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NIIT University and Autodesk Inc Sign MoU to Promote Design Skills

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NIIT University and Autodesk Inc, 3D design, engineering and entertainment software and services company has entered into a tripartite Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to evangelize design as a learning discipline in India. The objective is to promote design literacy, design skilling and research & innovation in design. Given the dynamism in markets, work roles, and customer expectations, design thinking today is being recognized as one of the essential skills for all industries.

Under this significant partnership, NIIT and NIIT University will leverage design tools of Autodesk to offer a host of design programs. NIIT University will set up a design lab and launch masters programs in design to support research and innovation.

In addition, various specialized design programs will be launched for college students in verticals such as interface design, application design and media & entertainment design with an aim to create a pool of skilled manpower for these specific industries. For school students, NIIT will introduce design literacy programs to promote design thinking. NIIT along with Autodesk and a specially constituted Design Advisory Council, set up under the aegis of NIIT University, will be designing the curriculum. More than a million students will be reached in over a decade.

According to a study by Gallup, 21st century skills should prepare and equip youth for the challenges and demands of work in today’s knowledge-based, technology-driven, globalized environment. Just as IT helped India gain global recognition and spurred the growth of the service sector, about a decade ago, “Design Thinking” can be the differentiator that changes the economics of Indian workers and businesses and catalyzes the growth of the knowledge sector.

As a catalyst for transformation, Design Thinking cannot be a limited expertise. It has to permeate to a larger group. Design in India is a very old activity but a very young profession. Fragmented students and limited number of design experts have so far prevented a wider reach of the skill. However, today, newer models of training delivery, such as NIIT’s Cloud Campus have the potential to enhance the reach of design experts. By entering into this partnership with Autodesk, NIIT takes the first step towards introducing design thinking amongst school and college students.

Speaking on this significant partnership, Vijay Thadani, CEO, NIIT Ltd. said, “In line with our vision to offer career focused training programs in the emerging areas of the knowledge society, we are delighted to partner with Autodesk to introduce avant-garde courses in design for students across India. The idea is not only to open career avenues in design but also to promote ‘design thinking’ amongst the youth, that our research indicates as a key trait that today’s employers’ are looking for. We evangelized IT training in India and now three decades later, we are excited to start a new wave of evangelizing design thinking and training in India.”

George Abraham, Director of Emerging Markets, Autodesk Education said, “We at Autodesk are committed to advancing technical education and skill development in design education in India. With a full portfolio of professional and personal design products, Autodesk endeavors to introduce students at all levels to the power of design technology, thus fostering an early interest so that they may develop into true design professionals. Partnership with NIIT will further our vision to promote design education by meeting critical gaps in talent pool with our skills and pedagogy to help people imagine, design and create a better world.”

Dr Rajendra Pandey, President, NIIT University said, “We are committed to being the leading centre of Innovation and learning in emerging areas of the knowledge society. “Design Thinking,” today, is an essential skill for a successful knowledge professional. A workforce enriched with Design Thinking skills will help India become a world leader in Innovation.”

While the overall objective of this partnership is to promote design thinking in every job role, the programs will also develop skilled manpower for the rapidly growing Computer-aided Design (CAD) industry, which is estimated to grow at CAGR of 13.5 percent by 2015, per a recent report by Technavio.

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