A Holistic Approach to Education is the Boon for Management Professionals
Most often you find students complaining about the number of subjects they are taught in MBA courses. The students argue that if they want to make their career in Marketing then what is use of studying finance. This argument holds only till you consider subjects as silos with no connection to each other. The moment you look at the bigger picture you realize the underlying interdependence of all these subjects in the strategic decision making of the organizations.
These PGMD Degree courses are there to prepare students for employment in holistic way. The study of different subjects and preparation for different jobs require attention to different things. The job details of their choice of career are mostly unknown at the time of study. Indeed, students may not know the use of some of these subjects until several years later in their career as a management professional. The knowledge imparted during the course equips them with the tools to understand & analyse the situation better and prepare befitting responses to them. Thus, the relevance of courses, taught in MBA program, to later working life for many graduates will lie in the realm of generic and transferable skills rather than specific competencies needed for a first job after getting the degree. The competences are not unimportant but the graduate’s employers are generally much better equipped to provide them than a best PGDM institutes. So the role of the educational institute is to ensure that the graduate acquires the necessary skills which facilitate the learning of competencies later on.
Higher education is about preparation for whole working life, not for a specific job in the first couple of years after graduation. Graduates who have studied the more academic subjects will require a longer transition period into employment than those who have studied more vocational degrees. Work experience prior to the course or alongside, as part of study, can help in this transition of the student. The emergence of graduates from higher education without any employment experiences is neither in their own nor in their employers’ interests. That is one of the reasons PGDM colleges have mandatory summer internship program for students at the end of the first year of education. In this the students work with companies and try to experience the corporate culture and working style which can help in transition from raw talent in to skilled professional. The transition may well entail further training in a professional field, which either the employer or an educational institution may provide. The short term projects are also incorporated as the additional assignments at some B-schools for this purpose. They give students a flavor of working in different set-ups and different problems.
Higher education is for the long term. Universities, employers and students should realise that the course curriculum designed in PGDM colleges are there to transform them for life. All types of graduates are likely to change their jobs several times over their working lives and a holistic approach to education will help them in achieving them the milestones of success.