Dr Aloysius Edward J., Dean, Faculty of Commerce and Management
Kristu Jayanti College, Autonomous, Bengaluru, Karnataka, India.
The education system is not static, but dynamic. Education, globally, is in transformation. 2025 marks 75 years of constitutional democracy, 35 years of economic liberalization and 20 years of accelerated educational reforms for India at a time when the world’s oldest civilization is also its youngest nation. The Indian higher education system has undergone massive expansion to become the second largest in the world. Despite ongoing debate about whether they can and should, most higher education institutions include the development of employability skills within their curriculum. However, employers continue to report that graduates are not ready for the world of work, and lack some of the most basic skills needed for successful employment. Higher educational institutions devise a curriculum to bridge the skill gap. Academics alone can’t assure jobs for students. They need to have access to holistic experience to equip them for every aspect of their life and career. The role of educators is to guide them not just towards academic excellence but various co-curricular, extra-curricular and community service of which they could be passionate and proud. Once all these factors come together, their employability quotient will automatically rise. It is the responsibility of the higher educational institutions to develop the curriculum incorporating all these factors to make the students employable. The problem of unemployment can be solved only when the institutions focus on enhancing employable skills of the students.
Educators today have to keep in mind that the 21st century learners have a very different profile. He/she prepares himself to use those technologies in near future that haven’t been invented so far. He/she is likely to undertake jobs that don’t exist today. The students remain networked globally. They prefer to get engaged in multiple tasks; are digitally literate and have strong visual and spatial skills. They remain tethered to the internet; want to learn things that matter and look for challenging jobs. A number of personal and social skills popularly known as soft skills have become imperative for enhancing employability in both wage and self- employment.
India has seen rapid growth in recent years, due to the growth in new-age industries. The demand for a new level of quality of service has increased with the increase in purchasing power. It is important to note that the knowledge, skill and dynamic workforce forms the backbone of our economy. To reap the benefits of such a young workforce, we need to implement the reforms in the education system and also bring forth new factors of production, namely knowledge, skills and technology which have the ability to unleash the productive frontiers of the economy in the most efficient and dynamic way. If India needs to emerge as a developed nation in next 20 to 25 years, then it has to improve and develop its human resource, which is as important as natural resources of the country. It is possible only by focusing on enhancing employable skills of the students. Public and private enterprises should work together and look for the required upliftment of higher education and improve employable skills.