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Five Tricks to Finding Your Niche at Higher Education Learning

By Dr. R.L. Raina, Vice-Chancellor & Director, JK Lakshmipat University

In higher education, everyone is looking for a niche — to be that flower that stands out from the others in a field. The best opportunities for growth will occur in specialty and/or niche programs, which attract new populations of students needing assistance with career development and advancement and make use of the resources already in place for traditional graduate degree programs.

Experts indicate that 60 percent of the jobs that will exist in the next 10 years have not been invented yet. As a result of this rapid change, education, business and industry will require a new set of professional skills every two or three years. The “shelf-life” of educational degrees and certificates has become very short and higher education must be able to respond more quickly to these changes and provide the requisite educational changes to handle these needs.

New graduate programs need to adapt to the changing needs of the professional job market and the changing roles graduates are expected to assume in their professional duties.

Collaborative learning

Learning in groups can achieve greater perspective and understanding than any individual can alone. But we need tools for sharing thinking and making learning visible to others. Students will explore how to use documentation to “make visible” both what and how students learn.

Industry driven curriculum

In an era of rapid growth, students constantly need innovation. Organizational leaders increasingly realize the critical role strategic leadership plays in generating better outcomes. Through this program education leaders and leadership teams from an array of professional contexts the tools needed to hone their strategic skills and mindsets and identify effective solutions to leadership challenges. To ensure and nurturing students with these capacities, industry need to play a role in designing curriculum for program also.

Hybrid learning

This will allow individuals to maintain their current professional position and also work toward an advanced degree. Generally, students returning for their master’s degree are more likely to be employed and want to maintain their current professional position instead of returning to school full-time.

Students in the University should also be given flexibility to learn from experts across the world through digital platforms. They need to be integrated in the curriculum.

Experiential learning

It is an approach to curriculum design that goes beyond the simple relay of information to help students develop transferable knowledge and skills that they can apply in situations they have never encountered before. They should learn and experience education as hands-on project, which ensure knowledge retainership for long.

Problem Solving and Critical thinking

This is very important component in student learning. How do you ensure that you are able to think beyond available information and connect dots to understand the larger picture. These tools enable one to apply the right knowledge and structured thinking process to identify and solve right problem.

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