Challenges in Higher Education

Industry READY v/s Industry READIED

The term “Industry Ready Student” has always been of concern to me, why should the onus of being Industry ready be just with the College (which has a higher purpose of educating the Youth ++ a lot more) or with the student who is still grappling with hormonal changes and a transition from teenage to adolescence, when this student will be working for an Industry in the future, shouldn’t Industry be equally concerned and interested in developing the student and work with him/ her or with college to develop “INDUSTRY READIED STUDENT”? and not just stand at top of the mountain and shout that our education system is producing less than 10% employable youth post a college degree?

There are various stats which talks about no. of employable students in India, which more or less pegs this no. at less than 10%, which means that out of 37+ million youth in Higher Education in India just about 3 million are employable? Lets look at the skilled population in some of the major industrial nations of the world and also the skill shortage in these nations through below charts (I give due credit to the source of these charts)

India with world’s 3rd largest higher education system (just behind US and China) and one of the largest Vocational Skilling Program running, still lags behind the developed nations with less than 2% skilled youth.

The major reason for this is that we are like Bollywood police which comes last at the scene… means India woke up to the Skill shortage (and advantage or demographic dividend) late and realized the need of overhauling the education system very late, but I feel the biggest consumer of skilled workforce i.e. the Industry is still sleeping.

Industry in India has still not started collaborating with Institutes to develop their future workforce as its happening in most developed countries where Industry collaborates with Universities to solve their problem and this is one of the major reason behind the greatness of top Universities worldwide be it Harvard or Stanford or MIT etc.

If Industry in India embraces this and each large company adopts 10 University/ Colleges (apart from IIT, NIT or BITS etc. but atleast T2 – T1*) not for just hiring but for developing the Youth, this problem can be solved in 2 to 3 years.

Secondly, if MSME start connecting with Universities/ Colleges for solving their problems, we will have more Industry READIED students in future which can serve the world and not just India as India alone will not be able to provide jobs for everyone and with the focus on NEP (New Education Policy) which plans to increase the GER (Gross Enrolment Ratio) from current 26.3% to 50% by 2030… we are staring at a grim future of our Youth.

As the enrolment in higher education will increase from current 37 million to over 70 million in just 10 years and if the Industry does not come forward today and if these students are not ready for the future (jobs, research, entrepreneurship etc.), there will be more social & psychological problems than we can ever imagine or solve.

*- T1 – T2 = Tier 1 College or Tier 2 City

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