Vocational courses at MLA college get students' thumbs up

Institute offers studies in Data and Web Analytics, medical lab tech

Even as admissions to some of the conservative degree subjects have not been encouraging this year,  two new vocational courses at Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women in the city seem to have attracted much interest for admissions.

Aiming to hone job skills and tackle the issue of employability, the college has started B Vocational course in Data and Web Analytics and BSc Vocational Course in Medical Lab Technology from the academic year 2014-15. 

According to the heads of the departments concerned, they have already received about 25 applications each for the 50 seats permitted.

This indicates an encouraging number when compared to the admissions made for some of the traditional courses in colleges. 

“The graduates that we are producing do not have job skills in any particular area. A vocational course could help in solving the employment problem as the main focus in these courses would be to equip students with job skills,”  said Prof M B Nagaveni, Dean of Sciences, Maharani Lakshmi Ammanni College for Women. 

With regard to Web and Data Analytics, Prof Sushama Bavle, HoD, Department of Commerce, Maharani College, said, “When the UGC permitted us to begin vocational courses, we thought of this subject as there is a market for analytics.”

Based on social media usage and feedback forms filled at restaurants and elsewhere, there is a requirement to analyse the likely target market for various businesses.That is where the analytics skills would come into use, she explained. 

Why could this not be part of a general degree? Prof Bavle said the course has both business and analytics components. While it is a commerce-based subject, it focuses more on the job skill aspect and hence, had to be classified as vocational course.

“We have industry collaboration. Experts from IIM-B, Dell and IBM are involved in creating the curriculum and there will be internships at the end of every semester.” 

Students who have completed II PU in any stream are eligible for the course and they will be given foundation course in commerce, she added.

The coursework was designed in co ordination with Dr M K Sridhar, Dean, Department of Commerce and Management, Bangalore University.

There are exit options, wherein a student would get a junior diploma on completion of one year of the course. He could exit after second year with an advanced diploma. On completion of three years, the student would be eligible for B Voc degree. 

As for the Medical Lab Technology course, Prof Nagaveni said the college ensures that the syllabus is on a par with the standards of the Rajiv Gandhi University of health Sciences (RGUHS) curriculum. 

“This course has been introduced in several institutions in other states that are not affiliated to a health university. The healthcare sector is growing.

This course aims to train lab professionals, bridging the industry-academia gap.” They would also consider inputs from RGUHS in the future to enrich the course further, she added. 

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