You may have heard career counselling & career coaching referring to the same person. A person can become both a career counsellor and career coach. However, there’s a slight difference between career counselling and career coaching. And that difference is “the approach”.

Both professionals are quite important for a client’s success. But their roles differ according to the client’s current position.

How? Let’s take a look at the difference between career counselling and career coaching in the blog.

What is Career Counselling?

Career counselling is a long process. It helps students understand their strengths, weaknesses, capabilities and the world around them. Through career counselling, a student can overcome the uncertainties around his/her career, the lack of knowledge on different career options, any disagreement with his/her parents, and come closer to fulfilling his/her dreams. 

After considering several factors, career counselling’s process chalks out a career path for a student by making an informed decision around the same. 

What is Career Coaching?

Career coaching refers to the process of helping individuals doing excellence in his/her career. In this process, clients are believed to be experts in their lives and work. They are accepted as creative, productive and resourceful individuals. After considering all the possible aspects, they are advised on their career development.

Role of a Career Counsellor

A career counsellor is a professional who determines the past experiences and data of a client, analyzes them and accordingly provides a suitable career path. A career counsellor is responsible for understanding the interests, strengths, weaknesses, likes and dislikes of students and showing them the right career direction. These professionals use various tools & assessments to understand the student’s and their parents’ requirements and accordingly get them on the right path.

The role of a career counsellor can be described as:

  • helps students to determine their interests and abilities.
  • Counsels individual learners and tell them various ways to develop their skills.
  • Tells students different ways to overcome academic scores issues.
  • Crafts a suitable plan for students to fulfil their career objectives.
  • Conducts various career services programs and events to help students/parents, and more.

Role of a Career Coach

The role of a career coach is quite similar to the role of a career counsellor. However, it differs in the approach. A career coach does not consider the past experiences of individuals. He/ she considers the present scenarios and goals of their clients and accordingly get them a suitable solution.  

A career coach starts by having a chat with clients. He/she gain insights into their work experience, skills, and qualifications. After getting all the information, he/she compiles a report and practical recommendations. The profession also tells the clients various areas that need improvement and defines different ways to identify their strengths.

The role of a career coach can be described as:

  • Gets a detailed understanding of clients’ needs, behaviours, lifestyles, backgrounds, and more.
  • Conducts leveraging objective and psychometric assessments to understand their requirements.
  • Creates suitable career development plans for the clients.
  • Does exhaustive research to help the clients.

Career Counsellor vs Career Coach

The basic difference between career counselling and career coaching is that in career counselling, the professional analyzes past information to get the solution. On the other hand, in career coaching, the professional only focuses on the present scenario and helps the client reach his/her goal. 

However, the difference between a career counsellor and a career coach can be deeply described by considering the following factors:


Career Counsellors: Most career counsellors have a Bachelor’s degree in Behavioral Sciences or Psychology or a related discipline and they top that up with a Master’s degree in Counselling, after which, they take some more steps to earn their license to practice. After they have earned their validation and license, they can start practising. This is the usual route to become a career counsellor which involves several years of academic study and a few years of practice too.

However, if anyone wants to become a career counsellor, he/she should have a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any of the areas. After getting a career counselling validation, they can start their practice. There are several examples of successful career counsellors who come from education, psychology, and corporate backgrounds. Even homemakers or retired professionals can transform their careers and become skilled career counsellors.

Career Coaches: Career coaches also have the same qualifications as career coaches. They require a Bachelor’s or Master’s degree in any field. They get a degree in counselling with an emphasis on career counselling. After completing the degree, career coaches should have some participation proof as validation.


Career Counsellors: Career counsellors tend to look at clients’ past experiences. These professionals understand the obstacles & challenges that their clients face in getting their suitable careers. They use several career assessments and psychometric tests to get detailed information. After analyzing their entire histories like their likes, dislikes, interests, and capabilities, they prepare a report and accordingly suggest the right career path. 

Career Coaches: On the other hand, career coaches focus on the current situations of their clients (no past experiences). These professionals motivate their clients, look out for the hurdles and suggest suitable solutions. Career coaches spend a lot of time with clients, work on their improvements, identify their best accomplishments, and motivate them for their future goals.


Career Counsellors: These professionals work to come up with suitable career options for their students. What career choice is best for them. What course they should choose. What board to study. Career counsellors helo students in finding the best colleges or institutes to study at, admission process, interview process, and more (India or Abroad). They also suggest various internships to their students to shape up their careers.

Career Coaches: Career coaches start the assessment from where the client actually is. They encourage clients and seek out the better versions of them. 

FAQs Related to Difference Between Career Counselling and Career Coaching

Question: What is career counselling?

Answer: Career counselling helps students overcome the uncertainties around his/her career and come out with the best suitable career.

Question: What is meant by career coaching?

Answer: Career coaching refers to the process of helping individuals doing excellence in his/her career.

Question: What does a career counsellor do?

Answer: A career counsellor is a professional who determines the past experiences and data of a client, analyzes them and accordingly provides a suitable career path.

Question: What is the role of a career coach?

Answer: Career coaches focus on the current situations of their clients, motivate them, look out for the hurdles and suggest suitable solutions. 

There is a dire need for career counsellors in India. In addition to that, there is massive scope for professionals like you to grow in this industry. If you have decided to make the most of your career and grow as a professional, step forward.

Don’t wait for the opportunity, create one! Become a Successful Career Counsellor in India today! 

If you want to enter this recession-proof industry or upskill yourself, become a Global Career Counsellor. The online program is offered by Univariety and the University of California, Los Angeles Extension (UCLA Extn.). It is an all-in-one guide to career counselling in India. After completing the program, the candidate receives a Green Belt Certificate from Univariety and a Record of Participation from the UCLA Extension. This Green Belt Certification gives you global recognition and validation to guide students across the globe.

To know more about the program and how it can help you grow professionally,

Speak to Our Expert Adviser

Assistant Manager - Content Marketing | + posts

Parul is an enthusiast writer, currently working at Univariety. Despite being from a technical educational background, she started her career in writing because of her passion. She loves sketching and doodling while enjoying a cup of black coffee. When she is not writing, she likes watching movies, travelling, and exploring new places.

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