Is Singaporean Government is Confused Between Career Counseling and Career Development?

Career Counseling

Singaporean education system is one of the most effective and a powerful set of institutional arrangements which shapes its instructional regime, over the time. The education system of Singapore is quite distinctive from other country’s education system with a unique set of historical, cultural and institutional influence. The education system is integrated with centralisation, coherent, flexible, expert-led and pretty well-funded. The schools in Singapore do not just target to educate a child but also trained them for the future to unblock all hurdles easily. During the educational period, children are guided with leadership skills, enrichment activities to enhance their skills and interest and career counseling.

Career Counseling Trend in Singapore:

The literacy rate in Singapore is 97.2%. Singaporean school provide a strong diversity of learning experiences to their students. Other than developing a firm foundation of literacy and numeracy they also help students in their all educational needs, such as aesthetic, moral, social and emotional aspects. Still, career counselling has not been widely adopted in the country. But now the Singaporean government has started taking initiatives in career counselling. Now, career counseling proliferation in Singapore steadily and the reason is being the new advancement in technology and active government policies.

Singapore is one of the most internet or inter-connected country in the world. The use of the number of personal smart-devices exceeded the entire population of Singapore. Soon Singapore embraces and leverage technology in both work and life to automate and optimize and embarked as a ‘Smart Nation’. Career development services influenced because of the technological developments around the globe, such as Artificial Intelligence, Augmented Reality, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, Data Analytics and BlockChain.

From the last few years, the Singaporean Government has been working on restructuring its economy and in boosting the national economy. In 2015, the government initiated the national SkillsFuture Singapore (SSG) to promote the importance of career development and skills knowledge to move towards growth opportunities. Also, it promotes lifelong learning efforts to ensure that the workforce is sufficiently skilled to easily adopt new forms of work.

Startups and Career Counseling Programs in Singapore:

  • Education and Career Guidance (ECG):

It is a development process that facilitates exploring viable education and career paths, attaining that skill, knowledge and attitude that can help students in better understanding of self, develop plans and make informed decisions to obtain career aspirations. Career counsellors have been assigned to all schools through this platform. It is working from primary level to working life and guide aspirant to attain success. It is divided into four segments:

  • Upper Primary
  • Secondary
  • Post-Secondary
  • New Entrants

  • Upper Primary: It is for 9 to 12 years students of the upper primary level, where they learn exploring their personal strengths, hobbies, interests, secondary schools and set learning goals for them. These upper primary students get guidance in developing awareness level about the work and occupation of the world.
  • Secondary Students: They are the 13 to 16/17 years of the secondary level students where they are assisted to develop self-awareness in the area where they are interested, have the ability, values and career aspirations. They explore the relevant courses of study and pathways to the world of work and they are guided to develop a skill plan, make decisions on careers and post-secondary education choices based on their self-understanding, study paths and work.
  • Post Secondary: These students are the 17/18 – 20 years old post-secondary level, they are guided to clarify and define self- concept career. They are assisted to develop skills, such as institution-to-work transition, gaining and utilizing the sectorial career information to make career decisions and planning and making informed decisions for further education and jobs.
  • New Entrants: They are the developing and transiting category of 20 or 20+ years. They are guided to take ownership of their own career development and navigate the world of work confidently and manage career transitions at their own. They are guided to develop skills and networks that could facilitate to enter into the chosen career pathway.

The ECG counsellors provide 1-on-1 or group career counselling session as well to the aspirant and also they provide training to teachers on the basic facility of skills in education and career guidance. The ECG counsellors are recruited as per their working experience on various industries. All ECG counsellors get a baseline training in the field, such as:

  1. Career Development Facilitator –Singapore Certification
  2. Counselling Certification equivalent to Graduate Certificate level
  3. In-house training
  4. On-the-job training

  • Individual Learning Portfolio (ILP):

It is a one-stop education portal for training and career guidance that will empower individuals, such as from students through adulthood, in planning their education and training into their working life. With the help of ILP, the aspirants easily discover interests, abilities, career possibilities and also the pathway of various educations to the workforce. Individuals can also track, monitor and evidence their journey from the beginning of the Certificate in Education or Professional Graduate Certificate in Education till to the end of the course. Individuals used it for searching for a suitable job and manage their careers and the individuals having skill gaps, inform them to remain relevant in the workforce.

  • FutureLab:

FutureLab was founded in 2015, with an aim to help aspirants to reach a wide range of industry experts and the aspirants can learn and ask questions that can help them in improvising their skills and in getting their dream job. FutureLab, a global platform for online mentoring provide advice from experts, working professionals (mentors) to a fresh graduate, a young professional, or the one who is just seeking advice. They currently have 3881 students and young professionals registered on their website. They are providing skills to the students so that they can be able to gain informal career advice in the form of general career advice, CV/Cover letter screening and practice interviews.

Is Career Counseling or Career Development same?

Many of us we understand that career counseling and career development is the same. But there is a fine quiet thin line between both career counseling and career development which we fail to understand and confuse in between. Career counseling is a psychoanalysis process through which the counsellor understand the mental state of an individual, his/her interest, ability and talent after understanding his/her properly then guide to what to pursue or not. The advice provided by the counsellor is not mandatory for the individual to follow but a suggestion which totally depends on him/her. Whereas, the career development program is like a skill-building training program, where an individual has already decided to do such a course or switch the particular field and now the mentor provide him/her the direction that how he/she can build it.

5.8% people are suffering from depression in Singaporean. The reason behind the depression might be their low enthusiasm, hopelessness, concentration problem, etc. at the workplace. Without knowing the actual ability to work on the field and selecting a field which does not fascinate you more as that job has, in which you have interest. This is the thin line where we have to differentiate in between career counselling and career development. Might be a chance you need a new skill to do that job where you are lacking, here, career counselling helps an individual to know and understand where the actual problem is and how we can resolve it. But if you decided to quit the job because you are thinking that is not more interesting now the career developer will provide you with the direction how you can learn without really getting the actual problem.

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