Mon, 25 Oct 2021

Vocational studies

Posted on Monday, August 25, 2008

Vocational studies are the flavour of the day, writes Ritika Kaushik

With shedding of conventions in the changing market dynamics, education is no longer only about a traditional university degree. The age of undergraduate courses with a difference is the new watchword as vocational courses are fast becoming the latest success mantra. More and more students are gearing up for the ‘Big Fat Job Arena’ by enrolling for these professional courses and getting an edge above the usual degree holders.

Options galore

If a conventional course is not your cup of tea or you are unable to get into a professional college, a vocational course is what you are looking for. As opposed to a static university education, these courses offer everything from placements to hands on experience and thus provide a unique learning platform.  What’s more is that with their growing popularity even industries have started to prefer graduates in vocational studies.

Students can choose from a degree, diploma or certificate course depending on the duration of study. The diplomas and certificate courses can be clubbed together with a degree through correspondence to zero in on a job straightaway.

Delhi University and Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University in Delhi have numerous colleges and affiliated institutes that offer vocational programs and advanced diplomas in both Indian and Foreign languages. Many colleges under the aegis of Calcutta University offer courses in office management and secretarial practice. Courses such as welding technology, optometry, radiography, diagnostic and medical lab technology are conducted by Jadavpur University. Private institutes and polytechnics too offer several options.

B.A. [Vocational Studies] degree course in Tourism, Material management, Retail Management and Human resource management and various other fields, offered at Delhi University’s College of Vocational Studies [], attracts more and more students every year. It is among the pioneer institutions in the country to offer general education interwoven with work-oriented skills & knowledge. Mr Inder jeet, Principal of CVS asserts that the college ‘makes a small beginning in a great change in the field of higher education making it more meaningful and diversified’.

The importance of this degree course is undeniably undiminished. The placement cell of the college makes it lucrative as it provides job assurance unlike ordinary degree courses. The fee is on parallel with the other university courses with only a few exceptions.

The industry connection

Delhi University has also joined hands with the CII [Confederation of Indian Industry] to enhance skills and prepare them to launch their careers steadfast. The course curriculum is in harmony with the changes in the industry and uses advanced methodologies including case studies, interaction with domain experts, case stimulation and real life hands on experiences through internships.

Pride and prejudice

After scoring an unsatisfactory percentage in XIIth Board exams, Mansi had only two options, to take up correspondence or take up a vocational course. She chose the latter as the 18 year old wanted to ‘learn and broaden horizons before stepping into the competitive job market’. Pursuing Materials Management from College of Vocational Studies, she is happy that ‘she made the best of what she had’. Mansi adds-“My perception regarding those who take up such courses was that they are not so brilliant. It has undergone a great change now on seeing that my batch mates sacrificed the best colleges to pursue a vocational course.”

While the vocational courses are in line with the current trends, many like Mansi still believe them to be inferior to mainstream options. Students normally pursue degree courses alongside their vocational counterparts.

While doing a diploma in footwear designing from FDDI, Isha Madaan, a Brand Manager in Lakhani, also enrolled for a University degree through correspondence. The confident 22 year old says that “Being an average student, the combination added the much needed edge on my CV and now I earn more than my post graduate peers.” Madaan adds - “only a plain vanilla degree isn’t enough if you want to make it big, although, it is the prerequisite for most jobs.”

The convenient truth

Vocational courses still have a long way to go as far as changing the mindset is concerned. But, as more and more students are opting for them, the trend speaks for itself. The Indian Education system is thus in a transitional phase. As the youth seeks for the quickest way to success, conventional ways are slowly becoming obsolete. The importance of professional degrees is catching the awareness of teenagers and is making them inclined towards an unconventional choice. One would meekly wish that this change soon affects the secondary education as well. Then maybe, one would not blame the ‘Indian system’ anymore.



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