Indonesia Country Director:
William Gunawan, S.Psi., M.Min. M.Si.
Lecturer, Counselor, Trainer, Researcher
UKRIDA Psychological Service Center
Career Counseling in Indonesia is rooted in the movement of guidance and counseling in the mid 1950, based on the need to choose a university major after students graduate high school. In the mid 1990s the government established the service of career counseling within the schools by appointing special guidance and counseling teachers in high schoos. In 2013, along with the new curriculum, the importance of career planning has increased. At this time the government is making a new policy that emphasizes the importance of career guidance.
The State of Career Counseling
Naniek Dharmawan, Head of Musyawarah Guru BK (Guidance and Counseling Teacher Community) in Jakarta region, shared updated information about guidance and counseling in Indonesia.
In 2013, there are nearly 1100 guidance and counseling teachers in Senior High School and 1200 in junior high school. These teachers, located mostly in Java, are in both in government schools and private schools. Most of the teachers have bachelors/undergraduate degrees in an educational or psychological field, and less than 10% have a Masters or Doctorate degree. A recent survey indicates that less than 50% of Universities have their own Career Counselor or Career Center.
Challenge and Opportunity
Challenges for career counseling in Indonesia include that we are now using old and outdated resources to help students to make good career decisions. Right now, this problem is even more complex as most students have not had any work experience and have had little to no access to relevant career information. Therefore, a career intervention workshop like "Success After School" that we are conducting now is needed. A comprehensive approach that combines psychological assessment and counseling along with career information is a must.
Another major problem is the lack of research and knowledge sharing about up-to-date theoretical frameworks and their application. The lack of availability of career counseling services is another issue. With 33 provinces along the archipelago, we still need more than 100.000 guidance and counseling teachers to fill the gap. The majority of the career counselors are located in the western part of Indonesia (Java and Sumatra islands). The rest of the country has very few career counselors. In this rapidly changing country with a population of more than 250 million, career counseling should be moving to the next level to serve not just the students, but also the workers, professionals, people with disabilities, veterans, retirees and the general community. A greater connection and knowledge sharing with experts, scholars and professionals in career counseling worldwide is needed.