Pune Campus Watch: Post-pandemic, Pune colleges offer new tech-centric courses

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As colleges in Pune city in Maharashtra have started admissions for undergraduate degree courses after the results for Class XII were announced, several new courses have been announced by the colleges.

Keeping in mind the lessons learnt during the pandemic and the increasing demand for skilled workforce in certain industries, courses related to taxation, financial technologies, payment industries and data analytics have found place in the curricula of many colleges.

At BMCC College, two new courses are being offered from this year, BCom Fintech and BCom Honours. With India emerging as the second largest financial technology market, college authorities said the popularity of technology in various financial service industries has given FinTech a competitive edge. “During Covid times, we saw how technology was overtaking several aspects of the finance and banking industry – dependence on e-transactions, rise in mobile payments industry, paperless banking, secure payment gateways and such. Today there is a great demand for workers who have knowledge pertaining to Fintech such as artificial learning, data analytics, use of programming for performing banking functions. We have seen several disruptions in the financial industry. We can take the case of cryptocurrency. It’s a new market and not many have the knowledge of what this new currency is, how it is traded, legalities, regulations and so on. That’s why we thought of coming up with this course, which will impart specific knowledge areas to the students and give them an extra-edge in the job market,” said principal Seema Purohit.

The other course, BCom Honours, is designed taking into consideration the demands of the students aiming to pursue job opportunities in various sectors such as finance, management, taxation and professional courses such as CA/CS/CMA, PG Programme from premier B-Schools in India and abroad, International Certifications like CFA/CPA etc.

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“This course again is in response to the demand from industry. For many years we have been seeing students, who are preparing for competitive courses such as CA or CS, don’t pay much attention to classroom teaching but they are focused on articleship and preparations. As their basics are weak, they lack certain skills. We get feedback from industry that the quality of interns coming in is not up to the mark. Hence, we decided to start this four-year course to be run with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of India (ICAI),” she said.

The 160-credit-based course will be based on skill development and covers topics like management, finance, cost and management, accounting, direct and indirect taxes, law, economics, entrepreneurship and trading.

While colleges are offering courses catering to the domains currently in-demand in the industry, a few have even tied up with foreign institutes to offer international certifications.

The Symbiosis College has tied up with the UK-based Institute of Analytics for their new course, BCom with Business Analytics, starting this year.

“Today when you see the job market, artificial intelligence and machine learning are becoming the buzzword and there are several jobs aligned to these skills. While generally courses are available only for science students in these domains, we think from the finance and marketing perspective, it’s very important for students from commerce background to study these topics because while engineers may bring innovations and do research in these fields, it is people from social science background who have to apply them in the day-to-day life. This is a course preparing our students for tomorrow. Also, post-pandemic, we have observed that more offices are shifting to work-from-home mode and several international jobs are available. Hence having a foreign certification becomes a plus point. So we have tied up with an international institute to set up a truly global workforce,” said principal Hrishikesh Soman.

Several city institutes have announced vocational or job-oriented degree courses this year. One of the premier institutes, Fergusson College, will offer two new Bachelor of Vocational (BVoc) degrees in Interior Design and Fashion Technology.

Principal Ravindrasinh Pardeshi said that as compared to traditional degrees, students of the vocational course are more privileged due to their vocational training along with conventional knowledge-based curriculum. Both are three-year degree programmes, which offer flexibility to students to exit in any year. After completing the first semester, the students can get a certificate, while after 2nd and 4th semesters they can get a diploma and an advanced diploma certificates respectively. Those completing the 6th semester are given a complete BVoc in Interior Design Degree offered by Fergusson College, Pune (Autonomous) and Savitribai Phule Pune University.

Similarly two new media courses ‘B.Voc. Media & Entertainment’ and ‘Certificate Course in Media Skills’ will be introduced at Shri Siddhivinayak Mahila Mahavidyalaya run by the Maharshi Karve Stree Shikshan Samstha, (MKSSS), from this academic year. The courses, which will be taught at the School of Media Activity Research & Technology (SMART), have been designed to train the students in media technologies and specific media related skills.

Radhika Ingle, director, SMART said, “At present, girls are more involved in soft skills like proof reading or content writing but the participation of girls in technology-based areas such as video technology, sound engineering or production should also be increased. Therefore, these courses have been designed with the objective of skill-based education.”

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