Want to graduate in tourism, childcare, telecom? It’s BVoc to the rescue | education | Hindustan Times
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Want to graduate in tourism, childcare, telecom? It’s BVoc to the rescue

Bachelor of Vocation degrees offer a range of interesting majors and let you exit after the first year with a diploma or stay on for a degree.

education Updated: Jul 19, 2017 15:40 IST
Gayatri Belpathak
(iStock)


Faisal Khan graduated last month and is already a tour manager with travel company Faraway Tree, based at Havelock in the Andaman Islands.

It’s a dream job for the 24-year-old and he landed it during campus placements, after graduating in the first BVoc batch at St Xavier’s college, Mahapalika Marg, specialising in tourism.

The Bachelor of Vocation degree (BVoc) is a three-year degree programme that prioritises practical knowledge over theory, while offering multiple exit points.

So, students can leave at the end of the first year with a diploma, at the end of the second year with an advanced diploma, and at the end of the three years with a degree.

And in each year they get hands-on experience in their field via optional internships in the first and second years and a compulsory internship in the final year.

WHAT IS A BVOC?
  • It’s a three-year degree programme offering multiple specialisations and exit points.
  • Students can leave at the end of the first year with a diploma, the second year with an advanced diploma, or after three years with a degree.
  • Specialisations range from greenhouse management to software development, retail, automotive manufacturing, healthcare and media and entertainment.
  • In Mumbai, BVocs are offered at the HR, Ramnarain Ruia, R Jhunjhunwala, Jai Hind and Vikas colleges, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences.

“Although there are several colleges across the country offering it, most students are not aware of the option,” says Vikas Raut, director and BVoc course coordinator at Vikas College, Vikhroli which offers the course in two streams, media production and medical lab technology.

Seven institutes in Mumbai — including the HR, Ramnarain Ruia, R Jhunjhunwala, Jai Hind and Vikas colleges, and the Tata Institute of Social Sciences — offer BVocs in subjects ranging from retail management to software development, agriculture, automotive manufacturing, childcare, electronics, healthcare, printing and packaging, renewable energy and telecom.

The BVoc was introduced in 2013 by the University Grants Commission, after a series of skill gap studies pointed to a lack of skilled manpower in certain industries.

“Around the world, vocational education and training are characterised by industry trends, including the increasing use of technology, the growing importance of information and communications systems, and changes to the country’s demographics,” says Rajiv Pratap Rudy, union minister of state for Skill Development and Entrepreneurship.

“Skill gap studies identified similar requirements for our workforce across sectors and states. So we now have the BVoc, to bridge the gap between employee, employability, and employment at multiple levels.”


KNOW HOW
For students, it also offers a more affordable degree option fields that are either very expensive to study or not available outside the BVoc sphere.

Noah Sebastian, 20, for instance, is in his second year of a BVoc in software development, and will pay just Rs 18,000 for the entire three-year course.

“I think the course offers a good opportunity for students who have just completed Class 12 and are clueless as to what profession or stream they should enter,” he says. “Other courses like BSc-IT, BSc - Computer Science, BMM and BMS provide the student with excellent knowledge, but this course demands application and really has a practical, hands-on approach.”

Amid national-level skills development programmes and a growing number of ITIs, vocational courses have gained better standing in the mainstream, says Manish Kumar, CEO of the National Skill Development Corporation.

At Vikas College, Dev Khedkar, who recently completed a BVoc course in media production, says the many projects they were the highlight of his three-year study. “We did projects on nature photography, fashion photography and still-life photography,” he says. “We also made a 45-minute film, which included various activities such script writing, direction and cinematography. In the first year of the course, I made a 15-minute documentary. Mine was on the Marathi lyricist Jagdish Khebudkar. And in the final year I produced a short horror film.”

Amid national-level skills development programmes and the growing number of Industrial Training Institutes, vocational courses have gained better standing in the mainstream, says Manish Kumar, MD and CEO of the National Skill Development Corporation.

“There will be a lot more vocational courses in the future, which will be a mix of the practical and the traditional subjects,” adds Farzad Damania, career counsellor and head of counselling institute Career Nurture. “There is demand for students who have completed a course that focuses on practical application rather than repetitive or theoretical learning.”