Why you should get excited about the multidisciplinary approach mandated by NEP?

Many jobs that require multidisciplinary skills—including hard and soft skills—can get better ready workforce, once the new policy is implemented. Enterprise IT will be just one of the many beneficiaries of the new education regime.

Why you should get excited about the multidisciplinary approach mandated by NEP? - CIO&Leader

The United States and Great Britain are two countries separated by a common language; George Bernard Shaw is believed to have quipped about the wide variance in English as spoken and written in America and in Britain.

As a journalist who has covered the Indian IT and business services industry for long before writing now on enterprise IT area—both informally referred to as the tech community—I can well relate to the Shavian wit. The difference in this case is that the commonality is not the language, but what the term ‘tech’ means to these two communities, especially when looking for skills in people that they employ and manage.

In technology industry, when they talk of skills, they talk of Javascript, C++, Python, R, Kubernets, Docker, Jenkins…The better you are in these ‘skills’, the better is the employability. For a great Python guy, even if he is unable to communicate, it is not a great disadvantage. There is a very specific task he needs to do. And if he can do that, other things do not matter.

Enterprise IT—especially as it stands today—is very, very different. The as-it-stands-today part is not ornamental. If you look at the genesis of the role of enterprise IT managers, it started exactly the same way. An IT department in a large company also needed specific technical skills—and only those skills—at one point of time. There was no other way known to people.

That is the reason why we consistently heard a complain. The IT folks talk in a language, the business guys do not understand. And of course, vice versa. It is only recently that it is changing.

Why?

We have discussed that all too often here. Now, IT is used to solve business problems, not just automate existing processes to speed them up. An IT manager today does not just have to understand the language of business—and business itself—but also is supposed to achieve a lot of things within the company that K8 or Docker skills cannot help in achieving. Understanding user needs—from an organizational business point of view and the individual end-user point of view—translating business problems to technology problems and solve them, managing multiple resources to get the job done (like outsourcing), and even evangelizing technology and security practices are all key expectations from an IT manager. To achieve these, even a junior middle-level IT manager requires a variety of skills, including management skills and communication skills.

Today’s IT manager, in short, is a more well-rounded balanced business manager, with multitude of skills.

And where do they come from?

India has some world-class technology institutes who produce great techies. India has fairly good B-schools who produce good managers. Most techies, when they go for management education, say goodbye to tech. A few others—the numbers are very few—get absorbed by the likes of Amazon, Google and McKinsey.

The tech-savvy smart executive—who is needed for managing enterprise IT—that is ever becoming more and more integrated to business strategy, is hard to find.

That is why all the stakeholders in this space—the business leaders looking to hire able IT executives as well as the CIOs and CISOs grappling with finding the right talent—should welcome the mandate that the New Education Policy cleared by the Cabinet on Wednesday has to impart multidisciplinary education to students at all levels.

If this comes through, one can study Computer Science and Psychology together; or Physics and Music, for that manner.

This is not whims and fancies of a few policymakers and advisors. It is derived from an acute need.

Articulates the policy, “The future workplace will demand critical thinking, communication, problem solving, creativity, and multidisciplinary capability.”

“There will be a great need to focus on multidisciplinary and 21st century competencies for future work roles.” it adds.

“By focusing on such broad-based, flexible, individualized, innovative, and multidisciplinary learning, higher education must aim to prepare its students not just for their first jobs - but also for their second, third, and all future jobs over their lifetimes. In particular, the higher education system must aim to form the hub for the next industrial revolution,” it says.

That is the vision of the new policy.

In short, many jobs that require multidisciplinary skills—including hard and soft skills—can get better ready workforce, once the new policy is implemented.

Enterprise IT will be just one of the many beneficiaries of the new education regime.


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