The Business Studies Department, thru the collaborative efforts of Curriculum Review and Development Committee chaired by Dr. Myrna M. Barnachea, Dept. QA Coordinator-Dr. Srinivas Prasad, College Industrial Link Committee Representative-Mr. Hatem Suwailam, and Dept. OJT Coordinator-Dr. Amit Sharma, organized a Curriculum Review meeting-cum-interactive session with invited industry experts on 30th May, 2017 at Career Guidance Center of the College attended by the Dept. Council and academic Staff. This session is aimed to bridge the gap between academics and industry and equip our graduates with various skills required to meet the needs and demands of the industry by revising our curriculum based on the industry feedback.
At the outset, Dr. Alya Al Nasseri, Head of Business Studies Department, welcomed the distinguished industry experts and the staff for the interactive session and emphasized the importance of industry feedback in curriculum review process as it enables the Department to make the necessary changes to improve the quality of programs as per the industry requirements/standards. Further, she expressed that this session would help the Department to obtain first-hand information on Industry expectations from the graduates relating to various career opportunities and identify the skills that the graduates need to improve. Thereafter, presentations on College Graduate Attributes, Specialization programs and Industry Feedback questionnaires were made by Dept. QA Coordinator, Head of Sections and CRDC Chairperson respectively.
Five (5) industry experts from different companies attended this Curriculum Review meeting and shared their insights and expectations from the fresh graduates in terms of skills and attributes; then actively participated in the discussion of the interactive session. Here’s to highlight few excerpts of their insights and expectations:
“How do you measure the success of students in terms of graduate attribute attainment? Employability of graduates is an indicator of success. If more graduates remain unemployed, it indicates that some improvement in the quality of graduates is required. Computer skills are vital now. Academic institutions should take care of imparting these skills.” - Mr Mohammed Al Mashini, General Manager-Corporate Affrairs of Salalah Port.
“During the last 20 years of my recruiting experience in Oman, I have witnessed more improvement in the skills of Omani youngsters. Thanks to the contribution of educational institutions. But, the expectations of youngsters are very high. They should be balanced and learn to appreciate working in teams. Teachers should play a role in enhancing this attribute of students. Personality development is more important for the success of students. There is a gap in performance appraisal of the students. It must be enhanced to international standards.” - Mr. Ashwani Jhamb, Board Secretary of Salalah Port.
“How do you measure whether the entire curriculum is covered? Knowledge is transferred to the students and they demonstrate their skills in their job in industry. 85% of job promotions are based on employees’ attitude and only 15% are based on facts, figures and employees’ intelligence. Educational institution has to work on changing the students’ attitude and build them to take responsibility and be committed. We should enhance their communication skills, level of commitment, leadership ability and willingness to take responsibility. With right attitude, the graduates will be hot cakes not only in Dhofar Region but also in entire Oman and even outside Oman.” – Mr. Cyril Samuel, Principal Consultant, Al Mustaqil Management Consultancy.
“Every field will be automated in future. We are looking for students who understand and work in such automated system. Information technology makes jobs very easy. Hence, focus is required on improving IT skills and Communication skills.” - Mr. Shirish Jawalkar, HR Officer of Dhofar Cattle Feed.
“There is a gap in the expectation of the graduates and the reality in terms of job compensation and benefits. Most of the time 90% of knowledge gained in academic institutions is not used in the work place. Hence, academic institutions should give due importance for imparting soft skills, negotiation skills and time management skills to the students. Further, the art of understanding reports, like financial statements, is more important in the current situation than the science of preparing them.” – Mr. Sanjeev Singh, Head of Salalah Unit Wholesale Banking, Bank Dhofar.
At the end of the session, Dr. Alya Al Nasseri, HoD-Business, presented vote of thanks and especially thanked the guests from industry for devoting their precious time and sharing their thoughts, feedback and expectations from the fresh graduates. And the program was concluded by honoring the guests with plaque of appreciation by Dr. Alya.