“I wish there were such opportunities ten years ago!” A friend of mine was responding to her cousin Renu who has set her mind to pursue a work- integrated program in Fashion Designing. What has most amused my friend was the flexibility of the course that allows the students to work and earn during the course period. Sounds great. Isn’t it?
I would say, what my friend said was 100% right. With the integration of technology in our lives, everything has become so vibrant. It’s that time of the era, where we decide what we want to study irrespective of the common norm. A few years ago, this was not the case. A vast majority of students were forced to move with the flow as against their passion. As you know, there were little opportunities for them to try their luck with. So, most of them opted some traditional degrees and studied for years. For many people, their education didn’t help them to achieve their dreams. After their studies, they were compelled to take some irrelevant jobs which had nothing to do with their education. Also, many became unemployed and struggled hard to build their lives. Had there been diverse opportunities, these people could have achieved their dreams.
However, today, things are really changing with the infusion of technology and social media platforms. You can be a chef, teacher, musician, event partner or a carpenter. It all depends on your passion and hard work. Like Renu, you can opt any course of your choice that will really shape your future career. Also, it’s really good to earn while you learn and become independent. So, how can work-integrated learning programs help you? How is it different from a traditional all-theory degree program? Will these courses help you in your future workplace? Let’s take a look at the ways by which you can be benefitted through these programs.
Earn while you learn
If you really want to take care of your expenses and want to lessen the burden of your parents during your studies, “Earn while you learn programs” can help you in a great manner. These programs give you a chance to master the skills of the job you will undertake in future and make you confident and independent. Moreover, you will start knowing how to save and plan your finances. Your time management skills and commercial awareness will improve and it will help you excel in job interviews once you complete your studies.
Get real hands-on training
You might have always wanted to apply the skills which you have learned to a real industry setting before joining a company. One of the benefits of opting a work-integrated learning program is that it provides an opportunity for you to spend an extended period of time in an organisation where you will undertake genuine work tasks with workplace supervision. This way, you will be able to integrate previously studied theory with its practical application and thereby develop professional competencies needed to thrive in an industry setting.
Experience the industry culture
Each industry has its own organisational culture and values upon which it revolves around. To get acquainted with these can help you oversee the whole process in a different perspective. Through your industry-integrated course, you will be able to identify an organization’s internal culture, values and external business environment. Also, you will be able to understand the core corporate values, hierarchy, work processes and management in a better way. This will help you to analyse the ways in which industries perform and help you develop a positive corporate culture in future.
Attain Employability skills
With the integration of industry learnings, team-based projects, paid part-time jobs and more, work-integrated programs enhance your 21st century skills in a large manner .The real life problem solving and decision making scenarios as part of the course instill the skills needed for you to thrive in an organisation. It gives you a chance to enhance your communication , creativity ,collaborative skills etc. This way, you will get an edge over your competitors and can easily build your career.
Gain years of work experience
“We cannot hire you. We are looking for an experienced person”. You will sometimes hear such statements from employers when you are on a lookout for a job just after finishing your studies. This is because more oftenly, your studies are based on theoretical aspects and there is no practical skills involved. As such, even after spending 4 or 5 years, it becomes very difficult for you to attain a job due to lack of experience. However, a work-integrated program focuses more on practical components and certifies you with the industry experience you have gained during the program. This adds value to your profile and there will be no difficulty for you to grab a job!
If you don’t want to loathe Monday mornings just because you have opted a course and career out of external pressure, it is better to select an industry-oriented course that suits your passion. You will be able to make a living and enjoy the process more than others. Nowadays, all work-integrated courses are designed specifically to meet the dreams of the learner. While choosing one,you will be able to find fulfilment in your job. There will be more self-satisfaction and contentment that will drive you forward in your career.
Build a network
With industry experience and collaborative learning environment your chances of building a strong network are high as compared to any other program. Your network will be vibrant with diverse personnels like academicians, industry experts etc even before you enter a job or start a business. A strong network will help you to find career opportunities and keep your professional knowledge up-to-date. Also, you will be able to support others through your network.
Get placed after the course
One of the purposes of education is to help you grab a job right after you finish your studies. With a work-integrated learning degree, you won’t have to search for many options after your studies. Since, it comes along with its own benefits, industries will easily identify you as the right fit for their open positions. Also, you will be even happier to work in an environment where you can apply all your learnings and experiences in the right manner.
Work-integrated learning programs are designed for the future workplaces. If you really want to spend your learning years productively with the right kind of industry exposure, networking and collaboration, think like Renu and go for an industry integrated program of your choice. So that you will not regret later saying, “I wish I could have utilized the opportunities 10 years ago!”