The Indian education system is undergoing a change. Fifty percent of the total population is under the age of 25 years who have developed an immense appetite for quality education. A study by Ernst & Young reveals that by 2020, India needs 40 million university places an increase of 14 million from 2010 and 500 million skilled workers. Following China, India is set to be the second largest graduate talent pipeline globally ahead of the USA.
The new government too has strategies in place to support this demand through initiatives like introducing new IITs, re-structuring of the higher education, providing quality driven and industry specific courses.
Degrees and credentials are important, but the development of industry-ready skills such as decision making, planning, industry awareness along with soft skills are a crucial part of fostering a dynamic workforce and are always in high demand. The findings of a report by Ernst & Young for FICCI reveals that the skills gap is staggering across disciplines due to which they are deemed unemployable.
Progressive schools recognize the profound changes taking place in India and the opportunities they present. Educators are not only introducing programs to address the needs of today s students and professionals; they are looking for innovative ways to integrate project management into the fabric of organizations.
According to a report by auditing and consulting firm KPMG and the Project Management Institute (PMI) the dearth of skilled project managers has the greatest influence on project delivery. The Anderson Economic Group s study Estimating Project Management Practitioner Skills Gap, 2010-2020 also states that India is projected to need almost 4,00,000 new project professionals in project-oriented industries every year up to 2020. On the contrary, only a handful of institutions currently offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs are focused on project management. Emphasis on the same can not only help these institutions attract students but also help in enhancing the institutions reputation and credibility.
The PMI India's Academic Advisory Group consists of members that are academicians from reputed colleges across the country and also senior practitioners from the Industry. The group suggests that in India, different stake holders like academicians, industrialists, organizations and government bodies need to collectively chalk a project to create intellectual wealth. A project of such importance needs not only planning but incessant passion. The group emphasizes that the project needs to encompass key points like,
1. National Corpus to fund higher education initiatives
To create a national corpus to fund higher education initiatives we cannot depend on Government alone. In order for this move to be fruitful, an independent body of academicians and industrialists needs to be formed.
2. Long Term Goal
Long term plans need to be created which will create technological universities facilitating a better future for the country.
Focus of the plan cannot shift as the real intent of the project is watered down. This is in fact happening today with several opposition groups in different directions.
Creating a seamless plan for integration of education from stage one to the last stage of education should be the priority in the next 20 years. This can be decided on the need for employability and population demography.
A special team who will take care of 'implementation' of the project at various stages would act as a growth driver towards achieving the ultimatum.
To tackle the ever widening demand supply gap of project managers, PMI has collaborated with premier education institutes to promote skill development and encourage industry academia interaction.
PMI has tie-ups and working relationships with renowned institutes like S.P. Jain Institute of Management & Research, XLRI, NITIE, Symbiosis International University, Karunya University, NICMAR, University Of Petroleum & Energy Studies, L&T Institute of Project Management, Pandit Dindayal Petroleum University and Amity University to encourage more students to take up project management as a profession. The aim of such an association is to provide students with an opportunity to interact with industry experts on a regular basis and help the institution to develop industry ready talent.
As more organizations seek out highly skilled project professionals, educational institutions with a reputation for quality project management curricula will have a distinct competitive edge. Not only can a focus on project management help colleges attract students across a wide array of areas of study, it can also enhance the school's reputation, and help build ties to the corporate, government and not-for-profit worlds.