Demands of today’s job market
Degrees without experiences cannot be useful enough in today’s job market that requires diverse skills and expertise
Competition is rife in today’s world that is struggling to overcome the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and several other adversities like international tensions.
Millions of people are struggling for well-paid jobs in a knowledge-based society and want high living standards. Of course, a good education is a prerequisite for getting a good job, but it is hardly enough. Factors like technical-practical skills, knowledge and relevant experience also matter a lot when it comes to landing a job, plum or not.
Today’s job market requires that an ideal candidate has adequate skills, training, relevant experiences and a sound academic background, among other factors.
Even if a candidate in question has an excellent academic background, s/he often has to be content with a junior position in the absence of relevant skills/expertise and experience.
Technical skills should be given top priority while hiring for technical jobs, whereas knowledge of diverse areas (general knowledge) should be a major criterion for candidates wishing to join public service.
By conducting an interview, interest, aptitude and creativity of a candidate wishing to land a job can be assessed along with academic qualification. By the way, non-academic life skills like driving also enhance the prospects of job-seekers.
While selecting a candidate, appropriate standard/principle/medium should be employed with an eye also on criteria like academic qualification, accountability, personality, punctuality, honesty, a pragmatic bent of mind as well as technical skills.
An academic degree is the result of one’s hard-work and patience. But an education system should not dissociate itself from practical aspects of life. Degrees without practical experiences cannot be useful enough in today’s job market that requires diverse skills and expertise.
Individuals with high degrees lacking skills to complete a simple task do not bode well for an education system.
A job market requires candidates who are smart, capable, educated, experienced, focused and laborious.
While education gives an individual theoretical knowledge and analytical skills to show why something does not work, experience teaches that ‘doing a thing in a certain way does not work’.
No doubt a medical student can be a better doctor and management student a better manager because universities design courses catering to the needs of respective sectors. Generally, an academically qualified person can obtain related practical skills better and earlier in a relevant field of work. Hence, academic degree, internship, dissertations based on field survey and positive thinking with a well working attitude should be the job.
Traditionally, obtaining an academic degree has been our main priority, while recent years have seen a shift in priority toward acquiring skills and expertise.
An ideal candidate should have skills and expertise along with an excellent academic background. Different philosophers have offered their nuggets of wisdom on theoretical and practical knowledge. There’s no doubt that candidates need different skill sets to stay relevant in today’s job market.
Big multinationals like Google, Facebook and Amazon, for example, are hiring people with adequate skills rather than academic degrees. This is because there is no guarantee that those holding academic degrees will be able to solve problems facing the real world.
The country’s education sector should be overhauled with a greater emphasis on vocational education. Our university education must accord top priority to fields like agriculture, fisheries, forestry and rural technology with a vision to modernize them as per our needs. Social science programs must be launched at universities after conducting surveys on the country’s human resources requirement.
Summing up, in the post-Covid era, increased focus should be on honing professional expertise and skills through education and training for effectively fighting adverse impacts resulting from the pandemic.
The author is a former Deputy Executive Director of TEPC under the Ministry of Industry, Commerce and Supplies
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