Prominent management institutions are witnessing a massive shift in the techno-socio-economic sector of the society, causing a major flood of upcoming challenges. The evolution of digitalisation is pushing the industrial segments to improve and polish their approaches and reform economic status.

Industry 4.0 is portrayed as a saviour to AI, Machine Learning, Cloud Computing, and other technology associated spheres by developing innovative job roles and creating a conventional workforce.

However, a major question remains in the mind of the authorities. How do the educational centres cope up with the evolutionary change in the workforces and develop relevant skills? Or What should be the strategy to make the students fit for the future?

Understanding the learning orientation for future

An initiative by the IFIM Business School, Bengaluru, in close association with the National Human Resources Development Network (NHRDN), was commenced focusing on the identification of relevant skills and requirements for Industry 4.0.

The collected data portrayed that the future candidates for Industry 4.0 would possess liberal knowledge across different subjects and disciplines combined with knowledge of specialised sectors.

Moreover, the data revealed that future aspirants would be ‘T’ shaped professionals who would possess a liberal structure of education and detailed knowledge of their respective specialised subjects.

However, it also revealed that technological evolution would push existing professional skills on the verge of becoming irrelevant.

The educational centres can achieve these goals by developing relevant strategies and investing in their institutions. Thus, preparing their students for the ‘future workforce.’

The institutions must invest in the system to prepare the graduates in adapting to the changed systems and developing prominent skill sets. Rebooting the curriculum and modifying the normal learning approaches would be of great help.

Moulding the system and embracing the changes 

The present curriculum is designed with a one-fit-for approach. However, ideally, it should encourage students to explore and experiment with different concepts, fields, and specialised areas. A customised learning approach depending on the pace, orientation, skills, etc. of a student must be created.

Apart from this, a holistic development strategy must be approached. Exposing the aspirants to various distinct disciplines across the sphere of arts, design, technology, humanities, science, and others must be encouraged.

This ensures that the students are exposed to possible fields covering the eight dimensions of bits of intelligence. This will also help in spotting a student’s potential.

Another major change in the systems could be the integration of technology across distinct courses. AI and Data analysis are implemented in multiple fields ranging from the healthcare sector to the design sphere. Therefore, making the graduates implement data integration through professional expertise can help in achieving the goal.

The regular repetitive approaches and activities often deprive a student in futuristic decision-making possibilities. The information dissemination delivered in a regular teaching-learning approach needs to be modified for developing future possibilities.

Moreover, in countries where social inequality prevails in different societal segments, institutions must make students socially responsible. Moreover, understanding the impact on the environment and society is also vital. An intervention like SDGs (UN Sustainability Development Goals), etc. will help develop the future curriculum.

‘Leadership development’ is a coin having ‘self-management’ and ‘self-development’ as the two opposing faces. The IFIM-NHRDN data revealed the urgent integration of wellness and fitness for preparing the students ‘future-ready’.

Modification in the faculty roles and responsibilities 

As the current curriculum design requires modification, the teaching-learning process would also require a makeover. Prominent content taught in the classes is available on different online platforms.

Therefore, a faculty’s role requires a shift in responsibilities. The traditional responsibility of delivering a lecture would be replaced by providing coaching, mentoring, and one-on-one discussions.

This will aid the procedure of ‘self-discovery’ and learning. Moreover, the wide adoption of virtual learning during the lockdown will boost this approach.

It is also vital that the faculties carry a futuristic mindset and should possess a zeal to know what could happen next. This will foster the imaginative abilities of students and transform them into active co-producers and change-makers.

Group projects, simulations, interactives, seminars, and other discussions should be encouraged. Mentoring and guiding the students towards possible learning resources could play a key role in future faculties. The one-to-one approach would be facilitated by the prominent ‘I’s of digital knowledge- interaction, integration, and individualization.

Implementation of an efficient interface between theory and practical activities 

The development of a proficient interface between academics and practical activities is essential. This would benefit the major pillars of an educational system- the students, faculty, and the practices developed.

The active participation of the faculties, students, and authorities will help in the successful implementation of an effective MBA 4.0 curriculum. The vital intervention of real practitioners and their knowledge would help in developing a future-fit student with relevant skills and requirements.

The future educational institutes would possess the capability of facilitating prominent discoveries. This will prepare future students to rely on circular development approaches focusing on the self, environmental sphere, and societies. This will result in a fruitful combination of professional skill sets and liberal knowledge.

In countries like India, major internationally credited MBA courses and programmes are offered by the single-discipline centres. These are mainly the AACSB and EQUIS programmes. However, certain AACSB facilitated institutions have successfully addressed the emerging gap between the future industrial requirements and multi-disciplinary educational system.

IFIM Business School has successfully launched India’s first professional MBA programme, commonly known as the MBA 4.0 programme. This is a massive step in the direction of a futuristic approach in the educational sector of India.

The authorities have decided to offer the programme at the Vijaybhoomi University, the Greater Mumbai campus area. The programme is designed to fulfill the aim of preparing the future graduates and pushing them towards exceptional heights in the real corporate- technology-driven world.

Peter Drucker claims that the management education is equivalent to liberal arts. It is evident that this statement has achieved great relevance in today’s time and will be prevalent in the future as well.

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 Source: The Hindustan Business Line.

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