with engineering following closely behind. While lawyers, tech entrepreneurs and App developers also scored high, the lowest score was for professional sportspersons, and musicians/artists, with less than 20% of parents indicating they would be happy if their children pursued a career in these fields.

“People should be able to trust the private sector so that they can explore new horizons and contribute to national production and sustainable development,” says entrepreneurship and job market expert Moslem Khani.

Most parents do not have a deep understanding of what the professions entail or their prospects. Their knowledge is generally anecdotal or goes by what they hear about this or that profession. If it provides good job security, earns enough money and is respectable, that is enough. Money, security and status are the buzzwords. They often dismiss their children’s passion for careers not in the mainstream “as ignorance of youth”, and impose their views on them.

  Better Indicators

“As the foundation for children’s development in every society, the family is a beacon light for the young generation, and we must familiarize them with different methods of talent identification” and career options, said Khani.

Additionally, to encourage entrepreneurship and new businesses rather than a post in the government, it would necessitate facilitating the process of obtaining a business permit in an easy way.

“Getting a sense of what children may be more skilled in, or have an interest for, might be a better indicator of what career path they should choose,” Khani stressed.

A long-term career outlook can help students learn about the different professions and choose the job best suited to their desires and skills, he adds.

An occupational outlook handbook that includes information about the nature of work, working conditions, training and education, earnings and job outlook for hundreds of different occupations could tell them what jobs are in high demand, which ones are growing or developing, and the ones becoming obsolete.

“A system that could actually work for every person demands a comprehensive database on every major and professional field.” Khani believes the society is also dealing with a phenomenon called ‘popular jobs’.

“Certain jobs have become trendy not due to their future prospects, but because they are deemed prestigious by a large section of the people, as is the case with importing, clothing items in particular.”

  Educational Guidance Scheme

It should be pointed out that in line with the Education Reform Plan (2012) the Education Ministry launched a new project in June this year, offering ‘educational guidance’ to high school first-graders.

Under the reform plan, the emphasis saw a shift toward research and knowledge. The teacher is no longer seen as instructor alone but a facilitator and guide for developing students’ careers as well. The plan focuses on promoting the quality of education in diverse fields.

Making education global in terms of knowledge and social justice, enhancing the role of the family and improving efficiency of the education system, and achieving the highest standards regionally are among the goals of the plan.

Under the educational guidance project, students are evaluated and asked to pick the relevant major in the first grade of high school based on four factors: interest, potential, national demand, and existing educational facilities. Once they pick the major of their choice, they have to take the pertinent courses all through high school as opposed to the old system, where there were two main majors: ‘theory’ and ‘vocational and technical training’.

But the project has come in for criticism particularly since the selected major can’t be changed, and therefore students and parents have deemed it ineffective.

Education Minister Ali Asghar Fani, and his deputies have repeatedly said that the guidance program was “in no way mandatory, and was just a recommendation.”

“We believe these educational guidance packages benefit the students, as they were built on national and international experience and based on successful models,” Fani had said in July.

Esfandiar Chaharband, director general of the Tehran Education Department affiliated to the Education Ministry, said last December that as of the next academic year, guidance in selecting the major “will be provided based on the national need in each major.”