Charmie Kapoor and Szu-Yu Patricia Lai

MDE

Khoj: A Support of Career Exploration for Indian Students

Advised by Jose Luis García del Castillo y López (GSD) and Luba Greenwood (SEAS)

Exploring and pursuing the right career at the right time plays a crucial role in mapping out the future for young students. It is a process that helps young minds in realizing their aspirations, understanding their motivations, and working toward gaining the right skills and experience. In India, the majority of ninth- to twelfth-grade students predominantly set out to pursue two main career domains—engineering and medicine. Despite there being over 250 emerging and in-demand career options in India, over 80 percent of students in this age group are directed toward this conventional, highly competitive path. What makes this problem unique to India is the systemic, deep-rooted society. These multifaceted issues emerge due to factors including parental pressure, social desirability, family financial status, and the job demand-supply gap. This entire system is not only causing a predictable talent gap in the Indian society, but preventing a large majority to contribute to the economy with the unique skill sets they possess.

Our goal is to address this awareness gap with Khoj, a service that helps students explore and pursue their career of choice in India from an early age by educating them about real-world career knowledge while keeping teachers and parents in the loop. Khoj provides clear and cohesive guidance for students to realize their strength and weakness, explore various career options, and build necessary skill sets for their future career. It also assists Indian students in gaining confidence by forming a circle of support from their parents, peers sharing the same interest, and industry practitioners. By introducing this model to Indian students, we are hoping to broaden their career choices and fix the predictable talent gap in Indian society by assisting students to make informed choices.

Split screen comparing computer-generated lists “Before Khoj” and “After Khoj” with leading phrase “I want to become” The Before choices are “”a doctor” and “an engineer.” The After choices are: a doctor, an engineer, a dancer, a cricketer, an astronaut, a pilot, an artist, a lawyer, a fashion designer.

Image of two smartphones on a white background next to the words, “Khoj A new career mindset.”

Three smartphones with different screens showing info about career paths under the heading, “Khoj student app.”

A desktop computer screen showing a class roster list under the heading. “Khoj teacher website.”

Flow chart diagram showing positive and negative influences connected to a center shape that reads “Pursues a suitable career.”

Diagram showing app features for different users such as Student, Teacher, Parents, and Mentor.