Degree Learning: Moving from Classroom-Only Learning
A new report has noted that 92% of Indian universities and institutes of higher learning (HEIs) believe that degree apprenticeships enable students to better meet the demands of the changing workforce than regular degrees. Titled “The Future of Apprenticeship in India”, this report by TeamLease EdTech adds that the apprenticeship model provides students with basic work experience and essential soft skills, making them more employable.
What is a degree course?
A diploma apprenticeship is employment combined with a university degree, which means that a person or a student will work for an employer for a certain period of time and study at a university or college for the rest of the time. Unlike classroom-only learning which can be done in a relaxed way – depending on the course chosen – a degree-based learning can be much more intensive.
Over the years, many reports have argued that fresh graduates from universities/colleges are not employable. Wheebox’s recent India Skills Report 2022 noted that only 48.7% of the total youth in India are employable. In 2019, a report by Aspiring Minds revealed that 80% of Indian engineers are unsuitable for any job in the knowledge economy.
“In India, we have a serious skills crisis. There are around 12 million students graduating every year, but only 35% of them are employable enough to join the industry,” Shantanu Rooj, Founder and CEO of TeamLease EdTech, told FE. “Learning to a degree is a solution to this crisis.”
Rooj added that HEIs in India strongly believe that learning-integrated degrees are beneficial for students. “Our report (Future of Apprenticeship in India) indicated that 79% of universities and HEIs believe that these programs provide practical skills to students, making them job-ready as soon as they enter the job market; and 71% believe that students learn the nuances of the corporate world better through these programs,” he said.
Earn by learning
The report also highlighted that learning creates more value for students as they move up the learning curve, with 62% of respondents saying that learning has created a sustainable learning cycle by enabling students earn money while learning. “This would go a long way in improving the country’s gross enrollment ratio (GER) by stimulating demand,” said Neeti Sharma, co-founder and president of TeamLease EdTech.
Sharma added that India has blatant dropout rates. “Between grade 10 and college education, nearly 55% of students drop out of the learning ecosystem each year,” she said. “Graduating apprenticeships, with the principle of “earning while learning” integrated, are a credible option to meet this challenge.”
Very few universities
The problem, however, is that only 4-5 universities today offer degree apprenticeships. This may change in the near future. Education sector analysts have noted that the National Education Policy 2020 has laid the groundwork for more universities to come forward and launch degree learning programs. “With more universities coming, the pool of employable apprenticeship aspirants will increase significantly,” an analyst told FE.
According to the recent Apprentice Hiring Outlook Report by NETAP of TeamLease Skills University, 72% of employers want to hire apprentices in the first half of 2022. This report had noted that 70% of universities and HEIs believe that with the introduction of new degree-based apprenticeship programs and a significant increase in demand for hiring apprentices, India will have over 10 million apprentices in the next five years, up from around half a million at the moment .
Globally, Germany has the highest number of apprentices, with around 1.3 million, followed by the United States (630,000) and India. But as a percentage of its total workforce, India has only 0.11% apprentices (the country’s total workforce is 457,779,812).
Long way to go…
Total workforce: 457,779,812
Apprentices: 500,000 (0.11%)
Total workforce: 161,204,000
Apprentices: 630,000 (0.39%)
Total workforce: 43,517,000
Apprentices: 1,288,000 (2.96%)
Total workforce: 4,934,000
Apprentices: 212,000 (4.3%)
Total workforce: 13,746,000
Apprentices: 220,000 (1.6%)
Total workforce: 3,062,000
Apprentices: 110,000 (3.6%)