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Why new age educational courses are imperative in the digital era

Dr Shrihari says that conventional courses being passé, students should choose educational institutions offering new age courses backed by robust placements, quality faculty and modern facilities

Education is an investment that is expected to pay throughout one’s life time. While market uncertainties may require regular additional investments in retraining, careful thought in choosing a proper course with excellent career prospects is critical. The internet era and generation-Z which lives in e-space have rendered traditional thinking of choosing those programmes of study with several decades long steady career path, redundant. For example once-hot careers such as computer hardware engineering and BPOs are today riddled with lower prospects or benched employees. It is time, therefore, for students (and parents) to rethink of career options, keeping present  and future realities in mind.

Traditional courses no longer guarantee a lifetime of secure career opportunities. Today, mobile technologies, user experiences and data sciences (or Big Data) are driving businesses Consequently, some of the most in-demand skills and domains are connected to smart machines, the IoT, robotics, integration specialisation, digital business architecture, nanotechnology and wearable technology, to name a few. Closer home, there are multiple national government initiatives such as Smart Cities, Digital India, Make in India, Housing for All, 24/7 Power for All, etc. These programmes are poised to ramp up infrastructure development across the country, which will require a trained talent pool of human resources for varied verticals.

The conundrum quite often is to choose the programme or institute. The programme on its own does not offer career if the skills are not acquired for employability, making quality of the training and focus on employability needs is very important. Thus the decision is a combination of programme and institute. Among others it is important to note how institutes support employability through say focus on communication skills, life skills, aptitude training and most important placement assistance. Institutes which are closely connected with the industry and have autonomy to upgrade curriculum also offer the most appropriate up-gradation, industry inputs and support for training of students by industry experts, which is extremely invaluable. Additionally, the quality of the faculty is critical to ascertain the quality of teaching is impeccable. Without the former, the latter is impossible. Besides these, campus facilities are equally important so that students and the faculty do not fret about their discomfort levels while being taught or teaching.
To identify good universities, students should check their past track record. The ability of institutions to place students in worthwhile openings and the kind of recruiters and companies that come to their campus are good indicators too of reputed entities. Official recognition and accreditations, domestic as well as global, and the number, type and spread of courses are also significant benchmarks about the quality and standing of institutions. Those with multi-disciplinary courses naturally attract the best companies to their campus, boosting the placement prospects of students.

Accordingly, students should note all the above parameters to ascertain career paths they select stand them in good stead throughout their lifetimes.
(The writer is Vice Chancellor – UPES)

Original: http://www.freepressjournal.in/education/why-new-age-educational-courses-are-imperative-in-the-digital-era/1056841
By: Dr Shrihari
Posted: April 24, 2017, 10:06 am