Getting students employment-ready

not traditional anymore Today, employers are looking for something more than the conventional knowledge in their employees. To the young, evolving min

Getting students employment-ready

As per the recent survey on graduate employability by Aspiring Minds, an assessment and grading firm, only 19 percent of engineers are fit for employment and only 5 percent graduates from other streams are employable.

These shocking figures throw light on the lackadaisical education system of our nation. Sure, the system preps students in the technical aspects but the world today, requires individuals who have an all-round personality and know much more than their textbooks. It is not enough that you know how to fix a bug in the software. You also need to know about the current wars raging on in the world.

Good scores not enough?
Take a look at our undergraduate or graduate students and you will realise that many of them are keen only on scoring good marks in their exams.

Sadly, many don’t realise that a degree alone won’t fetch them a job. They will have to keep in touch with current affairs and also possess qualities like good self-confidence and effective communication skills. Such qualities can’t be taught. They can only be inculcated through a series of learning methodologies and tasks.

Yes, just the conventional classes in different subjects do not guarantee your kid a job in the future. They need something extra called the employability skills. For example, good communication, commercial awareness, time management and analytical abilities are a part of the employability skills. Leadership qualities, interpersonal skills, innovation and creativity are also a huge part of the same domain.

Classrooms are one of the best places to start preparing students early for the big, bad world. To make students understand the importance of these traits, it is imperative that the teachers motivate them to get involved in different activities. Some of the approaches are listed here:

General awareness: Allocate the first 10 minutes of the timetable for general discussions. Ask the students to read up on any newspaper daily and come up with a news item that they deem important. They could then present the news to the class and discuss about it. This discussion can help students learn basic interactions and also expose them to different viewpoints in their own classrooms. Regular practice will get students hooked on to the wonderful world of news and also keep themupdated about the current affairs.

Interactive seminars: Every year or semester, arrange for a presentation seminar, wherein students can express their views and ideas on any general idea. Some of the hot burning topics like mobile banking, e-commerce, swachh bharat abhiyan, food security law, plastic menace and so on can be used. This seminar will throw light on around 30-35 topics and will help generate interest amongst the students. Ensure the seminar is interactive with students discussing the points being presented.

Open forum: In the classroom, install a separate notice board titled ‘Open Forum.’ On this board, display interesting and eye-catchy information. You can also showcase the best creative stuff that the students create. Cartoons, photographs, anecdotes and quotes can be displayed for starters. This attractive initiative will give the students a break from the monotonous classes. What more, it will also make them aware of all the interesting things of the world.

A self-learning curve: Regular classes, where there one-way communication dominates can get pretty boring very soon. So, bring in new methods to attract the young minds. For example, allot certain topics and concepts to the students in groups. Give them a week’s time so that they can research and prepare a seminar on the topics. For a more effective learning, include a question round also. This method allows students to learn at their own pace and gives them the freedom of interpretation. This self-learning process not only makes them perfect in their respective topics but also improves their communication skills.

Entrepreneurship skills: To inculcate the idea of entrepreneurship in the young minds, students can be asked to read up on famous and successful personalities like Ratan Tata, Kiran Mazumdar-Shaw, APJ Abdul Kalam and note down important steps in their career. The students can then put forward their research and enlighten others on the personalities. Make sure that the students realise the hard work and effort put in by their friends and appreciate it. Healthy competition will motivate
students to perform better.

A digital touch: Use the latest technology to your advantage. Bring in interactive software to teach different concepts. This is especially helpful in teaching english as students learn better by listening to a tutor. Moreover, these softwares won’t give up till the kids learn the concepts perfectly. Participants gain confidence about speaking correctly and also modulation of voice while conversing. When they join group discussion at the time of campus selection or recruitment process, they will feel more comfortable because of such learning methodologies.

Honing management qualities: In-house management fest should be conducted regularly once or twice a year. Students can be divided into teams of 4 or 5 members and can be allotted varied topics. Design competitions based on finance (drawing a business plan, preparing estimates, raising capital), human resource management competition (preparing a training plan, drawing promotion policies) and
marketing competition (strategies for increasing sales, preparing small advertisements). This idea will help generate team spirit and also expose the students to different issues. Since management is the order of the day, this competition will lay down the basics of human resources in the young minds.

The world is changing by the minute. Conventional syllabus will not stand the test of the time. Students will need to look beyond the four walls of their classroom and work on different employability skills. All the employers will seek to find that ‘X’ factor in their future workers. So, get started now and work towards acquiring job-assuring skills.

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