Acknowledging that a degree alone doesn’t make the mark anymore in making youth competent for jobs, industry and institutions are working together to offer real world work experience as part of a college degree. This takes place before a student finishes their degree programme. For instance, an eleven-month training programme was offered to students of TA Pai Management Institute (TAPMI) in Manipal by data analytics firm MU Sigma. The idea was to equip students not only with technical skills making them more suitable for jobs but also to expose them to workplace soft skills. On completion, most students get placed with MU Sigma and other big-name firms. The opportunity to learn on the job has gone a long way in equipping students with skills that industry seeks thus boosting their employability quotient.
To quote another example, FLAME University in Pune offers real-world training in actual projects in finance, banking, retail, analytics, e-commerce, FMCG, and investment among others. In addition, FLAME also train first-time job seekers to enhance their skills beyond just a degree through programmes like the Discover India Program.
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The value of real-world work experience extends to the area of social impact too, with companies like Ycenter, a design and innovation firm engaging students in projects involving problem situations and critical thinking beyond lectures and books. Ycenter offers community impact sustainable solutions, such as grassroots entrepreneurship projects ecosystems in Tier 2 and 3 cities and towns. Candidates from Ycenter attend workshops at IIT Bombay and TAPMI to learn about problem identification, solution finding, product prototyping and business modeling.