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B-Schools Need To Build Employability Rather Than Being Employment Exchanges

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As the new academic year starts, we see advertisements of business and management schools all around, and what they all have in common is the promise of 100 per cent placement support along with the names of legacy recruiters, among others.

While it is understandable that the world of advertising is such that they want to touch upon the key points only, given the paucity of time, but consistent showcase of this kind of advertisements from B-schools have put placements on a higher pedestal in comparison to academics.

Moreover, while such advertisements do not look harmful on the surface, it does leave a significant impact on shaping the mindset of the students. Let’s take a quick look at how that works:

  • The attention given by the students to academics is completely moderated by the direct impact on getting high-paying jobs rather than up-skilling or improving their capabilities.
  • Students and even professionals now see B-schools as placement agencies rather than a place to learn. Whenever a student is confused about their career direction or a professional is unhappy with their earnings, they seek out admission in B-schools in the hopes of improving their potential to earn.
  • The B-school environment has become such that if we talk about building a successful career, prominence is given to money and/or how big a salary package a candidate is able to get rather than knowledge, ethics, hard work and social responsibilities.

B-schools are supposed to be stimulants that bring positive change not only in one’s career but also the society and the global economy. However, the current perception of what B-schools are and what they are meant to be needs to change. There is a pressing need that B-schools once again become the up-skilling learning centres and centres of excellence rather than placement hubs.

In order to achieve this goal of re-shaping the perception and mindsets of students, business and management institutes need to re-establish the education system that nurtures potential students and cultivates their curiosity to learn and improve skills, ignites analytical thinking capabilities, and prepares students to face as well as solve real-life challenges through what they learn in the classroom.

Here are some best practices for B-schools to follow in order to correct their perception of being placement hubs and be known as the centres of learning as they should be:

  • B-schools need to adopt a holistic approach in designing the curriculum where the MBA programme allows the students to witness the industry in real time. For this, the institutes need to work in collaboration with business organizations and reconstruct course curriculums that are relevant to particular industries and extend support in yielding project-based internship opportunities.
  • The course curriculum should be reviewed regularly and updated based on the trends in the industry.
  • The B-schools need to inculcate the idea of continual learning in students’ mind; they need to help students understand that management education is something that they will need to keep learning and re-learning to up-skill and stay relevant as their career progresses.
  • Most importantly, if business schools are able to show the connect between concepts and employability then it will align better to what exactly they need. Therefore, there is a need to focus on employability rather than employment alone

Moreover, several studies have shown that a better academic environment leads to superior placement opportunities and higher salary packages.

Thus, adopting this approach where B-schools focus on providing improved learning and up-skilling opportunities, the focus can be shifted from quantity of admissions to quality of admissions. And, consequently, when students bloom under the right academic guidance and absorb the right qualities required for building employability, good placement opportunities will automatically follow; thereby, making it a win-win situation for all, be it B-schools, corporates or students.

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