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NIIT University: Delivering distinctive education

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At NIIT University, technology is leveraged to improve teaching-learning process by innovating new pedagogies that match the requirements of individual learners, says Prof V S Rao, President, NIIT University, in conversation with Elets News Network (ENN).

What does NIIT University (NU) Focuses on for its students? How does NU ensure that its students have great careers?

Prof V S Rao, President, NIIT University

Prof V S Rao, President, NIIT University

NIIT University is dedicated towards forging strong industry linkages as one of its core principles. This ensures that the University is connected with the best organisations and institutions, in India and globally. The Centre for Industry Collaboration (CIC) assists students in their endeavours to enrich their education, careers and lives and make lifelong contributions to society.

Also, NU is increasingly becoming known for providing learners with an environment of ideation, innovation and entrepreneurship. The University is indeed sowing the seeds of entrepreneurship on its turf, teaching students to think differently, come up with ideas that create the wow effect, and take these concepts to market fearlessly. Recognizing that there is a thrust on start-ups in India, NU is encouraging its students to be job creators rather than job seekers.

As a University that boasts strong linkages with industry NU is exposing learners to the entrepreneurial world through internships as well as visiting teachers who are drawn from successful start-ups and other organizations. The institution’s deep research-orientation has also enabled it to foster innovation and instil the culture of entrepreneurship in the DNA of its learners.

What is your take on new digital age careers and getting the students ready for them?

Digital requires a new breed of people with an all new set of skills that enable them to interface with these technologies and become more relevant to the digital scenario. This is because people and machines are expected to work together in the new age organization.

A research by India’s IT-BPM industry spearhead NASSCOM indicates that India is on track to be a trillion-dollar digital economy backed by government’s collaborative approach to encourage private sector participation. To get there, and in order to keep pace with the automation of the sector, the workforce will need to have the right skills. There is also a need for constant reskilling to stay relevant. Armed with this right mix of upskilled, repurposed employees—basically Pi-Shaped people who can work on multiple platforms, interface with design colleagues and drive Digital innovation—organizations can deal with the evolving DT requirements of their clients.

The Digital age is throwing up new job profiles and, in the future, career seekers will have to align themselves with these new work opportunities. Profiles such as Digital Leaders, Digital Innovators, Digital Developers, Digital workers and Digital citizens will all need people who have different levels of skills. Within enterprises, employees will have to scale their capabilities and reskill by undergoing special DT training programs. They must rid themselves of complacency, remove the rust that envelops them and scale their existing knowledge. Their focus must be on remaining employable, relevant and valuable to their employers.

Individuals wishing to build careers in the DT realm will have to be made aware of its high potential in terms of remuneration. News is that DT professionals are likely to draw salaries that are at least 50-60 percent higher than the industry average!

Towards this, NIIT University provides B.Tech Computer Science & Engineering (CSE) program which emphasizes on Digital Transformation technologies with a view of making available Next Gen digitally skilled engineers to the IT industry.

What is NU’s initiative towards the new exciting areas like business analytics/ Data Science etc.?

The massive data explosion and the growing need of data analytics in business, education and government agencies have created the need for a new breed of professionals. Data Scientists who have expertise in such specialized areas such as machine learning, statistical modelling, data warehousing, predictive modelling and large-scale database architecture and management are in demand.

Towards this, we offer cutting-edge programmes in data sciences in association with industry leaders. B.Tech. Computer Science Engineering with specialization in Data Science with IBM has been designed to create graduates already trained in data science therefore fulfilling the requirements of the industry. The students of this programme attend their 6-month long Industry Practice course in the eighth semester at IBM and got an opportunity to start working with IBM, post their internship. NU also offers MBA in Business Analytics with WNS, a leading provider of global Business Process Management (BPM) services. The programme is designed for students who have an aptitude for analytics and management and offers a guaranteed job at WNS in mid-managerial position.

NU also offers a two-year work-integrated MBA programme in Intelligent Data Science in partnership with NIIT Technologies. The MBA programme is focused on nurturing talented professionals to become next generation data science leaders who will drive business transformations.

What is the importance of research in undergraduate education?

Research should be made an integral part of higher education at every level. Students investing in higher education must be given exposure and opportunities to be able to use all that knowledge to evolve themselves as well as be able to contribute in the discipline with better research and studies. Students when involved in research-based learning are bound to learn more and better than they would without the integration of research.

Research is at the core of the NU’s curriculum and we believe in engaging undergraduate scholars in research work through a well thought out course called the R&D Project. Students start working on research – right from year one at NU. The course aims to help them acquire research orientation that can be applied in their future jobs where there is a dire need for creative problem-solvers. Quite a few of our student start-ups have the genesis of their business from the research work done during various projects.We also encourage our students by providing financial assistance through NURAP (NIIT University Research Assistance Programme).

NU’s research efforts are further enhanced through creative collaborations with leading research institutes and consortia around the world. The faculty at NU is focused not only on carrying out fundamental research but also the applications that flow from it.

Can you please give some insights on the placement data of the last batch?

NIIT University is dedicated towards forging strong industry linkages as one of its core principles. This ensures that the University is connected with the best organisations and institutions, in India and globally. The Centre for Industry Collaboration (CIC) assists students in their endeavours to enrich their education, careers and lives and make lifelong contributions to society.

From the past 5 years, NIIT University has achieved 100% placement for its B Tech programme. NU has achieved 100% placement in B.Tech. – CSE, ECE, Biotechnology and M.Tech. – GIS. Owing to the excellent performance of NUtons during their industry practice, 56% of the batch received Pre-Placement Offers from their organization. The highest domestic salary offered this year was Rs 14.3 Lakhs Per Annum (LPA) while the highest International Salary was 26 LPA. The average CTC for the batch was Rs 5.57 LPA, which is a 20% increase from the previous year.

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