Paridhi Khaitan, Managing Director, ProTeen

Paridhi heads the ProTeen business with a focus on its global product vision, go-to-marketing strategy and B2C and B2B2C revenue channels. Paridhi has led the spin-out of the ProTeen research and product development initiative inside the UNIDEL group to build a company that is changing the way young adults make academic and career choices. Paridhi has a decade of experience spanning software product development, marketing and strategy across diverse sectors like Information Technology, Manufacturing, Automotive and Retail. Before joining ProTeen, Paridhi worked with global organizations like Infosys and Cummins. Paridhi holds a Bachelor’s degree in Computer Science Engineering from Institute of Technology & Management (ITM) and an MBA in Marketing from Symbiosis Centre for Management & HR Development.

 

Technology. Economy. Social change.

A series of forces are responsible for reshaping the world, and in turn, the career landscape. Professions that exist today were unheard of just a few years ago, for instance, there were no social media managers, influencers, big data analysts, or app developers. Even today, most jobs are undergoing a metamorphosis. A World Economic Forum report titled ‘The Future of Jobs’ stated that by 2025, 44% of the skills that employees need to perform their roles effectively will eventually change. Plus, by 2022, an estimated 133 million new roles will emerge in response to the new division of labour between humans, machines, and algorithms.

This dynamic career landscape makes it very challenging for students to pick one occupation over others. The task becomes even more arduous when students are not equipped with authentic information. A 2019 report stated that almost 93% of students within the age group of 14 to 21 knew of only seven career options from the 2000+ careers available in the market. Needless to say, effective career guidance is the need of the hour.

Bringing careers to life with career exploration

Only 45.9% of India’s youth are considered to be highly employable resources due to skill gaps in higher education. Career guidance — which forms an essential link between academia and the career world — is more than just aptitude and personality tests. It includes career demos, a technique of exploration that introduces students to various jobs, giving them a chance to ‘see’ and ‘live’ a career through life-like simulations of a job role and responsibilities. This allows students to experience and thoroughly evaluate a job before making a final career choice.

Why explore the career landscape?

Students who have explored the career landscape have a broader exposure to the working world. This facilitates them to bridge the gap between theory and practice, increasing their career readiness.

Enables well-informed career decisions: As students delve into different jobs and their requirements, they begin to map careers to their own affinity and expectations. Making such informed decisions encourages students to think outside the box and allows them to be fully prepared before they make a final career choice.

Increases student confidence: As evidenced by a 2020 report, a lack of strong intentions towards chosen careers causes much stress and worry for students. The data states that more than 40% of Indian students were reconsidering their career choices in the wake of the pandemic. Career demos help students envision how well they fit into a specific career world. Additionally, if at any time the student decides a particular career path is not to their liking, they can simply explore an alternate career option. This low-pressure environment improves student attitudes towards career possibilities, increasing their confidence.

Allows experiential career journeys: The power of technology turns career demos into an unparalleled career guidance resource. Gamification, machine learning, and artificial intelligence combine to provide interactive real-world simulations of jobs, giving each student clarity in an otherwise confusing career landscape. In short, career demos give students better insights into a career’s pros and cons, clarify the job role, and identify the specific skills required to do the job.

Empowers decision-making: The days of young students making poorly influenced career choices are long gone. Career demos hands students control over the career selection process. Their affinity, likes, dislikes, and mindset are now fully factored into the choice of career (s) they wish to explore. Students get to choose their future — uninfluenced.

The world is constantly changing, and this change influences the career landscape. Students now need in-depth experience to get a real-world understanding of 21st-century careers. Career demos driven exploration can help them navigate through this evolving landscape, allowing them to learn about and understand a career even before they set foot into the real world of work.

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