Why is a new Professional, still Unprofessional?

Some Hard Hitting Facts
Different international studies have found that companies end up investing huge monies on development of soft skills. Analyst firms, such as Bersin & Associates, have found similar results showing that organizations tend to spend at least 20-25% of their training budgets on soft skills initiatives. India too has seen similar tendencies with only around 10% of students found to be employable - 2013 study by Assocham (Associated Chambers of Commerce and Industry of India) & 2012 study by Aspiring Minds.
It is time for all education institutes, to sit up and ask why the modern day professional is ill-equipped when it comes to the most basic of the skills. Communication is something we start practicing even as kids; inter-personal skills are a must for all the games we played as children. Then why do most of our professionals lack even in such basic areas? The question the is: Why is he still not professional enough?
A Wake-up Call
As individuals and education systems we are trained to chase after Numbers. We are hard-wired to look at only the limited visible aspects of Development - the ranks and percentages. In the race to be Numero Uno, we lose focus of all the other things that contribute to overall development the softer aspects, the behavioral skills. It is time to hit the pause button and analyze objectively what we are doing to groom students and where we are still falling behind.
Some Good News
Industry interface is now going beyond just guest lectures at premiere Institutes. Today Colleges are attempting to provide quality education by tying up with Organizations to design course curriculum specific for the industry there is the ICICI tie up with ITM University and with TVS TM Training institute, the IBM collaboration with Baddi University to name a few.
This interface needs to now grow, having a communication channel between the Seeker of Talent (the Industry) and the Talent Suppliers (The Colleges) is vital so that the Talent is also skill ready. This will help the Industry reduce the time and money invested on grooming and also the Colleges benefit as they focus on what is really needed instead of providing the Jack of all Trades approach to Learning.
Extending this Collaboration
What is needed today is that the Industries and the Colleges further blur out the boundaries they have drawn around them. It is time to move from Evaluation to Feedback. Some of the best practices must be shared and implemented at the Education level itself to cement the expected behavioral competencies. Foremost amongst the techniques to be adopted is the 360 degree Feedback, which can help the student to get feedback from people who know him well, on competencies that he needs to succeed in his career. This tool is commonly used to assess managers and prepare for their development. A student can benefit greatly if this is initiated early.


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