Employability in the IT sector has been a matter of huge concern lately. While there are proposals to create a pool of 500 million job ready-workforce by 2020, now more than ever, it is necessary to acknowledge that archaic pedagogy and curricula can prove to be a significant challenge to achieve this, and this calls for an education ecosystem that leads the way in enabling necessary skill-sets and providing hands-on training in colleges. In short, education and employment need to be aligned.
Emerging trends in technology and global workforce standards makes it impossible for universities to keep up, making various aspects of the curriculum, and learning redundant. The wide gap between the industry and academia needs to be replaced with application-based learning experiences which can simulate real-world work environments. Inclusion of skill-based modules in curriculum is a powerful way to ensure that students get to apply what they learn, and use the skills required to provide solutions to workplace challenges.
The largely adopted brick-and-mortar approach to learning that dates back to early 18th Century has remained virtually unchanged – until now. Learning as a concept is changing. As the educational industry today seeks to meet the needs of learners who have high expectations from their learning process. Resisting such changes in pedagogy is bound to make the students expendable in the long run. Having understood this shift in learning, it is necessary for universities to understand this shift in learning and adopt a learning ecosystem that can eliminate the challenges faced in a traditional learning environment on every front, and transform the way learning, content, and experience is delivered.
Such a learner-centric environment, when coupled with our meticulously curated curricula instills a sense of ownership over learning, enable these students to become more self-driven, and are encouraged to now track and improve on their achievements.
The learning ecosystem in colleges needs to hinge on thoughtful consideration of how to architect course materials that can be further customised to meet the learning objectives while also supporting different learning styles, taking one objective at a time, carefully studying how students learn, gather and process information so that they can apply what they learnt. Colleges bear the responsibility to provide avenues that encourage learners to engage with the large volumes of digital content and practise labs that will allow learners to stay focused for longer periods, advocating learning through research, exploration and practice.
By responding to the niche expectations of the 21st century students, and eliminating restrictions regarding what constitutes as a learning space, it is time colleges go beyond playing the role of a teacher, and become facilitators of and continuous learning process.
Skill development industry is witnessing the rise of a new class of aspirant from the corporate world who are willing to upskill themselves and stay productive whenever required. Academia needs to respond to this necessity of lifelong learning which has become an economic compulsion of today’s knowledge-based economy. Now more than ever, educational Institutions have to cater to students who want to have control on time, place and outcome of learning.
By Mr. Keshava Raju, CEO and Founder, IIHT