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Roshan Jariwala

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What skills should future graduates possess ?

Revolutionizing higher education system, changing the paradigm, graduate skills gap, no doubt uber minds of this world are in Financial sector and responsible for GFC - moralizing, multiculturalism, technology, sustainability, et cetera, these are some of the hot topics. So how about we ask the same question that was asked in 19th Century during which the schooling system was build: What skills should future graduates posses as a responsible citizen and also as a drivers of the economy ? Answering this question might help us design the next generation of education system, what do you think ?

Topics: education

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    Sep 16 2011: Let me share my current experience, I am studying in Australia at a very well reputed university. As a part of my curriculum I am working with one of the BIG4 accounting firm on business innovation. Students are divided into groups and are allocated mentors from that company to provide you feedback.

    What surprises me, my colleagues are not driven by passion but they are still "manipulating" things to score marks. They are designing the "innovative" project based on the criteria that we will be marked upon and not on making project work as a whole. Issue that arises is, even though you might get "good" score on the written report but you would have certainly left some of the black-holes/black-boxes unanswered because these would be areas that might not have been covered by the marking criteria but are very important for the project that you are working on. They don't understand that in the interim reports they may get good marks but you will fail once you would be required to present the final project in front of the directors because they are certainly smart enough to figure out what is wrong with the project.

    Bottom line: Graduates are not driven by passion but by marks (they should certainly see the movie 'Paper Chase'). I know passion is not a skill but a very valuable quality that a graduate should posses.
    • Sep 16 2011: A good movie I would definitely recommend is "3 Idiots" , an Indian comedy film because it really sounds like what you're talking about .
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      Sep 16 2011: You have just provided a very good description of what Edward de Bono calls "ludecy" - the ability to play by the rules of the system for maximum personal gain.

      In his book, Out of The Crisis, W. Edwards Deming quotes Dr Yoshi Tsurumi:

      "Part of America’s industrial problems is the aims of its corporate managers. Most American executives think they are in the business to make money, rather than products or service. … The Japanese corporate credo on the other hand, is that the company should become the world’s most effeicient provider of whatever product and service it offers. Once it becomes the world leader and continues to offer good products, profits follow."

      Substitute the words "Australia" for "America," "marks" for "money" and "students" for "managers" and I think the sentiment fits.
      • Sep 16 2011: That is so true. However, from the way I see things, with so much choice available employers have to be as empirical as possible. What are you going to say in an interview-" I want the job because I am passionate about it"? Sure, anyone can say that.

        That is the problem: there is no way to measure passion without ticking boxes which will then be discovered by the applicants and then the game is back on.

        Hence my opinion stated lower down.
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      Sep 16 2011: Is it passion or is it freedom - should you be judged on an outcome, or on the process or on your abilty to prodece and outcome and develop a process. Maybe Freedom is the key that unlocks innovation, that and necessity ?

      If Necessity is the mother of invention, innovation is her Child from the second Marraige...

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