In today’s competitive world, there is a high demand for skill-oriented professionals. Talking specifically in the MBA landscape, graduates are expected to have specialized, technical, and transferrable skills. Industry wants to utilize the incoming workforce from day one. Thus, it is imperative that the curriculum and pedagogy mirror real-time scenarios and prepare the students accordingly. Over the years, the concept of the industry-oriented curriculum has modified the existing MBA course structure and its delivery, superseding execution over theory.
Keeping in mind The Demands of the Industry, B-Schools must (although some are) spend resources in training their students to be industry-fit professionals. They should make the courses more practical and responsive to student and industry needs. FIVE ways in which theory can be aided with the practical application are:
1. Case Studies
The case study method is an integral way to conciliate between the academic and practical aspects. It should be embedded throughout the programme and connect with the reality of the situation. There should be an alignment between the methodologies being taught and those that can be used in practice. It is not just about teaching techniques, but ensuring students understand which of them will be more relevant and practically feasible. Examples that have companies that are transnational, operating in different countries, and provide students with the right perspective on how international businesses make decisions should be chosen.
2. Industry Association
B-schools should not only focus on the theory of General Management, but industry-specific knowledge must be given extreme importance. There should be a mandatory association with industry projects and live projects. The duration of internships should be increased so that students get further exposure and are more prepared when they join the workforce as managers and leaders. Besides, the faculty should have non-academic and practical work experience along with insightful research.
3. Rural Exposure
From an Indian perspective, exposure to the rural sector is a must. It is a growing aspect of the Indian economy, both as producers and consumers. B-schools should provide apt opportunities for rural immersion programmes. There is no point in producing managers and analysts who do not understand the needs and moods of rural stakeholders.
4. Cross-Dependency of Business Discipline
Theory must focus on teaching how different verticals such as finance, marketing, HR, operations, and so forth depend on each other in the course of daily business activities. To curb the functional isolation that students experience in most industries and organizations, b-schools must teach cross-discipline cases and examples. This will train the students to understand the practical aspect of the business.
5. Learn to Accept ‘NO’
In the race to churn out the best, b-schools often forget to teach obscure words like ‘failure’ and ‘no.’ Students must also understand that, however, ideal the situation may seem in the books; the real-life will not be the same. Students should be trained to accept business / work-related successes and failures.
It is not just theoretical knowledge that one should be adept with, but its execution (and implementation) – directly and indirectly. Industry wants resources that are not only armed with knowledge and skills but also have insights, adaptability, and humility
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