International Certification Will Close Skill Gaps For Counsellors: Mindler

The International Certification program, in collaboration with National Career Development Association (NCDA) & Career Development Alliance (CDA), USA offers a three-level programme for professionals accredited by NCDA aiming to learn international best practices in counselling and to further sharpen their counselling skills


Mindler has come up with first-ever Multi-level International Certification for career counsellors (ICCC) in India. An ed-tech career guidance platform, Mindler Multi-level ICCC program aims to create career coaches &  career development facilitators in India. 

The ICCC program, which is in collaboration with National Career Development Association (NCDA) & Career Development Alliance (CDA), USA offers a three-level programme for professionals accredited by NCDA aiming to learn international best practices in counselling and to further sharpen their counselling skills.

Prateek Bhargava, Founder & CEO, Mindler talks about career counselling in India, the newly launched certification and training the next-gen career counsellors  

Can you talk in detail about Multi-level International Certification for career counsellors (ICCC) and its relevance in career counselling?

ICCC is a 3-level certification programme in Career Coaching designed by Mindler in collaboration with two USA-based career coaching bodies, CDA (Career Development Agency) and NCDA (National Career Development Association). While the main focus in the Career Counseling space is on building tools and services to support students, there are very few avenues to create and support existing Career Coaches. The ICCC program aims to bridge the gap in huge demand and limited supply of Career Coaches in India by equipping professionals with skill sets required to excel in this domain. The level 1 of the program is a 2-day in-person training in which applicants are selected from an applicant pool and the next two levels are delivered online. 

How does this certification help the counsellors expand their career/business into new domains or new geographies?

The course curriculum has been crafted meticulously to cover all aspects of Career Coaching, including psychometric testing, tools for personality and profile building, educational boards, overseas education, and the global competencies. The case-study based assignments and the in-person training that are part of this course help an individual attain real-life like experience into the world of Career Coaching. While designing the course, we have been cognizant that even beginners in this field can start off with the program with ease and gradually achieve excellence. In the past, we have had engineers and homemakers earn the ICCC certification. 

We also invite individuals to become our partner and provide career counselling services to students anywhere across India. In the partner model, we provide our psychometric test logins to the individuals who can further resell them anywhere across India. 

What regions in India have the highest demand for career counsellors and what can help the Indian market grow?

The demand for Career Counselors is at a pan-India level because students everywhere need career guidance to make informed decisions. However, the trend is currently more prevalent in Tier 1 cities, simply because there is no access to such a service in Tier 2 and 3 towns. That said, India needs about 1.5 million counselors for its 350 million student population and the opportunity in this space exists everywhere. 

The penetration of this service can grow by providing better access of career guidance services to students and creating more career coaches who can help parents and students not only understand the value of such a service in their lives but also make informed career decisions. 

How is technology shaping up career counselling? Can you talk about some use cases?

We are actively leveraging technology to help solve the problem of career confusion. For instance, we have developed a machine learning-based psychometric assessment tool that is helping us to map the career options most suited to a student based on his/her work style, personality, aptitude, interests, and emotional intelligence. 

Separately, we are also empowering our partners by providing them a comprehensive career guidance platform enriched with all career-related information that they can refer to while counseling students. This rich knowledge bank eases their workload and allows them to provide quality information at the go. 

What certifications can help people with a career in counselling?

Mindler's ICCC certification can help anyone start a career in Career Counseling. After the third level, an individual gets his/her certification from the NCDA, a division of the American Counseling Association. 

What is the basic qualification requires to be a career counsellor?

A career counsellor's role is to understand the problems faced by students and help them develop clarity in their clarity. Above all, one of the most important qualities required in such a profession is empathy. Second, the counselor needs to have a strong understanding of the Indian Education landscape, the changing job market, and information on courses and colleges so he/she could advice the students appropriately after assessing their strengths and weaknesses. Mindler's ICCC course and the partner platform aim to provide all such resources to individuals aspiring to excel in this domain. 

How do you plan to train over 50000 career counsellors in the next 5 years?

Our ICCC program has seen a huge traction from a diverse set of professionals. To scale this program, we have come up with a unique freemium model in which we have bifurcated the program across 3 levels. Under Level 1, we conduct a 2-day training workshop for the participants across top cities in India. These attendees are selected through an application screening process based on their education, experience, and motivation levels. A chunk of these participants then upgrades for the paid Level 2 and Level 3 of the program. Given that career coaching is not a very popular profession yet, we have thoughtfully kept the first level of the course for free so that individuals from the education fraternity can get exposed to opportunities and scope in this domain. We believe that it is imperative to train career coaches in India to support the huge requirement in students. 

We are aiming to train 1,000 - 1,500 individuals in Level 1 during 2019 - 20 and then grow exponentially to train 4,000, 10,000, 15,000, and 20,000 professionals in the coming years. Our first cohort under this model was successfully conducted in Aug'19 in New Delhi and we are now coming to Mumbai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, and Bhopal to train more individuals. 

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