Resume Readiness for Job 2025 | Lessons for Curriculum and Pedagogy

The management of workplaces is likely to undergo profound changes due to compounding effect of technological transformation preceded by the turn of event such as COVID 19. This will necessitate ‘resume-readiness’ for our students to cater to the changing requirements. Academic fraternity must gain a few insights from this perceived ‘resume-readiness’ and incorporate changes in curriculum and pedagogy, before it gets too late.

One of my friend, a professor teaching in a reputed university, emphatically shared that the job of the academic institution is to impart domain knowledge and employability is students’ problem! On a different note, I had the opportunity to converse with another friend who runs ‘an empire’ of coaching institute, primarily into teaching and training graduates for various competitive exams (government and private), and also preparing students for admissions in reputed institutions. He said, “Academic institutions are providing degree, but the job of teaching and skill building is done by us. This is why you see students are paying so much for studying with us, however when it comes to paying to academic institutions they want it for free.” 

Reports brought out by the World Economic Forum on future of jobs, employability and skill (2020, 2022) keep on indicating towards the cost meted out to parents and students entering higher education. The cost is generated and thrusted upon parents and students due to inability of the higher education to change curriculum and teaching pedagogy in accordance with the fast changing requirements of market, government and society. Higher education positioned as ‘degree granting institutions’ failed to focus on livelihood aspect and it amounted to a ‘lost generation’ (WEF Future of Jobs 2020). This gave rise to huge ‘employability gap’ among graduates, which forced many to incur additional cost on acquiring ‘relevant’, ‘contemporary’ and ‘employable’ knowledge and skill. As if the role of higher education is just to keep on imparting domain knowledge, as it has been doing from last 200 years or so.

Select trends by 2025

According to various reports, some of the trends likely to stay central to managing world of work, more so in next 3 years, are as follows:

  • Companies will invest heavily in Health, Hygiene and Safety.
  • Companies will continue striving to increase diversity, equity and inclusion.
  • People are looking for alternate ways to communicate, and virtual reality is good fit.
  • Organization will re-examine how they impact the environment.
  • The top skills and skill groups which employers see as rising in prominence in the lead up to 2025 include groups such as critical thinking and analysis as well as problem-solving, and skills in self-management such as active learning, resilience, stress tolerance and flexibility.

Resume Readiness for Job 2025

Evidence of being an Active Leaner & Problem Solver:

Active learners are engaged learners. Students who approach learning with sense of purpose, exploration and co-creation would in all probability would have a better problem solving approach. Students’ ability to do pre, post work, and flair for details enhance competencies much respected and demanded by the world of work. 

Decent academic records and achievements:

Academic records and achievements are highly respected by the world of work. However, the academic success records need to correlate with the knowledge demonstrated by the students. In a rote-learning environment, it is highly unlikely that the academic degree would reflect the actual competencies and knowledge. This is where students have to incur additional cost to build knowledge and competencies from open market. Looks like that the problem of employability lies in ‘learning failure’.

High quality internship and hands-on learning:

Internship is a good way to acquire practical knowledge. It brings relevance to classroom, enables students to relate learning with the real world. The avenues of internship in post COVID world has expanded in its scope and it is available in both online and offline mode.

Record of high impact participation in internal and external events:

Event participation is a wonderful way of indirect learning. The resume of students at the end of the day must provide evidence of active participation in academic and non-academic events. This reflects leadership quality, agility and more importantly learning-by-doing.  

Imprints of learning in National, International environment:

Exposure to international learning environment is priceless. Students who prefer to join exchange program, study visits etc. are able to develop inclusive worldview. Sharing of experiences of learning in international environment would count much in the world of work. Institutions where students move out and visit places, industry, top institutions goes on to make a lot of difference on their outlook and hence employability.  

Evidence of acceptability and understanding of Diversity, Inclusion, Gender and Sustainability:

In a highly globalized world, graduates have to be ready to work in a multi-lingual, multi-cultural and multi-ethnic workplace. It is important that institutions adopt diversity and inclusion as important competency goals. Orienting towards fairness and equity, towards gender and sustainability issues are of great significance.

Records of Micro-credits earned:

Micro-credits can be earned joining online courses and learning modules. These micro-credits are valuable in filling in the essential employability gap. These self-paced learning modules demonstrate learning aptitude of graduates.

Evidence of impact making and creative pursuits:

The learners of today and tomorrow would make more sense when they become the change agent and be instrumental in solving problems faced by the society. Working with NGOs, taking up some social cause, championing an idea, create strong advocacy and so on are some of the examples of impact making. Gaining knowledge and skill is input. Knowledge and skill making student employable and a worthy graduate, is an output. However, such graduates going out there and becoming a change maker and problem solver is an outcome. 

Consideration for Curriculum & Pedagogy

We have long prepared students for work by teaching them the fundamentals of subject area and the particulars of their specialization areas. Nevertheless, the future of work will also require the 21st-century competencies of critical thinking, agility, and resilience. We must help students master the transferrable skills they will be able to use in any setting, while also giving them the tools to understand a world that is in constant flux.

Among other things, we will have to add new courses on suitable topics. At the same time, we will need to change our students’ mental “software”the way they think about, interact with the world, and make them active learner.

Academic fraternity can no longer restrict their teaching to the current state of theories. Instead, we must develop stronger connections with policymakers, work more closely with think tanks, and move from merely referring to textbooks to align with new thought processes and people.

Unfortunately, teaching methods have not seen as much changes as it needs to catch up with the changing time. Comparing with the west, Indian teaching method is still heavily loaded towards system of lecturing. Lecture method of teaching is bristled with difficulties and it makes students a passive learner rather than creating a pool of active learner. It is based more on what a teacher knows rather than what the students know or want to know. Methods such as co-creation, independent studies, project based learning, collaborative learning etc. still do not figure as much as it should have been. Pedagogy is a matter of serious concern and it needs to change faster than the curriculum itself.

Preparing students to face the challenges of the future workplace and be ready to embrace the change, would require subtle changes in curriculum and pedagogy. Institutions, which fail to learn the lessons for change, would for sure fail to make any mark.

Comparison of Teaching Pedagogy in India with USA (Based on various sources & experiences)

Author: Dr Prabhat Pankaj

Dr. Prabhat Pankaj is a postgraduate in Economics and a Ph.D. in applied economics. He is a teacher by choice and started his career 30 years ago in 1991 from Arunachal University. He has been teaching Economics at postgraduate and undergraduate levels for about 30 years, in Universities and B-Schools in India and abroad, including 7 years in Bhutan. Dr. Pankaj has also obtained his Executive Education in "Management and Leadership in Higher Education" at Harvard University, Boston, USA. Furthermore, He has written for the Times of India and other popular publications. Currently, he is serving as the Director of Jaipuria Institute of Management, Jaipur.

23 thoughts

  1. the essence of this article lies in part about ‘Comparison of Teaching Pedagogy in India with USA (Based on various sources & experiences’).
    Both teachers and students are comfortable with this method as it requires minimal interaction between them. It also leads to almost absence of thought provoking questions that may emerge from other methods of learning.
    Unless this changes significantly, the 2025 milestone will actually get pushed further.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. In this deeply insightful as well as explosive article, Dr. Pankaj holds a mirror to the past and presents an evolving landscape as it relates to the complex world of higher education that is coming under the ever-growing domination of smart technology.

    How to prepare young men and with the right combination of personal values and professional competence is a challenge that institutions of higher education are called upon to grapple with.

    Altogether a powerful message for all involved!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Indeed thought provoking…industry will keep on struggling to make campus passouts corporate fit unless these are gradually worked upon and implemented.

    Like

  4. Very insightful and well expressed article Sir explaining the Gen to how to stand from the crowd through crafting our resume in a distinctive way . Thank you for the step-to-step descriptive guide.

    Like

  5. I have gone through your blog ‘Lessons for Curriculum and Pedagogy’ with deep interest, as the issue is very important for creating an enabling ecosystem and linkages between academic qualifications and the follow up employability. As indicated in your blog, the gap between the two (academic education and the follow up employability) continues to remain a serious challenge both for students and the academic institutions. This gap not only hampers professional prospects of graduates, but also adversely affects the whole of the education ecosystem and its economic viability.

    In view of profound changes that have occurred due to technological transformation over the last two decades, it is necessary for the academic institutions to bring in necessary changes in both curriculum and pedagogy to equip and prepare students to deal with real time challenges of the job market.

    To bridge this gap, as rightly indicated in your blog, there is need for imparting teachings embedded with critical thinking, agility, and resilience. It is equally important for academic institutions to teach and train students the basics of ‘why organisations seek to need/hire fresh graduates possessing a given academic qualification/or professional service provider’. Integrating this in the curriculum, along with real time examples on how to meet job requirements could be useful.

    Thank you so much for sharing this insightful blog.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Suresh ji for your elaborate comment and also endorsing the view that pedagogy needs to undergo profound changes, The ‘why’ question in your last para is extremely important.

      Like

  6. I feel that this article is very relevant in the current scenario where students are at the cusp of understanding the post Covid changes and the new education policy implementation. This article points out some key elements that needs to be understood by most of the teaching fraternity specially higher education because at school level pedagogical changes are already advancing and coping with the changing scenario whereas higher education is still is in the infancy stage making the changes. Therefore I think article is one pf the most relevant work for the academic fraternity to understand and implement.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Thank you for sharing this multi-faceted perspective, Dr Pankaj. Members of the academic community are in a privileged place because you shape perspectives and mindset’s, which in turn shape people’s lives. I would reiterate two thoughts:
    A. Academics and employability are two sides of the same coin … and potentially the bridge between the two is a focus on application. What could be considered is a partnership between members of the academic community and industry practitioners to ensure a healthy balance is constantly created. Employability is an outcome and that outcome is as much about the individual as it is about the opportunities created for them
    B. I truly feel that some of the more traditional lens that CVs are created with need to be relooked at. Highlighting agility, collaboration, citizenship behaviours and other such aspects will go a long way in helping students think differently and develop themselves to be purposeful and authentic

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Bhavna ji for your wonderful observation and comments. I fully agree with your two points. Indeed academics sans employability would not serve great good, especially in view of the rising youth population and question of livelihood quest. In the same breadth, there is a need to focus on aspirational generation and provide them with platform, guidance and opportunity to do well in life and career. Thank you so much for your comments.

      Like

  8. Good read. Need of the hour. Very nicely explained the pedagogical difference in India and US. Time to shift the learning focus from classroom towards field of work.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dr. Pankaj my sincere appreciation for your quest for academic contributions in general and the present one in particular. With your wide academic exposure, you are able to identify the gaps in our education system very correctly. To add to your blog i can say, as all of us know, our education system tests mostly the memory power of our students but memory is the least attribute of the purpose of education, more so in today’s world where we get every bit of information readily from internet. One need not memorize anything. From my teaching experience abroad, i have taught in western universities where questions were given to students a few days before the exam and the students were allowed use books and internet at the time of examination yet the the students found the examination tough. Can our teachers set an examination like that? In some universities the project was the industry’s real problems. So long as we don’t make sincere attempts to address these challenges, our education system will remain rotten!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Dr. Prabhat-ji:

    Just returned from trip and jumped right on to this beautiful article- fit for the time.
    I agree on listed select trends. However, I would add on to that list: Leadership, Communication and Self confidence. Good emphasis on evidence of being an Active Leaner & Problem Solver. Learning is in all opportunities. Car salesman/Hotel Concierge/Airport Book store job are huge in learning. But their titles miss the glamor.
    I simply love this attempt in raising need to skill up students in what industry needs today besides the subject expertise.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. A very insightful and futuristic article, sir. A lot of takeaways for institutions and faculty members aiming for implementing Assurance of Learning (AOL) and Outcome Based Education (OBE) in their courses.

    Liked by 1 person

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