The Reskilling Of Management Students
Reducing this widening skill gap requires equipping management students with the requisite employability skills desired by the organizations in the post-pandemic era.
The fourth industrial revolution which is marked by blurring the lines between the digital, physical and biological spheres along with the recent coronavirus pandemic has challenged the nature of the work and job market in an unprecedented way. This has reshaped the entire skillset required by future entrants into the workforce. World economic forum (WEF) has estimated that almost 50% of the knowledge acquired in the first year will become redundant by the time student graduates. This insinuates that the basket of the skill sets possessed by the future management students and thus the future practitioners would be significantly different from the past students, suggesting the skill set will continue to change at a faster pace in the future. Not having the right set of skills can weaken the employability avenues for students. Employability skills constitute an important personal asset and contribute significantly towards building an individual’s self-esteem which plays a seminal role in bringing the transition from job seekers to value creators. The employability skill set is contingent on the context in which business is embedded. And as the contours of the job market are changing very rapidly, so does the employability skill set. For organizations, if employees are ill-equipped on future skills, it can seriously hamper organisational performance.
Academicians, researchers and business executives have been vocal regarding the skill gap in the management students and the industry. Thus, reducing this widening skill gap requires equipping management students with the requisite employability skills desired by the organizations in the post-pandemic era. The reasons for aligning future employees with these skills are manifold.
One of the reasons is the rapid pace of newer technology penetration in all domains of business which has disrupted the jobs significantly and therefore diluted the relevance of current skills. Further, the blurring of the disciplinary boundaries requires future managers to be agile learners and multi-disciplinary which requires a complex and integrated set of skills such as critical thinking, decision-making, emotional intelligence, cognitive flexibility and complex problem-solving. The coronavirus pandemic has further strengthened the need to reskill future practitioners. The sudden shift to remote working has made organizations to adopt new business models, newer ways of working and the challenge of matching employees’ skills to these redefined roles and responsibilities in the post-pandemic era. It is expected that the blended mode of working (offline and online) is likely to stay for a longer period of time. Therefore, reskilling future workers on these skills has become all the more important by higher education institutions to make the transition between different modes of working smoothly.
Remote working has changed the way new hires are recruited, developed and managed and, at the same time has offered ample opportunities for economic prosperity and individual flourishing.
To realise these opportunities and make the students employable requires higher education institutions to take a proactive approach and switch focus from a conventional approach where knowledge forms the key element of curriculum to a constructive approach that focuses on the development of the learner. Therefore, higher education institutions must work towards designing a contemporary competencies-based curriculum that helps empower management students with critical cognitive and digital skills to thrive in the evolving digital economy. Institutions also need to develop a learning and inter-disciplinary mindset in students to help them evolve with time and remain relevant in the future. Instilling the new set of skills will bridge the gap between organizational stakeholders’ expectations and management students’ skills set that help make the students’ industry ready in the post-pandemic era.
Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house
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