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Evolving Skill-Set Requirements are Forcing a Total Rethink Around How Graduates Should be Trained

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Evolving Skill-Set Requirements are Forcing a Total Rethink Around How Graduates Should be Trained

Prof. R S S Mani, VP - Institutional Development, ITM Group of Institutions, 0

Holding a MBA form the Tata Institute of Social Sciences, Prof. Mani has been associated with ITM Group for 28 years, prior to which he was the Founding Trustee of Higher Education Forum and Promoter & CEO of R S S Mani & Associates.

In this rapidly changing dynamic business environment, we notice that companies are seeking that new hires from campus come better prepared for the new job. The intense competition & dynamic business environment often does not allow enough time to train or retrain the new joiners. Hence campuses are advised to train students to be more job ready so that they can contribute from day-1 itself. Let us review the efforts made by B Schools in this direction.

A huge change we see in the B-Schools is the focus on anytime learning & at any place via smart phones and tabs & the use of interactive platforms via Moodle .There is an increased focus on Project based & experiential learning . Further evaluation techniques now include online quizzes group projects and syndicate discussions. Also the role of the teachers is moving from being the information provider to clarifying doubts and problem solving. As a direct consequence of the above, mentoring by faculty will become fundamental to success of students in their careers. Institutes are also offering new age specialisations such as Data Analytics, Digital Marketing, Technology Management, Fintech & such as these are the needs of this dynamic changing business environment & industry 4.0.

Further we notice a positive development is the use of multiple approaches to learning by institutions such as:
Anytime learning at any place with your own devices BYOD via the internet. Personalised learning at one's own pace speed & flipped classrooms increased use of online quizzes group projects and group discussions for examination purposes. The teacher is no more the repository of knowledge and information and thus a role change becomes mandatory. There will be increase in the level of student ownership during the learning process and the student would take more
responsibility.Also teachers will help in clarifying and problem solving. Mentoring has become more important. Though the students will incorporate independence in to their learning process, mentoring will become fundamental to student success.

A recent survey indicates that the employer expectations too have changed and some of them are as under. The most significant change we notice is that employers wish to have job ready graduates passing out of campuses. Since the era we are going through is intensely competitive, companies do not wish to spend too much time in training new hires. Further the expectations of companies include good communication skills, presentation skills, internet & computer skills. Besides they expect the incoming graduates to have a positive attitude and also teamwork skills. A graduate while entering the corporate world must first realise that there is no substitute for hard work to achieve success in the corporate world. Students must also prepare well enough to transition from campus to the corporate world smoothly. I would advise students to ensure that they are well armed with the basic knowledge into their area of work. Besides computer skills, software literacy and good listening skills are a minimum requirement for success in the first job. We also advise that these graduates should spend at least 18-24 months on the first job and understand their role and contribute their bit to the organisation before they look out for the next job. Patience, persistence and desire for learning too could ensure a good career progression. Teamwork skills, stress management and empathy could ensure that any graduate would stand out as a role model. Besides they must clearly understand that the education process may be complete, but the learning process has to go on forever They must attend certification programmes and also enhance their knowledge base via several learning and training portals. This would keep them relevant and updated on the dynamic business environment.

The industry should not only set the standard but also mentor institutions in achieving these standards with their support & guidance


To summarise, both the stakeholders involved should join hands and worktogether for mutual understanding and benefit. Industry should not only set the standard but also mentor institutions in achieving these standards with their support & guidance On the other hand B-Schools should focus on making students conceptually strong with excellent interpersonal skills and a 'Never Say Die' attitude all wrapped in humility.

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