A vocational course, as the name suggests, aims to prepare students for a specific profession, vocation or trade. These courses are tailor made and quite direct in their purpose which is to make students completely job-ready. The term ‘vocational’ means ‘work-related’. So if you are pursuing a vocational course, it simply means that you are learning skills that will help you get and do a job.
Vocational courses involve less of the traditional academic learning and more of hands-on training. Such courses focus on applying the skills learnt and are the ideal stepping stone from the world of education to a stable career.
Getting trained for a particular vocation is always an added advantage for any job-seeker. And if vocational training begins in school, students can graduate prepared to take a high-paying, skilled job immediately. Having a certificate from an independent body which states that you have the necessary skills to perform in a particular profession will always give you that extra edge when you are out in the job market. In short, vocational courses will improve your “employability”.
With a vocational qualification, you would have a better chance to be able to start working earlier, giving you the experience in the same area as what you’re learning. Plus you get to earn money at the same time. Basically, you’d be a step ahead of your peers!
“Of late, employability of graduates coming out of our educational system is becoming a matter of great concern. I am told only 25% of the general graduates across all streams have employable skills” said E Ahamed, Minister of State for HRD and External Affairs last year.
The Economic Forum (WEF) quite recently stated that only 25 per cent of Indian professionals are considered employable by organised sector, demonstrating the need for higher quality vocational education to prepare today’s youth for jobs.
Vocational training is therefore the need of the hour in India to supplement formal education and improve the employability of young India. India has the second-highest population of the working age (15–59 years) individuals in the world. The skill set of this population group plays a critical role in the growth of the country. It is essential that sufficient skill training is provided to this age group to make them productive.
According to Planning Commission’s Report in 2008, only 10 percent of the workforce in India received skill training as opposed to 80 percent in Japan and 90 percent in Korea (see pic left).
One of the ways in which we can address this yawning gap is to introduce vocational courses at an early stage so that the right talent can be tapped at the right time. Vocational education and training in schools will help build an educated and skilled workforce that is direly needed in India.
The key is to catch them young!
The 40 vocational courses being offered by the CBSE are quite varied and diverse and can be broadly classified into the following categories:
The curriculum designed for these courses that would be taught classes XI and XII: