We have not seen evolution as evident as the one in process now. It is almost as if Moore’s law has taken a hold of human thought. The differences in ideologies of generations are obvious, and people are not shying away from expressing their differences. Much in fact has been written about one particular lot a.k.a. millennials, and how they’re unique. Growing up without telephones, televisions, computers, landlines and cellular phones, the sudden advent of smartphones and technology practically taking over everybody’s lives has been a change too rapid to fathom completely as yet, though Gen Y seems to have adapted hand-in-glove. It is therefore obvious that millennials are of an entirely independent and non-traditional thought process. This manifests into a hugely popular concept on the rise – the gig-economy. Millennials have been labelled the ‘real entrepreneur generation’. A recent study by McKinsey has estimated that up to 20-30% of the workforce in developed markets is engaged in independent work. There is no reason to believe why developing markets such as India would be any different in a truly global world economy.
Unsurprisingly though, it is not just entrepreneurs who want to go independent. Even among the salaried and working class, do-it-yourself education is a concept that is becoming increasingly popular. The market is of course catching up, with a million ways to self-educate, such as online portals, mobile apps, self-study communities, the trend of global education coming in etc. Fewer people prefer opting for a full academic break in between work has led to a huge demand for short and long-term executive or part time courses.
The question though, is why? What is it that appeals to millennials about DIY and part time education?
Adaptability for the ever-dynamic job market
Every time a new job role is created in the market, it is not pragmatic to take a break from one’s career and pursue a two or a three year-course. The rate at which the job market is evolving, upskilling is the only way to keep up. The idea is to be more adaptable, independent and to think like an entrepreneur. Personalised learning is always more beneficial because one really knows what one wants to study and what would actually help their professional growth and development. More often than not, we end up choosing a completely different career than one we took up subjects relevant for, in school / college. In such a scenario, it only makes sense to self-educate as one grows both in age and one’s career. After all, who could’ve guessed and prepared for job titles such as social media influencer, or data analytics expert?
A DIY course is any day more engaging than run-of-the-mill courses. From using e-learning platforms in classes, to project and case-study based interactive learning, engagement is an integral part of self-education. Even the traditional educational institutions such as IIMs and IITs in association with Times Group’s The Second Wind (TSW) are offering new and advanced part time learning courses to suit the need of working professionals. With special focus on integrating global education, institutes are also bringing international academia to India to teach globally certified courses. This is something that is attracting working professionals even more, since the allure and benefits of international education remain unparalleled in India even today.
Mobile lifestyle friendly
The speed at which one is on the move today does not allow for any interruptions, and a two-year work-break or a study sabbatical is dubbed as an interruption. Millennials want to reach the VP / CXO levels by the time they’re 30-35. Mark Zuckerberg was a billionaire / CEO by the time he was 23, and he has been an inspiration for many among his generation. In such a scenario, if one sees the need to and wants to upskill, they would want to do it on-the-go. Weekend classes, mobile courses, online platforms, self-learning apps are a few methods that suit a mobile lifestyle, and are therefore, rapidly gaining popularity among on-the-move generation.
Meeting new people, making new connections
The biggest advantage of executive or part time education is the opportunity one gets to meet and connect with people from all walks of life. With course duration ranging anywhere between three months to two years, these courses enable one to interact with professionals from varied sectors, thereby not only helping the person self-educate, but also expand their horizons and learn new perspectives. For example, a technology graduate, working as an engineer in a firm pursuing a certificate course in management will have much to learn from a management graduate working as a marketing manager in a firm pursuing the same certificate course, and vice versa. As someone great once said, “We can learn more from people than we can from books”.
Why then would one launch into such a spiel on self-educating?
Because if you’re a manager, then you need to help your team educate to execute, and if you’re a team member, then well… learning for tomorrow, just might pay for higher rent today. The options today are, after all several. IIM Kozhikode has associated with TSW, in order to bring the Executive Post Graduate Programs to the Indian working populace. Under the aegis of The Second Wind, Times Group brings to today’s salaried individual an opportunity to learn several aspects such as speed of execution, how to thrive in an innovation-driven culture and how to further one’s career goals with learnings that were not available when one started out.
Your next promotion may therefore be a minute, and not a mile, away, but for you to be able to grasp it with both hands, you need to have prepared for the best, at the best, with the best, so that you can stay on top of things, as the grass below your feet grows and things around you change. Faster than ever before.