Relevance of Vocational Guidance And Counselling in Nigeria

Do vocational guidance programs actually have any place in a nation like Nigeria? 

We are aware of the fact that several policies work in other nations that do not apply to our nation because of structural and cultural differences.

Is vocational and career guidance one of those? In this article, I’ll be covering the importance of vocational guidance and counselling in Nigerian schools.

But first, let’s look at what vocational guidance is.

What Is Vocational Guidance?

Vocational guidance is the entire process of helping an individual settle and progress in a career that is best suited for them. 

It starts from understanding the personality, abilities, and interests of the individual; bringing before them the several career options that exist; selecting the career that best matches their personality, abilities, and interests; entering into that career without restrictions, and adjusting to the demands of life and the career as they progress.

Through this definition, it is obvious that this is an all-encompassing process— one that starts before school (parents start observing the child’s personality) and continues even after school as they balance careers and the rest of life.

Vocational guidance is also called career guidance.

Related: What Is Vocational Guidance (Scope and Objectives)

Why is Vocational Guidance Relevant in Schools?

Vocational guidance is important during adolescence or school age because this is the point where individuals make transitory and life-molding decisions that greatly determine the direction they take in life.

Although corrective measures can still be taken after school days to bring individuals back on track, it is usually easier and faster for the individual if they are properly guided to make informed career decisions from a young age.

For instance, a child who just discovered Medicine is the best career option for him after he has graduated from University has a lot more work to do in correcting paths than a child who has discovered that right from junior secondary school.

See: 15 Importance of Guidance and Counselling in Education

This being said, career guidance does not end in schools only.

7 Benefits of Vocational Guidance in Nigeria

1. Improved quality of life for citizens

It is said that the average human spends 70% of their time doing things related to their chosen career. If this is true, it means people who are not settled in satisfying careers will be unsatisfied with 70% of their lives. 

Vocational guidance, because of this reason, is not just some set of programs to help students pass through school with good grades but an important intervention that can greatly influence how satisfying their adult life will be.

2. More effective workforce

When citizens settle in careers that best match their personalities, abilities, and interests, it not only helps them live satisfying lives but also increases their overall work output and brings more progress to the nation due to the increased strength of the workforce.

Rather than days of frustration, career guidance can make Monday mornings days of excitement for all. When workers are excited about their jobs they will put in their best and be more productive.

3. The world of work is full of numerous choices

As opposed to what used to be the case many years ago, the world of work is evolving and opening up several new career options. Once upon a time, there were only a few choices and less stress was attached to choosing because you either did this or that.

But as career choices increase, it both brings options for greater satisfaction and room for confusion. If people are not guided, they might remain lost and confused in the myriad of choices that exist and make uninformed decisions.

Related: Educational and Vocational Guidance: Differences & Similarities

4. Unpredictability and continuous change in the nature of jobs

With the daily influx of new technologies, many career paths are becoming unstable and unpredictable. Another front desk worker might just be replaced with an automated system tomorrow and the worker will be left in frustration. 

Career guidance, however, can come in and keep the individual prepared for such happenings by guiding them to acquire relevant skills that will always be in demand regardless of changes that occur.

5. Healthier family and interpersonal relationships 

More and more families are tearing apart in Nigeria today because one or both parents are so engrossed with their work and never make time for the family.

Career counsellors can help individuals draw out road maps to navigate through their careers in ways that will ensure their families are not sidelined while still being productive at their jobs.

6. Work-life balance

Another end people can fall to while giving their all to their jobs is to neglect themselves as individuals. This can lead to physical health complications like obesity and body pains, mental health issues like anxiety and stress disorders, burnout, and many others.

All of these, however, can be avoided through the input of career counsellors in helping them chart a course for effective work-life balance and holding them accountable for sticking with the chartered course.

7. To cater to the gifted and talented

One demography of citizens that is usually not catered for is the gifted and talented. In addition to the diversity of career choices available to everyone in society as we saw earlier, the gifted and talented face even more challenges because as individuals they already have more than enough choices in themselves to choose from.

This supposed strength and advantage, if not well taken care of, can become a weakness in that it stops them from picking and sticking to a particular career path which hinders them from making progress in it.

Related: Roles of Teachers In Vocational And Career Guidance And Counseling


We have seen so far the important roles career guidance has to play in Nigeria. It improves the quality of life of citizens, creates a more effective workforce for the nation, creates more healthy families, and helps citizens remain physically and psychologically healthy. 

Conscious efforts must therefore be made to advocate for career guidance and counselling beyond the four walls of schools to the entire nation.

Scroll to Top