Students Need Additional Expertise To Find Jobs: Prof (Dr) Sanjiv Marwah
| IOP Desk - 16 Oct 2019

Sanjiv Marwah, Director, JK Business School, Speaks at Oxford University

Indian Observer Post

New Delhi, Oct 15, 2019:

“The students need additional expertise to find jobs. Because the utilisation of skills has started to cover multiple industries or areas of study in the world, as the rate of innovation accelerates across industry, academia needs to keep pace.” said (Dr) Sanjiv Marwah, Director, JK Business School, in the prestigious Oxford Debate at Oxford University, London, UK.

Dr. Sanjiv Marwah was invited to speak on the topic ‘Does college education help develop practical skills and find a job faster? Should the syllabus be changed drastically,?’ in the last week of September 2019. Dr. Marwah attended the event alongside noted participants from various universities across the world.

 “Traditionally, college education was expected to impart an education that could lead to building a career that, in turn, would lead to a viable economic activity and income generation. Colleges were expected to work closely with the industry and prepare students with the theoretical base of skills that would lead to practical skills of use in the industry,” Dr. Sanjiv Marwah said in his talk.

He said, “Practical skills could be built and modified as per need and, therefore, were adaptable. It was thought that these acquired skills would help students find jobs faster. Unfortunately, surveys across the world have shown that there are challenges in employment of graduates.”

Quoting a survey done by McKinsey Global Institute, Dr. Marwah said,It shows that corporations find only 25% of Indian engineers employable. A key reason for this has been increased acceleration in the obsolescence of jobs and the increased pace of innovation across industries. Hence, students need additional expertise to find jobs.”

Talking about the relationship between industry and academia, Dr. Sanjiv Marwah underlined the need to move on from ‘Producer-Consumer’ to ‘Collaborative- Interactive’.

“A dynamic and fast-paced change in industry warrants an adaptive academia that is able to take inputs from the industry in an era where the half-life of skills is falling rapidly,” said Dr. Marwah.

Dr. Marwah also suggested a syllabus updation framework to tackle the issue. The industry and the institution both need to develop a framework to facilitate industry interactions with faculty. Presently, both operate in different worlds. The updation of the syllabus is usually an annual or biennial activity but the interface of faculty and industry in the framework provides the requisite inputs for change. The frameworks may vary but the following are the general interaction platforms where sharing of learning experiences takes place –​​​​​

                                   i.                    Trade journals and magazines.

  • ii.                   Live projects.
  • iii.                 Summer projects or internships.
  • iv.                 Capstone projects.
  • v.                   Research projects.
  • vi.                 Academic writing.
  • vii.                Case writing.
  • viii.              Applied research.

Dr. Marwah cited IIT Madras (IITM) Research Park as an example of an initiative to promote such harmony. He said, “It helps companies with a research focus to set up a base in the Park and leverage the expertise of IIT Madras. The joint lab of Saint Gobain and IITM is a clear win-win example of such a relationship.” He cited various aspects of this successful initiative –

  • i.                    Co-teaching sessions.
  • ii.                   Workshops.
  • iii.                 Professional associations.
  • iv.                 Conferences / conclaves / seminars.
  • v.                   Consulting.
  • vi.                 Faculty immersion programmes.
  • vii.                Strategic alliances.

Dr. Marwah cited a case study of JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Syracuse University that set out to transform the way students are educated, with a focus on better preparing students for technology careers in global organizations. Prior to this time, the two organizations had not worked together. However, from the start, there was a shared vision to create a long-term relationship (10+years, JPMC funding of $30M) that focused on a range of activities, including research, curriculum, and internships.

The collaboration has occurred at all levels of both organizations. Involvement and support by senior executives has been crucial to the success of this effort, as has been the involvement of faculty and technologists within JPMC. In fact, the collaboration has engaged hundreds of JPMC employees, hundreds of students (often working as interns) and faculty across all schools within the university.

The collaboration has resulted in joint applied research, many in the domain of IT risk and cyber security. These research efforts have reached into Syracuse University classrooms, impacting undergraduate curriculum content and engaged faculty and graduate students in real-world applied research. It has also resulted in the creation of a new domain, Global Enterprise Technology, and related programs. Further the collaboration has led to valuable internships.

To close, Dr. Marwah stated, “College education is invaluable as structured knowledge that helps students to find jobs faster and keep them for a longer time. But, as the rate of innovation accelerates across industry, academia needs to keep pace. The driving force behind the academic structure is the syllabus that needs to be regularly updated and managed.”




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