Somebody from outside Pakistan, and especially those belonging to the fortunate strata of the world, might find it odd that the decisions for youngsters in this country are made by the elders of the family. This does not translate into the minor decisions alone; it’s just not the clothes they wear or the life style they adopt, it goes beyond the small things to major decisions like what to do for a living. Career decisions are one of the most imperative for a young person because one’s whole life depends on that one decision.

Often times we hear people say they are not happy with their jobs; there are rarely any people who are satisfied with what they do on a daily basis at their jobs and those are the luckiest of us because then they don’t see their jobs as a burden. They enjoy what they do. It is because of this reason and many others that students, when they reach a maturity level, need to pick their own careers.

We see kids from a family of doctors being pushed into becoming doctors as well; the same goes for engineers and those hailing from families with their businesses. The parents are the primary force who starts pressurizing their children from the very onset of their studies to make up their mind between the two “prestigious” professions. Inevitably the choice is between engineering and medicine. This choice is made once a student passes out of matriculation. All other fields are considered secondary and only warrant some attention when the top two choices fail to materialize.

There are some of us fortunate souls who got to pick our own careers. There could be nothing better than a student awed by the magic of music and pursuing that as a career. There could also be nothing more amazing than a person interested in film making and opting for that as a career.

Sadly, in Pakistan we have very limited options for the youth in order for them to be able to pursue their dreams. With the throng of students pursuing arts, we saw numerous colleges open to cater to their rising demands. Similarly when students decided they wanted to study architecture, schools across cities tried to make a liaison with international universities so they could introduce the relevant curriculum for the degree. The NUST School of Architecture that opened this year is one prime example.

On the flip side, sometimes the parents let the kids make their own decisions but there is a dearth of resources and proper guidance available to the kids to utilize this in the best manner. For this purpose, it is of paramount importance that schools actively conduct career counseling for students in high school and make sure the talent of the kids is honed to its best potential.

There are many professional career development workshops held in most elite schools in order to prepare their students for tomorrow and to aid them in career decision making. This activity needs to be standardized and adopted in all schools across the board to help students make smarter career decisions.