THE career choices given to a child by parents are cabined into two options-medical and non-medical. In Kashmir, as stereotype dictates parents either want their kids to become a doctor or an engineer, other than these two streams all the others are considered inferior. There is growing subject chauvinism in homes and schools whereby, the above-mentioned subjects are considered superior and other subjects are chosen only if the kids are not considered very smart. Growing up, I witnessed this stereotype very closely, my friends who were passionate about “humanities” were ridiculed by parents by saying “why did we send you to DPS, if you had to study arts”, in this amalgam of superiority and ego, dreams are killed and students have to suffer by studying subjects they have no interest in.
No subject is superior or inferior, be it commerce or non-medical, be it medical or humanities, all the subjects are placed at the same pedestal of importance. The point worth discussing is not about the superiority and inferiority of subjects, but about the mindset and attitude of parents towards choices made by their kids. Parents and sometimes the family members put their decisions over the choices of their kids, these decisions often being demands coerce the students into giving up their passion and interest, resulting in eternal suffering in a hell loop made by bad decisions.
Parents have paramount importance in the professional growth and career decisions of students. Undoubtedly, parents wish to see their children prosperous and happy, and career choice is one of the elements that impact their happiness and success. Studies state that when children feel supported and loved by parents, they have greater confidence in their abilities to explore occupations and select one that appears interesting and exciting to them. Choosing a career is a very significant step of one's life, it needs to be taken by keeping in mind the passion, interest, and aspiration of an individual. Parents can become stressed nevertheless, the decision taken by the child should be given utmost importance. Undue interference and coercion by parents might make the future terrifying and dark for the child. Future professional ambitions of children should not be dismissed by parents as it will halt the process of exploration. Encouragement should be given to children to enquire and study about their professional interests. It must be realized by the parents that their role is to facilitate the career journey of their child by allowing them to make informed and smart choices about it.
We have had enough doctors and engineers; our society is longing for students from different career fields. It is a famous myth that certain career options have no scope in Kashmir, but have we asked the question, why? Why do numerous degrees have no scope in Kashmir? This is because a very little part of the population pursues degrees in nonconventional and out-of-the-line career paths, if this percentage increases innumerable job opportunities would be created. A career choice is to be made after a self-assessment of an individual, by analyzing skills or values or interests, a career choice is not and should not be dependent on the scope of job in a particular area, parental or societal influence.
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