The recent years have witnessed a never-seen-before trend in the admission of candidates into business and management programmes offered by the notable IIMs.
The Indian Institute of Management Ahmedabad has been witnessing a great number of arts and humanities students in their new batches for the MBA sessions.
The coming up MBA session for the 2020-22 batch has been reflecting a surge in candidates coming from fields other than science or commerce.
The Indian Institute of Management has been working rigorously to maintain cultural diversity in their classrooms, thus, aiming for diverse perspectives and discussions in the future business world.
In 2019, the percentage of art students was 3 per cent, however, for the coming up batch the digits have increased, making a total of 5 per cent share of art students in the classrooms.
Several people have linked this to the initiative taken by IIM for supporting and enhancing cultural diversity among the aspirants.
The diverse admission policies practised at IIM has been maintained to provide opportunities to students with diverse opinions and perspectives.
The institution is a core believer of the fact that diverse backgrounds of students can be a great tool in the reformation of the business and management world outside.
Holistic approach and wider approach to issues and subjects can make a candidate develop creative ideas than just being stuck with limited resources or fields.
The next batch at IIM Ahmedabad will be witnessing students from fields and spheres like an advertisement, mass communication, literature, etc. among others.
These candidates are expected to contribute significantly to developing a positive learning atmosphere in the classroom. Moreover, it is going to be a bonus point for students from regular fields to acknowledge different views and opinions and come up with better ideas and plans.
Shift in Choices
At IIM Kozhikode the number of art students taking admission into management and business programmes has risen to a total of 6 per cent, 1 per cent more than the previous year. However, at IIM Bangalore there has been no significant change in the digits since last year.
Authorities believe that there has been a shift in the choices of candidates while deciding to opt for subjects at the school level. Since the past 15-20 years, students have been opting for arts or humanities due to the non-technical nature of the subjects and flexibility of the content.
However, this shift is slow but significant. The creative aspect of the subjects has driven students to opt for streams which are not mainstream.
Science and arts have been two major non-technical subjects opted by students during the schooling levels. This is often linked to the employability factor post the completion of higher education in these subjects.
The CAT examination features questions from maths which are usually covered till 10th standard. Therefore, several art students have made it possible to crack the exam with good scores.
Through the assistance of knowledge delivered in a typical CBSE/ICSE school, students have made it possible to give CAT a try.
However, the level of preparation determines how well a candidate can score in the exam. Therefore, it is an innate aptitude and does not depend on the subjects or topics taught at school or the university.
Ambiguity has been a major driving force in the business world. The ability to tolerate or embrace ambiguity is considered to be essential in determining the outcome of a project or the wider circumference of perspective around it.
Arts students hold a great advantage while entering the business or management sector. Their ability to think of a wider perspective and the zeal to look for solutions to unanswered questions can assist the creation or development of holistic ideas.
The business world requires a candidate to look for precise answers or solutions and to embrace ambiguity. Restricting oneself from different diverse worlds, sectors, perspectives, and people can limit access to a lot of many aspects.
Candidates from non-STEM backgrounds, possess the ability to work with less definitive boundaries, thus, supporting more precise ideas, approaches and outcomes.
Leadership and CEOs
In terms of placements, recruitments and salaries there has been no significant difference in candidates coming from arts, commerce or science backgrounds. All the candidates are judged fairly based on their profiles, candidature and abilities.
However, there has been a belief in certain western institutions and culture that students from liberal arts field and humanities make better leaders due to their ability to hold wide perspectives and opinions.
These candidates can often see the better picture. Moreover, a millennium edition of The International Business Week 2020 stated that there had been an increase in CEOs from fields like arts and humanities, thus, reflecting a major shift in the 21st century.
The key reason for students to contemplate a career in the business world is to adapt to a social stature while challenging oneself to think intellectually in multiple diverse dimensions.
This is usually supported by the fact that the business sector offers more pathways for career opportunities as compared to any governmental platform.
Enhancing the cultural diversity at eminent institutions like IIM can be a great step in challenging the mainstream beliefs and thinking abilities of the students as well as future leaders.
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