The SRM Institute of Science and Technology (SRMIST), in association with The Hindu, hosted two webinars yesterday as part of the SRM Virtual Conclave for Career Guidance 2021.
In the first webinar on ‘Higher education in India post COVID-19’, Jitin Chadha, founder and director of the Indian School of Business and Finance (ISBF), explained that there were several ways to combat COVID-19-related challenges in education. This included “creating a community of learners where students work in teams for capstone projects and take ownership of their learning. Yet another method is assessments through hackathons where students can innovate and ideate in teams to tackle real-world problems”.
Manoj P., registrar, Azim Premji University, emphasised the necessity for students to be problem-solvers. He also said that no matter what a student studied, problems can be solved only by interdisciplinary studies.
K. Ramaswamy, director of faculty and academics, SRMIST, shed light on the multiple career options available to students and about the importance of opting for integrated programmes. “It is imperative to start promoting research, which is why UG (undergraduate) and PG (postgraduate) are integrated with research,” he said.
The second session on ‘New-age career options after school’ discussed the multiple options available and the kind of skilling and upskilling required to remain relevant. Vinesh Menon, CEO, education, skilling and consulting services, Ampersand Group, spoke about how “technology requires constant upskilling, reskilling and updates”. He also encouraged students to work on communication skills so that they could communicate the available information “succinctly and capture audience interest”. Another piece of advice he offered was “hone listening skills. Develop empathy in a society with several divides. Be flexible and learn to adapt to any situation that arises”.
T.V. Gopal, dean-CET, SRMIST, spoke about the importance of public health as a career option. The focus, he said, wasn’t on treating people as on ensuring conditions for them to be healthy. He also listed several other lucrative careers such as biomedical and automobile engineering, and explained that jobs of tomorrow required interdisciplinary and multidisciplinary knowledge, and that students ought to possess complex problem-solving abilities, the ability to accept failure, and develop people skills, in order to succeed.
Richa Dwivedi Saklani, founder CEO Inomi Learning LLP, pointed out that “while AI and Robotics have replaced jobs, many others are being created. Blockchain, law, finance, climate change are all impacting today’s world,” and emerging career options in these fields are influencing students’ choices, she said.
Both sessions concluded with a Q&A session in which the speakers fielded questions from audience members.