‘Hands-on Skills Required for Employability
– Learning by Doing.’
The world around us is on an alarming pace of development understood strictly in a globalized sense. We no longer call the world as we used to call it in the past rather at present it’s defined as a ‘global village’ where meeting international demands and standards is the sole criterion for existence. In this globalized world there is a professional educational craze in medicals, engineering, law, management and hospitality fields, information technology, bioinformatics, biochemistry, microbiology and biotechnology. The large-scale privatization and commercialization of education has resulted in the hiking of educational costs, which has resulted in increased pressure on the students. This has raised unhealthy competitive spirit among them as they find themselves incompetent to face the global currents.
The challenge lies over here with us. We need to develop a strategy to help our students to be competitive anywhere and everywhere i.e. ‘Think Globally, Act Locally.’
Being a teacher for nearly several years, I feel education is not just helping the students to read and write but instead journeying with them and helping them to achieve their maximum potential. For this I would like to define education as – “A call to human excellence to the fullest possible development of all human qualities and talents…..it is a call to critical thinking and disciplined studies, a call to develop the whole person, head and heart, intellect and feelings and ones outlook.” In short it means not just helping the students to grow in their IQ (Intellectual Quotient) but also SQ and EQ (Social Quotient and Emotional Quotient). Thus integrated growth in IQ+SQ+EQ will result in overall personality development which will enhance ones employability at a global level.
Skills to boost IQ+SQ+EQ for Total Employability:-
Skills to boost Intellectual Quotient: -
IQ can be defined as -"The ability to carry out abstract thinking” or “A global concept that involves an individual's ability to act purposefully, think rationally, and deal effectively with the environment." In other words intelligence is thinking and reasoning, learning and adapting. So there are several skills to help students to grow in their intellectual life. They are as follows---
Practical tips that could be introduced to enhance employability of students.
Planning & organization-
‘Working out how to schedule available resources and activities in order to meet an objective’
- Managing and prioritizing your personal workload (time management).
- Organizing social, sporting or charity events.
- Arranging travel itinerary.
- Organizing work experience.
- Travel abroad.
- Event management experience (e.g. customer liaison, co-ordination of bookings, organizing equipment, planning advertisements and working to tight deadlines).
Written Communication -
‘Producing grammatical, well expressed, easily understood and interesting text about topics that may be unfamiliar to the reader’
- Secretary of student society.
- Articles for Students and other newspapers. Publicity materials for a voluntary organization.
- Letters to raise sponsorship for an event.
- Essays, dissertations, project report, publishing papers.
- Writing an account of a work placement.
‘Devising and then using an appropriate method, rule, technique or logic in order to find a solution to a problem’
- Creative solutions to coursework problems.
- Leisure activities (e.g. chess, logic games, computing or role-playing).
- Overcoming obstacles to achieve an ambition.
- Working in a customer environment and dealing with complaints.
- Research skills.
- Particular achievements during a work placement (e.g. devising new working practices to improve efficiency, information systems development, database management, diagnosing and rectifying faults).
‘Identifying options, gathering information about their suitability, ant then systematically using this to choose the best option’
- Choice of project or dissertation.
- Career planning and preparation.
- Deciding on the most appropriate course of action to solve a problem or meet an objective during work experience.
‘Trying to reach an agreement or compromise by discussion with others’
- Team sports/outdoor pursuits
- Suggesting changes to the course representative.
- Arranging travel itinerary during holidays.
- Getting sponsorship for a project.
- Persuading a manager or colleague to take a different course of action when they are initially reluctant to see your point of view.
- Political canvassing.
‘Possessing the quality of character and personality to gain the confidence of and lead others’
- Team sports.
- Club or student society (e.g. motivating by taking a lead in problem-solving, clarifying tasks and facilitating).
- Coaching and mentoring.
- Generate new ideas (e.g. developing new practices during work experience).
‘Understanding the priorities of and economic factors affecting businesses’
- Work experience or shadowing in a commercial or customer care role.
- Regularly reading business pages of a national newspaper.
- Raising money or keeping accounts for a club or society.
- Successfully taking a commercial risk (e.g. buying goods and selling them at a profit at a car boot sale).
‘Being original and inventive in order to solve problems, generate ideas or produce novel designs’
- Thinking of ideas for fundraising events.
- Mixing music.
- Using alternative means.
- Creative writing.
- Designing your own website.
- Creating sets or costumes for a drama production.
- Using original and inventive ideas during a marketing placement.
IT (Information technology)-
‘Proficiency in using computers and telecommunications systems’
- Familiarity with email and internet.
- Word processing reports and essays.
- Web designing.
- Desk top publishing and/or photo/drawing packages.
- Spreadsheets for data interpretation and producing graphs.
- Using PowerPoint for presentations.
- Specific programming languages.
- Specialist software packages.
- Work experience (e.g. information systems, database management , programming)
Continuing personal & professional development-
‘Seeking opportunities and learning from experience’
- Professional Development Planning (PDP) file.
- Learning or developing skills outside your degree, e.g. languages or IT.
- Attending a vacation course with a company.
- Developing skills during work experience.
- Reviewing or evaluating an experience and articulating what you learned.
- Writing an account of your work experience placement and discussing your achievements with your tutor.
Skills to boost Social Quotient: -
Social Quotient (SQ) is a measure of social skills, as IQ measures thinking skills. Not all intelligent people are successful but surely all successful people are social. For example a person with a high IQ may have knowledge but may be a failure if he possesses poor social skills which can give a bad impression of him in the public. So social skills like- being passionate, taking the initiative, building rapport, showing your soft side plays an important role for a person to attract others. In short-
‘Marketing Drives Conversation, Conversation Drives Relationships, Relationships Drives Brand Affinity (attraction) and Brand Affinity convert into Revenues.’
Communication – interpersonal
‘Using speech to express ideas, give information, or explanations, in a way that is easily understood by others who are unfamiliar with the topic’
- Work experience e.g. restaurant work, retail, telesales, or fast food assistant.
- Customer relations work e.g. involving listening and understanding needs, explaining, persuading…
- Presentations/ Explaining research to those without specialist knowledge.
- Course or hall representative.
- Being a mentor in schools or your department.
- Group work on degree course or elective (e.g. articulating ideas, group discussions, supporting your position with logic)
‘Interacting and co-operating with a group of people. It involves hands-on working together, as well as processes of organizational planning, decision-making and development’
- Team sports/outdoor pursuits.
- Opting for group project work.
- Work experience (e.g. negotiating with others to achieve an agreed objective, motivating and supporting other team members, improving working relations, resolving disputes by bringing together differing opinions )
- Organizing an event with club/society members.
‘Interacting with others to exchange information and develop useful contacts’
- Speculative approaches for work experience and advice.
- Making and maintaining useful contacts.
- Attending employer events and fairs and asking questions.
- Forming working relationships during work experience.
Adaptability and Flexibility
‘Generating contacts during meetings, trade events or exhibitions.’ Or
‘Changing or modifying behavior in response to the needs, wishes or demands of others’
- Year abroad or independent travel abroad.
- Working part-time whilst studying.
- Taking on different roles and responsibilities.
- Combining study with personal commitments.
- Shift work, working at short notice.
- Becoming an integral part of a company during work experience (e.g. fitting in with team and forming working relationships, accommodating a different set of expectations, following expected conventions)
Skills to boost Emotional Quotient: -
Emotional quotient deals with managing emotions - it is the ability to regulate emotions in both ourselves and in others. Therefore, the emotionally intelligent person can harness emotions, even negative ones, and manage them to achieve intended goals.
For example- "Anyone can become angry—that is easy. But to be angry with the right person, to the right degree, at the right time, for the right purpose, and in the right way—that is not easy.
So EQ skills are as follows-
Self-awareness – It is the ability to read one's emotions and recognize their impact while using gut feelings to guide decisions.
Self-management – It involves controlling one's emotions and impulses and adapting to changing circumstances.
Social awareness – It is the ability to sense, understand, and react to other's emotions while comprehending social networks.
Relationship management –It is the ability to inspire, influence, and deal effectively with others while managing conflicts.
Today internationalization of education has become a reality and it is the quest before the teachers and students to evolve more effective teaching methods and learning methods by introducing radical changes which will make education more challenging. ‘Cut throat competition’ and ‘survival of the fittest’ has created lot of problems for our students to be employed. So the universities should not be just learning places but instead a temple of all-round education where innovation is encouraged in learning. Over all bookish system should be discouraged and research based system should be encouraged. Finally the three magical words that will enhance a student’s life and raise him to greater path of success are Self motivation, Self responsibility and Self formation to meet the global demands.