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90% of the industry wants B-Schools to have a liberal and inclusive admission process

A study by NHRD and IFIM on the relevance of the required skills mentioned in World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report 2018 revealed the gaps between industry and academia

Starched tie. Stiff coat. Crisp English with an accent. Hippie locks?

MBA students need to get more varied and not look, speak and feel the same. That's what 90 per cent of the industry feels, according to a study by IFIM Business School and NHRD Network. Industry professionals and experts are now of the opinion that business schools must be more liberal and inclusive in admitting students to ensure a good mix of students from various strata of society. The study revealed that 90 per cent of the industry experts and select members of the academia agree that recruiters will find it useful to have students profiled on relevant skills during placement interviews rather than just grades and resume.

The respondents, 300 senior managers across 13 industries, spoke about how learning new technologies quickly for day-to-day operations would be a key skill. They also stressed the ability to manage workplace stress through holistic development and lifestyle management. IFIM Business School, Bangalore and National HRD Network, released the findings of their six-month long Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB)-supported study for developing a graduate management curriculum for the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies — Industry 4.0. The findings will be implemented into a ‘next-gen’ MBA curriculum.

Sharing his views on the survey, Dr Atish Chattopadhyay, Director, IFIM Business School said, “This is the first time that a Business School, in India, has taken the initiative to reach out to industry executives to find out the skills required for industry 4.0 and bridge the gap between industry and academia. It is encouraging that the senior level industry practitioners involved themselves deeply in sharing their perspectives to enrich the B School Curriculum. The ten needs identified for industry 4.0 along with the insights, will go a long way in aligning the future of business education with the future of work.”

Dhananjay Singh, Director General, NHRD, commented on the survey, “India is in dire need of an upgrade in its management curricula to keep up with the rapid transformations across industries globally. The country’s youth are considered one of the most talented resources across the world. The survey will be a platform for corporates in the country to share their views on the skills required for the future workforce. It will guide management institutions to adopt these practices in today’s curriculum to create job-ready and continuously employable professionals. This will keep India’s academic cross-section and industry aligned, which has seen a phase of disconnect in the past.” The survey also revealed new trends in the Indian scenario like the concept of a multi-generation workforce where the industry executives work together with younger MBA participants.

 Dr Tom R Robinson, President and CEO of AACSB; Dr Jagdish Sheth, Charles H Kellstadt Professor of Marketing, Goizueta Business School, Emory University; and Dr A Parasuraman, Professor and James W McLamore Chair in Marketing, University of Miami were also present at the unveiling of the findings.