Vocational Courses: All You Need To Know

Taking a vocational course has recently been made mandatory by the CBSE. Find out what these courses entail and how they will help your child.

By Shashwati Bhanukumar  • 8 min read

Vocational Courses: All You Need To Know

“Taken as a whole, a vocation or vocations are the best medium for the all-round development of a boy or a girl and, therefore, the syllabus should be woven round vocational training, primary education thus conceived as a whole is bound to be self-supporting, even though for the first or even the second year’s course, it may not be wholly so.” – Mahatma Gandhi

The father of our nation understood the importance of vocational training in education. Clearly, taking a vocational course is not about boosting your child’s grades, but involves much more than that.

Why is there a need for vocational training?

According to India Skills Report 2018, India is one of the world’s youngest nations with more than 54 percent of it’s total population below 25 years of age, and 62 percent in the working age group of 15-59 years. This demographic dividend is good news for our nation but the young workforce needs to be skilled before they can constructively contribute to the economy. A report on skill gaps by Monica Aring published by the UNESCO in 2012 states that of the 500 million Indians engaged in the workforce, only 5% have marketable skills.

If this wasn’t enough, the rapid advancements in technology mean that most of the skill requirements in a decade will be for jobs which do not exist as of now. “By one popular estimate, 65 percent of children entering primary school today will ultimately end up working in completely new job types that don’t yet exist,” says a 2016 Future of Jobs report by the World Economic Forum.

So, what exactly is a vocational course?

The term 'vocational' means 'work-related'. A vocational course is an educational discipline which aims to prepare students for a specific profession, vocation or trade. These courses are designed in such a way, that students who complete them are ready to take on a job. Recognizing the importance of such skilled labour, in 2015, Prime Minister Narendra Modi announced the Skill India Initiative, which plans to equip over 40 crore people with different skills.

CBSE’s Role:

Education boards have taken these developments very seriously. CBSE has introduced a host of vocational courses at different levels. Parents might find it difficult to decide which course is best for their child as there are a wide array of subjects to choose from. These subjects are different for the Secondary Level (Class 9 and 10) and Senior Secondary Level (Class 11 and 12). Some of them are listed below:

Class 9 and 10: Retail, Information Technology, Security, Automotive, Introduction to Financial Markets, Introduction to Tourism, Beauty and Wellness, Agriculture, Food Production, Front Office Operations, Banking and Insurance, Marketing and Sales, Health Care, Apparel, Media.

Class 11 and 12: Financial Markets Management, Web Application, Banking, Marketing, Insurance, X-Ray Technician, Horticulture, Typography and Computer Application, Geo Spatial Technology, Electrical Technology, Electronic Technology, Taxation, Office Procedures and Practices, Textile Design, Mass Media Studies, Music Production, Fashion Studies.

Phew! As a parent you must be wondering which of these courses would be perfect for your child. Well, as you can see each course is highly specific in nature and trains your child to take up a particular career. So, if you feel like your child would we a good fit for any of these careers, encourage him to take up the relevant course. With so many interesting courses on offer, any doubts you had about these vocational courses should have disappeared by now. Still not convinced?

According to reports, now CBSE is also offering the students to do an internship of three to six months as a part of these vocational programs. This is so that students can gain a practical experience in the subject, build their leadership skills and be able to prove their talent in the field from a young age.

Benefits of vocational courses:

Employment prospects: In a vocational course, your child will be taught about and prepared for a specific job. When they look out for work in that area, they will have an upper hand on other candidates who do not have any previous experience in that field.

Gives perspective: For students who are not sure what they want to do after school, taking a vocational course might help them understand if that vocation is a good fit for them. If they have an interest in working in a particular area, taking up the corresponding vocational course will help them understand what the actual work entails.

Better success rate: As they are already equipped with a specific skill-set, these students will have a better chance of succeeding in their future workplace.

Well, these vocational courses are now compulsory under CBSE and they are offered to students of class 9, 10, 11 and 12. They are known as the ‘sixth’ subject.

The wide array of options might leave students confused as to which course to take. While making the choice they should keep in mind their interests, capabilities and the prospects that each vocation would offer. One thing’s for sure, the hands-on training that these courses promise will surely equip your child with valuable skills.

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