Posted on Monday, September 24, 2018
In order to assess the educational system, one must focus on employment rates, demand and supply gaps in the labor market and equal access to a baseline education that can provide development and growth for people.
Brand and quality usually go hand in hand although unfortunately this is not always the case in education. Quality is fundamental. Through education the students, our future workforce, are provided a solid knowledge base and the right skills that tailor to the labor market. However, the brand of the educational institution is important as well, it being the result of the schools reputation and it’s investments in systems of placements, facilities, teachers.
Future applicants want to attend certain schools in order to attract good companies to hire them and they want their resumes to carry a personal branding. Nowadays these have become important assets in the labor market. Schools must invest in those items that create a positive correlation between brand and quality of education.
Students are the consumers of education and schools are institutions who need to satisfy these “consumers”. They share a common goal: high brand, high enrollment and high enrollment better teachers and higher placements. This is a good driving force to make sure the economy receives the right amount of trained talent.
In the past decades the "skill gap" has been one of the most disconcerting issues the global economy is faced with. The tide has not been turned, worse still the gap is ever increasing at a rapid pace. India unfortunately is affected by this as well. Given the size of the economy and labor market, this gap must be addressed very quickly and in the correct way.
In my opinion one of the causes of the skill gap is knowledge vs skills. Before the internet era, knowledge was very important and students were required to focus a lot of their attention in acquiring it better and faster than their peers. Information and ability to link it with knowledge made the difference in the labor market.
Nowadays knowledge is not a scarce commodity it can be acquired by anybody very easily and at a very low cost. "Google it" has become a common verb to define the look up of knowledge from multiple sources at a speed of a few seconds and with a high return on investment; no longer than two seconds to receive information in multiple languages, from multiple sources and from anywhere in the world. The raw material that is now in scarcity is skill.
Skills became very important and surpassed knowledge when we think about employability and what the economy requires. How to use knowledge, how to analyze significant amount of data very quickly, how to choose from so many sources the one that is more solid and relevant. These are the skills that make a difference.
It is critical education develops towards helping the future generation improve our world by providing all of them an outstanding education resulting in an up to date employability. Both students and companies can contribute towards future employability. Students by carefully selecting schools and studies aligned with their talents as well as the needs of the labor market while also developing extracurricular activities to complement their skills. Companies could broaden their horizons and look beyond the brand of education and their pre-conceived notion of what an ideal candidate should look like. Students should also be given a chance to get a taste of what the world of labor can offer.
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