Gap Between College/Academic Institutions’ Teaching And Need Of Industry

The great Indian monk, Swami Vivekananda said that “Education is the manifestation of perfection already in a man”. He also said that “Real education is that which enables one to stand on one’s own legs.”
In other words, real education gives one the perspective on the world, it makes one a complete person, it supplements one’s thought towards life and must definitely help to build a career.
Unfortunately, the link between education and jobs seems to be breaking down these days. The conventional institutes deliver more theoretical curriculum while industry demands large skilled workforce, the former system lacks the ability to drive these skills.
The paradox of high unemployment and a war for talent continues as skill crisis dominated over job crisis.
Research says that only 42% of worldwide employers believe new graduates are adequately prepared for work.
Companies need to invest heavily in internal development programs to stay competitive. Research shows that the training industry grew by 12% this year, the highest level in 9 years.
Employers would be happy to pay new workers 22% higher salaries to the skilled employees – Employers want “ready made” employees.
Worldwide educational institutions are out of sync with employer needs.
Primary and secondary educational institutions are not keeping in touch with corporate recruiters and the needs of business.
While 42% of employers believe newly educated workers are ready for work, 72% of educational institutions do. This is an enormous mis-match.
As a result, new corporate universities, on-boarding programs, and what we call “continuous learning” programs are making significant spaces. In fact, the L&D (Learning & Development) industry is in the middle of a renaissance, as companies try to reinvent all types of training around new internet technologies.
While vocational education appears to be a good solution, it has low or lesser perceived value among students.
The research compared student “perceptions of value” between traditional education and vocational education and apprentice programs. :
23% of students who attended vocational programs felt they attended the wrong institution and 42% are unsure they took the right program.
Students’ weak understanding of the skills and degrees to find a job.
The dilemma of selecting a correct educational programme, suitable to get a job in future, appropriate to their aptitude is still prevailing.There are cases where whole segment of students who have “given up” on their ability to leverage education to find a job.
Closing the gap between education and industry is possible by the following efforts:

  • Teaching entrepreneurial skills – Educational institutions can respond to these needs , for instance by incorporating entrepreneurial skills into their curriculum – economic and legal issues, as well as marketing and taxation or having students follow similar course given by a guest lecturer from industry
  • Combining studying with running a business – Many students run a business during their studies. Educational institutions can help students by adjusting their programmes, for instance, allowing real-life business assignments to count towards study credits. Or by letting final-year students keep a greater share of the profit from their business, without losing their eligibility for student finance.
  • Better links between education and the labour market – Educational institutions and the private sector should work together more closely through organizations like the Education-Business Alliance so that education and training becomes more responsive to labour market needs
  • More qualified technicians – Skilled technical workers are in real great demand specially in top sectors like life sciences and health, chemicals and high tech.

    Educational institutions and the private sector are taking steps to get more trained technical workers into the workforce through the following schemes:

    • Technology Pact
      Government, educational institutions, employers, employees and regional authorities should sign up the Technology Pact so as to encourage more school leavers to opt for technical education and training.
    • Human capital agendas
      Top sectors have to draw up human capital agendas, describing how demand for and supply of skilled workers will develop in the years ahead and hence to help shaping vocational and higher professional education in the future.
    • Centres for public-private partnership in vocational education
      Centres for Innovative Skills has emerged in the secondary vocational education aiming to improving the links between education and the labour market that attract the most talented students and the best teachers. Partnering with the private sector is a crucial part of this.

Educational institutions around the world are not keeping up with teaching styles and general skill needs of the 21st century workforce. This is a very complex problem to fix, but at least the issues are on the table. Education providers and leaders have to visit corporate recruiters and learn about the needs of business.

There is no real “war for talent” , there is a “war for skills” – and what better way to win the war than to build your arsenal internally.
Entrepreneurs are vital for economic growth of a nation. This should be reflected in an education system that teaches entrepreneurial skills.
In context of the present scenario , incubation of start ups emerges as the best solution to fill up this undesired gap. Entrepreneurs find this as bridge to fill up the gap.
Ambuja Neotia Incubation Pvt. Ltd, Kolkata, India , has pledged to build the bridge the gap by incubating start ups. Unlimited and customised mentorship is acting as one of the pillars of such bridge along with Funding , Market access , facility of co-working space to strengthen the foundation of such bridge.

Surojit Roy, Head of Operations Neotec Hub

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