25 Jul 2019 19:46 IST

Study in India, yet become a global leader

To be a step ahead, take online courses, train with top companies and aim for internships abroad

For a few generations now, Indian students have been flocking to prominent educational institutions of the West, particularly in the US and UK, to pursue courses of higher education. Over the last decade, more countries have come into play, such as Australia and Singapore. India is next only to China in terms of the number of students going overseas, so no wonder India is the preferred port of call for most foreign universities looking for international students.

The focus of this article, though, is for those looking at a global career but are not looking to go overseas for the same. Before I get to that, let me share my personal experience. After my BE in computer science from DY Patil College of Engineering, Pune, I enrolled for an MBA in international marketing at Leeds Metropolitan University, UK. Securing the first rank there, I did something unusual — came back and signed up for a Ph.D in international marketing at Pune University.

Now, let me dispel a myth if it does indeed still exist. One does not need an international degree to be successful in a global career, though it helps. Particularly when three Indian institutes figure among the top 200 institutes globally. Our IITs and IIMs are global brands and comparable to the best.

An edge over

At Leeds, I was amused to see that resident students and teachers were in awe of Indian students’ command over the English language. Most of my classmates, who were from other Asian countries such as China and Japan, were having a hard time adjusting because of their lack of proficiency in English. Most educational institutes in such countries prefer the local language for all administrative work including teaching.

On the contrary, English is India’s primary language and there are over 150 million English speakers in the country. It gives Indian students an edge when they aspire for global careers. As per internationally acclaimed educationists, technical and medical graduates from certain parts of India are perceived to be comparable to the best in the world.

Online courses, additional courses

Here is one thing that is sure to help get you as close to those armed with an overseas degree when it comes to seeking a global career. Make your course in India as global as it can get. Fortunately, due to advances in technology, many institutes of international stature, like Harvard, actively offer a global cohort-driven digital version of their core courses, so this is no longer an issue.

Don’t leap for just any online global certification, though. Ensure it is a reputed programme, and look for a global cohort that can help you connect with other students worldwide. .

To make things even better, not only are the best faculty members in these institutes designing such courses, some of them are also involved in their delivery too. You get to learn what is current globally, which is of immense help. These courses burn a much smaller hole in the wallet than studying overseas does.

Second, take up additional courses which have global associations like CPA or companies such as IBM, Amazon and SAP. When your course gets designed by these, or the certification bears their name, or their executives do the faculty honours, you are the winner.

Finally, focus on a global internship. It is difficult to get, but is most useful, especially as it shows that you have invested effort in readying yourself right for a global career, from extra certifications to an internship. This could be an expensive deal unless you are lucky enough to land a stipend.

(The writer is the chairman of ASM Group of Institutes.)