India is a developing country and education is the backbone of its progress. The past few years have seen tremendous growth in the Indian job market where employers are increasingly looking for candidates equipped with skills specific to an area. They need professionals who can understand the functioning of a specific industry and deliver as per their requirement.
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With rapid advancement in all areas of industry whether information, technology, education, management and others, they are looking for very young people who not only have the required skills but also have the foundations to pick up changes in skill requirements in specific areas as fast as possible. This is because it is a known fact that the human brain slows down as we grow older. It is in this context that undergraduate professional degrees play an important and vital role.
Each year thousands of students graduate and start competing in the job market. In a situation like this, it is essential for a student to have an edge that will help him/her out in the crowd. In order to prepare oneself for such a challenge, a student needs to opt for degrees that equip him/her with the knowledge of the industry. Undergraduate professional degrees like BCA, BBA, BJMC, B.Ed and others provide the students with direct knowledge of the industry, help them develop the required professional skills and leave the door open for higher studies at their leisure.
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Today, the undergraduate professional degrees syllabi are designed keeping in mind that students are coming to study directly from school and hence, provide basic foundations needed before starting the profession-oriented subjects. At times, they also include personality development skills which benefit the student when working in a team in their respective profession.
In order that the students have a better understanding of the industry for which they are trained, these undergraduate professional degrees include guest lectures, industrial visits and summer internships which greatly benefit the students by giving them practical experience in addition to the classroom training.
Guest lectures are generally given by people from the industry. They are the best to take advices from as they have ‘been there, done that’. They help students with their experiences and valuable tips from on and off the field. They students also learn a lot about the corporate world. Students pursuing undergraduate professional degrees get to go for industrial visits wherein they get to know the ground realities. These visits help them in identifying the soft skills, the industry standards and other related aspects of working in that particular industry.
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Summer internships are one of the best ways through which students get to have a firsthand experience of the professional world. Through the internships, students get ample opportunities for networking in the appropriate area. They get to be in the field and in addition to classroom training; they get to see things functioning in front of them and thus have a great learning experience. The internships also help them while applying for jobs as companies look for candidates with experience.
The economy is changing drastically and industries are in need of more and more young professionals trained in specific areas with ability to pickup changes in their field quickly in comparison others. Students with such skills will be absorbed into various jobs without having to wait for long in comparison to the others, who may spend a much longer time waiting to get absorbed and wait even longer to see growth in their careers. Undergraduate professional degrees cater to this demand by providing students with the necessary foundation and professional training they need to build their careers successfully.
Damayanti Datta, PhD, PGP-X (IIM-A)
The author is Associate Dean at School of Information Technology, IMS NOIDA, one of the leading management institutes in the country. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
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