Campus to career
Dr. Mohamed Bamatraf, Head of Industry Relations, Global Business Studies; Maria Vitoratos, Executive Career Coach, Curtin University; Zawahir Siddique, Dean and Head of Blended Learning, Demont Institute and Dr. Amitabh Upadhya, Executive Director, Symbiosis International during a panel duscussion on Campus to Career on the second day of Sixth edition of Gulf News Edufair in Dubai. Image Credit: Virendra Saklani/Gulf News

In the face of unprecedented job market volatility, the transition from campus to career has emerged as a critical focal point for educators and industry leaders. This was the takeaway from the first panel discussion on day 2 of Gulf News Edufair 2024, titled "From Campus to Career: How universities support graduates through job market volatility".

Dr. Mohamed Bamatraf, Head of Industry Relations at Global Business Studies, underscored the urgency of the discussion by stating, "We ensure our students develop essential skills by working closely with them and industry partners from the start. This collaborative effort between academia and industry not only enhances students' skill sets but also aligns their education with the demands of the workforce."

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Transitioning seamlessly from academia to the professional world requires a holistic approach to education, said Maria Vitoratos, Executive Career Coach at Curtin University. "We're seeing a shift where universities are focusing more on integrating work preparedness into the entire educational journey. Students need to understand that preparing for work isn't an isolated event but an ongoing process. Conversations about careers should start early, and parents play a crucial role in this," she said.

Zawahir Siddique, Dean and Head of Blended Learning at Demont Institute of Management and Technology, shed light on the evolving expectations of employers. "Many employers are shifting their focus towards skills and adaptability. It's not just about academic qualifications but also about being able to handle real-world challenges and continuously develop new skills. Employers value candidates who can demonstrate practical application of their knowledge."

To bridge the gap between academia and industry, Dr. Amitabh Upadhya, Executive Director at Symbiosis International, advocated for effective alumni engagement programmes. "To involve alumni effectively, programs like mentorship can be very beneficial. Students can spend time with alumni, gaining valuable insights and experiences. Regular interactions with industry professionals help keep the curriculum relevant and provide students with up-to-date industry knowledge," he said.