How to get Higher Education even in quarantine?
Times have changed and so has the workplace. Jobs now require specific skills for specific functions. Technological advances and changing demands of the industry have made it imperative for job applicants to have some kind of special skill or knowledge apart from a regular university degree. Those with just a degree have a disadvantage because they may be forced to start their careers in a generalist profile and may continue to do so, without much career progression, unless they acquire such specialized knowledge or skill which can propel their demand in the job market.
But unfortunately, we are still stuck in that old higher education system of churning out graduates without any concern for their employability or career planning. The higher education system is still only knowledge-based and has failed to prepare the students for the practical challenges ahead once they enter the actual job world. We suggest some solutions for making higher education more skill centric so that it can keep pace with the demands of the industry.
EDUCATION HAS TO BE MODULAR
By modular, we mean breaking the education system into small modules requiring lesser time to complete but at the same time imparting the kind of knowledge where students learn skills which they can put to practical use at once after getting employment. Breaking degrees into small modules have the advantage of learning specific skills and gaining knowledge about the actual working of the industry in a shorter time. Spending 3 or 4 years for attaining a degree that doesn’t necessarily give you an insight into how the industry works.
These small modules can be certificate courses of 3 to 6 months, which will expand the learning opportunities for all, irrespective of their employment status. For example, Miles Education’s 6 month Executive Education Program prepares industry leaders for solving business problems through data and analytics and enhances their ability to integrate data analytics, technology, and their business expertise for business growth. This is an excellent career enhancement option for all professionals.
These shorter learning modules provide in-demand knowledge and certification. People will have a wide range of modules, offering different types of knowledge and skills to choose from as per their aptitude, career planning, and demands of the industry. These small modules then can stack up to form a degree that will not have just a single stream but will be a combination of different streams that would add value to anyone’s career. These modules can be from the same institution or from different institutions, but a combination of certain modules can be converted into a degree. And people can achieve these at any stage of their careers.
It is imperative that higher education is planned and designed based on the demands of the industry. We need to have greater flexibility in our higher education system to enable people to have a wider choice of careers and boost their capability for career enhancement.
EDUCATION SHOULD BE SKILL-CENTRIC, PROJECT-SPECIFIC AND BASED ON INDUSTRY REQUIREMENTS
As mentioned earlier, the present education system does not teach specific skills that can match the industry requirements. It teaches only the theoretical aspects in all the courses, only a very small part of which applies in the actual industry situations. So individuals, when confronted with practical issues, find themselves ill-equipped to handle them.
We should introduce skill-based courses involving project work simulating actual situations, thus preparing individuals for the challenges ahead. And this will involve first studying the industry requirements for specific skills and molding the courses around them in shorter modules.
For example, instead of learning the whole gamut of financial activities in any industry in a single course, we may work with the industry to understand the skill-specific requirements like management accounting or only taxation, etc. and break the course into these specific modules and allow individuals to gain expertise in the specific skill.
This will benefit both, the industry as well as the individual. This way, we will be preparing industry-ready individuals. And with industry-based learning, people can keep adding to their skills as they progress in their careers. They don’t need to learn multiple things in one go, spending 3 or 4 or 5 years, most of which they may not use in their careers.
EDUCATION NEEDS TO BE ONLINE, ANYTIME, ANYWHERE
Our education system is very rigid. It requires people to be physically present and interact with teachers all the time. Students need to attend specific classes at specific times and at specific locations. This means a lot of time is spent on commuting and some time is wasted in unproductive activities too. This is particularly true of the higher education system.
Education should be flexible. With so much technological advancement, it is effortless to impart education online. We already see in this time of lockdown, educational institutions have started online classes, and they are working fine. Then why not make it a regular system? Teachers may upload the lessons online, and students should be able to access them anytime, anywhere. Students and teachers can always connect online to discuss any issues.
This will improve the ease of learning and students will not be burdened with a rigid schedule. This may also inculcate the habit of self-discipline instead of forced discipline. The online, anywhere, anytime education system is the way forward in this 21st century. And come to think of it, this will help in saving a lot of expenses on infrastructure too.
MILES EDUCATION PVT. LTD.
Miles Education is playing its part in providing flexible skill-based education to students as well as professionals and making them future-ready. Miles Education’s motto is to Make an impact, Lead, Excel, and Serve. We, at Miles, have partnered with more than 50 MNCs for providing project-based training to our students and with over 100 MNCs to place them. These include the Big4 accounting firms.
We have established offices and training centers across the USA, India, and UAE and tied-up with more than 40 universities to offer university programs integrated with skill-based offerings. Miles Education offers skill-based courses and certifications in F&A, Analytics, and technology in association with various institutions.
We are a registered course provider of the American Institute of Public Accountants for offering US Certified Public Accountant programs. We have also partnered with IIM Lucknow and Wiley for providing Executive Education programs in Analytics in different modules. We are also the approved course provider with the Institute of Management Accountants for providing the US CMA (Certified Management Accountant) program.
Besides this, Miles Education is also promoting a bridge between academia and the industry by the name of the Careergraph. This is free for all program. On this platform, students get to work on industry projects as a part of their learning and gain valuable experience.
Miles Education is doing its bit in providing skill-based online courses as per industry requirements in a flexible environment, which students can do from anywhere. We are helping students as well as professionals in their career progression.