Why industry-specific higher education needs a skilling orientation

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Delivering good quality education is critical for holistic development of a Nation.  Enabling access to higher education, skill development and vocational training enhances a nation’s competitiveness in the global economy and propels socio-economic development. 

Mr. Anand B NTTF

Mr. Anand B

In this guest article, Mr Anand B, Senior General Manager, Business Development, Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF) reiterates the need for a skilling orientation in industry-integrated higher education with emphasis on Quality, Cost, Delivery and Flexibility (QCDF).

The turning point in every student’s life is his step into higher education. It could be undergraduate or graduate or postgraduate level. The conventional practice is to go through the regular classroom based education wherein there is a high focus on knowledge gaining. However, the time has come now to look for a shift in the education system to infuse it with the skill development of the youth so that they would succeed in all their endeavours without much dependency of others and makes them self-reliant. 

A large section of youth in India aspire for higher education since they believe higher degrees get them lucrative jobs. However, what needs to be addressed is their employability quotient since they are not well-aware that acquiring the right, industry-relevant skills gives them a better chance to compete in the job market.

Skilling orientation in higher education is a must when pursued for a specific industry to meet the industry expectations. Today, industry demands skilled professionals who don’t require much training for the transition. To meet the expectations of the industry and to be industry ready, students must have the required skills and knowledge which can be acquired through an industry-oriented education. 

‘Aspiration’ followed by the right qualification is the most important thing for a student to build a career. Here, the qualification indicates the student’s formal education and also the depth of the skills that are expected by the industry or the corporate world. Students should realize their interests, strengths, ambitions and aspirations before choosing a course as it would help them to decide which course to take and which industry to choose for them to be successful in their life. It is only when they join a job and get involved in the process of work-related aspects that they come to know about the specific knowledge and the skills that they are good at and also what the job demands.

Industry-specific higher educationHow the practice of QCDF meets industry expectations

Learning is a continuous process. The students must keep themselves updated regarding the new trends and industry requirements. Pursuing industry specific education could be the first step in doing so. Industry specific higher education should have an infrastructure in line with the industry and should allow the students to undergo themselves knowledge and skill training in an industry focused environment.

Quality, Cost, Delivery and Flexibility (QCDF) – these are the four most crucial elements that reflect the industry expectations, and a student must have the right knowledge about these elements. Industry specific higher education should equip the students with the required knowledge of all these four important elements. 

  • Quality: The learning objectives of every program should be focusing on imparting the very essential skills such as cognitive skills, Critical thinking and problem-solving, Collaboration across networks and leading by influence, Agility and adaptability, Initiative and entrepreneurialism, Effective verbal and written communication, Analytical ability, Curiosity, creativity and imagination. The level of all these traits decides the quality of the student graduating from higher education institutes. Improving the quality of the work that the new recruits deliver is the most crucial factor expected by any industry.
  • Cost: The students should be taught the importance of various cost aspects in performing any activity. This will help them understand the care to be taken in handling any given task. They should also get sensitized to product cost and process costs. Then they will make their own efforts to contain within the target costs and also tries to enhance the value of the product.
  • Delivery: Time is the essence for the completion of any project and is crucial and critical. The students should be able to estimate the realistic delivery time for every stage of the activity, which will give them a clear idea of the project completion time. They will be able to handle everything properly through macro and micro plans and complete the project on time. More importantly, the learning objectives must also ensure the importance of their time commitment for any given activity which brings in the commercial sense among the students.
  • Flexibility: The students should continuously learn new skills and improve their employability quotient. They should acquire multiple skills which will make it easier for them to adapt to the industry environment faster. The higher educational institutes should focus on multi-tasking and also multi-skilling of youth, which enables the students to get several employment opportunities that they fit in.

Higher education with a high emphasis to skill training, takes students one step closer to the industry. It gives them the basic foundation and reflects the industry expectations. Skilling in higher education is crucial for students to be industry-ready. The industry-focused higher education would ensure creating the industry-ready workforce. The academia needs to transform from conventional learning institutions to “Centres for holistic growth” through partnerships with community and industry. 

At Nettur Technical Training Foundation (NTTF), we offer education and training programs for every type of learner. We believe, the aspirations of every student’s needs to be nurtured and hence offer various short term and long-term programs on paid and non-paid basis so that the student could choose the program as per his or her convenience. The applicants are selected based on the simple admission tests and assessments to make them aware about the areas and skills that they would like to pursue. The students can then choose a course that they desire. 

Also read: Here’s why industry should partner academic and technical institutions to implement dual model programs https://www.nationalskillsnetwork.in/heres-why-industry-should-partner-academic-and-technical-institutions/

Getting a job or going for higher studies are the two major aspirations of any student. The institute should cater to their aspiration and help the students to acquire required knowledge and employable skills to achieve their goals. Very few institutions are working on these objectives. For those looking for a lucrative career, NTTF has partnered with many industries and government body to provide youth with good education and training besides bright career opportunities. It has partnered with many Indian Universities and also international assessment organizations like NOCN and NCC from UK, which helps the students to pursue higher education across the globe after graduating from NTTF. For more details please visit www.nttftrg.com 

Author: Mr. Anand B, Senior General Manager, Business Development, NTTF

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