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Last Mile Training – The Missing Part in Higher Education India is at the cusp of this trend right now, student are appreciating online learning thanks to edtech players

By Sumesh Nair

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A decade ago, you would've heard, IT giants investing in training college freshers for a significant period (3-6 months) before deploying them on specific projects and modules of client deliverables. Today, this trend has almost faded away. Employers are ready to pay a premium for talent with industry-ready-skills rather than invest in training them.

So who is supposed to train the college talent to become industry-hire-ready? Higher education institutes?

India has massive youth potential being wasted. We have a large number of people seeking jobs and a large number of unfilled jobs also, this is the conundrum that we need to solve.

The existing University curriculum cannot solve this. For instance, they're teaching C++ as the coding language, which is outdated in the industry. Traditionally, the best salespeople mastered the art of communication. Today, the sales process is multichannel and tool-based (Salesforce). It is critical for the talent pool to go through the last mile training to reach the final destination.

Last mile training is the final connection between education and work. Elaborating:

  • Connects students with experienced professionals

  • Connects students with employers

  • Provides intense learning sessions

  • Develops competency

The trend for such last mile training platforms and programs is picking up. The wave started as boot-camps that are expensive to organize. The newer models are career coaching, expert connects, short skill modules. Primarily, these models connect students to employers, giving a learning environment centred on what it means to be in a certain job and make them deployable from the Day 1. They offer pathways to a job and provide an intense learning environment, as opposed to what the self-learning platforms offer.

The last mile training programs thereby reduce the friction between education and work, to make the students' job ready. For instance, the platform connects students with industry experts from top companies who give them a real-world view and coach them on work-related activities and tasks. Muse, First Hand and Elevator are some U.S. based players who have been in this industry for a while and raised significant capital from investors and VC groups.

India is at the cusp of this trend right now, students users in the online space are appreciating online learning thanks to edtech players. In just a matter of time, we will move to hybrid environments with respect to learning in higher education as well. A significant opportunity is shaping up in this field, with many innovative business models as well. Higher education institutes also want to tie up with them to stay relevant and also maintain their placement records. We will witness massive changes in the way jobs are going to come to students in the coming 10-15 years. These last mile training platforms and providers are going to generate high returns by solving India's biggest problems of youth unemployability.

Sumesh Nair

Co-founder of Board Infinity

Sumesh Nair is the co-founder of Board Infinity, a higher education career platform. He is an ex-management consultant with strategy and operations experience in Technology and Retail industry. After an MBA from SPJIMR Mumbai, he worked as a Senior Consultant in PwC US Advisory (formerly PRTM Management Consulting). He has worked with Fortune 500 clients delivering multiple engagements focused on post-merger integration projects, cost reduction exercises, people & organization, program management, market assessments and supply chain strategy.  
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