Thursday, February 22, 2018

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Vocational — the way to go

Vocational — the way to go

21 Feb 2018 | 12:45 AM

A 16-year-old student in Switzerland is choosing his career path immediately after three mandatory years in lower secondary school.

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S.S Pabla

A 16-year-old student in Switzerland is choosing his career path immediately after three mandatory years in lower secondary school. Later moving on to upper secondary level, he has the choice of going to Vocational Education and Training (VET) or to pre-university courses. Two-thirds of them take the path of vocational training in a skill of their choice and get into industrial jobs based on this training. They can rise to top jobs in the industry with this VET background.

In India, on the other hand, majority of the students prefer to go to universities for formal education degrees. Since they come out of the universities with degrees which have provided them with only theoretical knowledge and no or very little hands-on training in any particular skill, they are not industry ready.  The resume reflects master’s degree but the student remains unemployed because of ‘skill gap’. A great chunk of Indian youth remains unemployed after graduation and master’s because they are not job-ready. On the other side it is estimated that India will need about 70 crore skilled workers by 2022 to meet the demand of the Indian economy.

Even after graduating from commerce, arts and science streams, students  struggle to go for higher education or for master’s degree which again does not ensure 100 per cent placement.  

Although, Government of India is trying hard to generate employment, it is equally important for students to fill the skill gap in the country. It will be better for the students to look for education in skills if they are keen to navigate careers at an early age through apprenticeship or on-job training, because there is no shortcut to acquiring the skills.  

Here are the top five Bachelor of Vocational (B. Voc) courses for Plus II students, which can give direction to their careers: 

Institute watch

1. Bhartiya Skill Development University, Jaipur, works on the Swiss Dual System of Skills Education with the concept of one student on one machine. This is the only university in the country offering purely skill courses starting from Certificate, Diploma, Advanced Diploma, Bachelor of Vocation, Master of Vocation and Ph.D in different skill areas. 

2. Rajasthan ILD Skills University Jaipur is another university which is likely to offer only skills programs.

3. There are six more skills universities in the country that offer skill programmes alongwith formal courses like BTech, BBA, etc. 

(a) Team Lease Skills University Ahmedabad.

(b) Symbiosis Skill and Open University Pune.

(c) Haryana Vishwakarma Skill University Gurgaon.

(d) Seacom Skills University Calcutta.

(e) Centurion University Bhubaneswar.

UGC has allowed all regular universities to offer BVoc and MVoc programmes. 


Skills to acquire: The BVoc programme generally aims at equipping students with sound technical knowledge and practical skills of electrical engineering. Vocational modules include Engineering Science, Electrical Theory, Electrical Installation, Motors and Transformer, Single Phase & 3 Phase Circuit, Electrical Control Circuit, Programmable Logic Controller Programming etc.

Under this skill learning, students learn basics and global standards’solutions being used in various industries. Students will look for highly interactive and application-based courses that teach troubleshooting of all types of electrical circuits and equipment from basic to advanced concepts. 

Opportunities: BVoc in electrical skills enables students to be employed as office maintenance electrician, electrical installation electrician, electrical services fitter and supervisor. They may also join MVoc programme.


Skills to acquire: All the skills involved in the manufacturing processes like machining, turning, milling, grinding, hand skills, assembly, pneumatics, programming and operation of CNC machines, etc. Students skilled in Polymechanic can produce and install parts for production machinery and equipment. The profession requires skills in logic and automation control and the related basic electrical and circuitry work.

Manufacturing skills require maximum exposure to illustrated training and a rich manufacturing environment. Students, who have a passion for machines, should opt for the BVoc in Polymechanic. A wide range of technical skills including the elements from electrical installation, mechanical engineering, hydraulics and pneumatics as well as mechanical and maintenance fitting, are required to excel in this profession. 

Opportunities: Degree holders in this field are trained in multiple manufacturing skills and are capable of working hands on all machines in the industry and are capable of shouldering responsibilities as supervisors and managers as they grow in the industry. They get hired by a large range of industrial sectors and production plants as technicians, practitioners and supervisors, depending on their work experience and the needs of the concerned industry. 


Skills to acquire: BVoc in carpentry prepares a student to high level of competence in carpentry, cabinet making, interior woodwork and design and manufacture of furniture. Besides learning to work on woodworking tools and materials, the students also acquire skills of constructing and fixing hatch lining, fixing architraves and skirting, fitting locks and latches, fitting and designing false ceilings, carving doors and windows and fitting them, etc.

Opportunities: With the lifestyle change, the demand of modern furnishing is increasing nationally and globally. Not only will the BVoc degree holders  have ample opportunities as supervisors and managers in woodworking industry, but they will also have the option to start own business since e-commerce has created a large market space for the innovative furnishing products. Another opportunity is working with manufacturing with furnishing brands which are into bulk production of wooden furnishings.


Skills to acquire: Under the BVoc in Automotive Skills, students learn all the major elements of automobiles such as mechanical, electrical, electronic, software and safety engineering as applied to the design of the automotive products, manufacturing and operation of motorcycles, automobiles and trucks and their respective subsystems. The advanced version of such courses are learning the engines and modifying the vehicles. Repair and maintenance of all types of automobiles are covered in detail.

Opportunities: Working in an automotive workshop or starting own auto workshop are the two most attractive options for holders of degree of Automotive BVoc degree. Work opportunities are also there in manufacturing plants of various automotive companies as machine operators, supervisors and managers. The BVoc degree holders can also pursue opportunities in auto manufacturing sector, auto ancillary sector.  

IT and Networking Hardware 

Skills to acquire: Students can acquire training in the field of information storing, processing and communication, using computers under BVoc in IT and Networking Skills. Networking is the construction, design and use of a networks, including the hardware (cabling, hub, bridge, switch, router, and so forth), the selection and use of telecommunication protocols and software, for use and management of the network and the establishment of operation policies.    

A network architect has to have skills to work with a company’s computer network, using information technology, to make network systems for all employees to use. These networks can include local area networks (LANs), wide area networks (WANs), intranets and extranets.

Opportunities: Skills in these areas are very important today, looking at the upward trend in digitisation, IT, smart cities and industrial automation. Student can pursue opportunities as Network Specialist or Network Service Technician, Network Administrator, Network Engineer, Network Analyst / Programmer, Network Manager and Network Solution Architect who all works to either operate or manage or create the network solutions as per the organisation requirement.

— The writer is President of Bhartiya Skill Development University, Jaipur

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