The IITs have had management departments for over two decades that have matured and carved a niche for themselves. Like most other management schools, the IITs also focus on experiential learning through projects, case studies, global field studies and similar other initiatives. However, IITs also provide a unique context for the teaching-learning process of management.
The Tech edge
Although it was considered important, technology is now much more deeply integrated with all aspects of the business. At the moment, management education is required to seamlessly integrate technology into its curricula for preparing managers of the future.
Problems and issues traditionally considered immune to technology are now significantly using technology for decision-making. A prime example is human resource management, which used tech as an automation tool that would cut costs and save time. But now, the field is focusing on the use of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for critical decision making regarding people, recruitment, appraisal, motivation and talent management.
The IITs provide a rich context for addressing these issues and challenges. The faculty expertise and infrastructure in different departments – such as in Engineering, Humanities and Social Sciences, Mathematics – are the resources readily available to the students in the form of courses offered by these departments.
The faculty members in the management departments of IITs also actively collaborate with other departments for their teaching and research. The rich technology context for the students prepares them for the new and future business challenges.
Additionally, there are events like hackathons and other tech festivals that are excellent opportunities for students to understand developments in these areas and their business use.
The IITs focus significantly on research, which is demonstrated in the research rankings of the management departments at IITs in various rankings like the National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF).
There is a general notion that research is isolated from, and is independent of, teaching.
This is not true of management research. Most of the research in management departments of the IITs is evidence based, where data is collected from the field. These businesses are then studied to develop, test and validate concepts and models.
The research here is grounded in reality. It is also practical and applied. The scientific research makes the outcomes reliable and valid. This field based research helps keep the faculty in tune with the latest developments and challenges in the corporate world.
The industry interactions during the research and the consequent outcomes get translated into teachings in the classroom.
The opportunities for students to get involved in research based projects, besides the regular internships and projects that they do as a part of their MBA, provide an opportunity for them to understand cutting edge issues.
Research is not just about solving present problems. It is also futuristic, focused on trends and other such issues that are likely to confront business in the future. The synergy between research and teaching in management education is a uniquely highlighted feature of management education at IITs.
Diverse student population
Diversity promotes innovation. Interacting with a variety of students across courses provides an opportunity to exchange ideas, issues and problems.
Alongside the engineering and science departments, the IITs also have very active humanities and social science departments too.
Learning in a diverse environment happens not just through academic interactions but also through social and interpersonal interactions in hostels, cultural festivals, among others.
The startup ecosystem
There has been an accelerated focus on supporting and promoting startups at all the IITs. The institutes provide opportunities, for not only starting up a business, but also for working with some of these technology-based startups. With their understanding of business and management, MBA students are a useful resource to these technology ideas. At the same time, experience with these startups provides a valuable experience to the management students.
Though teaching and learning happen through curricular and related co-curricular activities, a lot of learning happens out of the structured mode of classroom interactions. Students need to proactively engage with the IIT ecosystem to leverage the advantages of the system.
They need to look out for courses in other departments that might be useful either in the short or the long term. Courses in mathematics, engineering, humanities and social sciences that can provide unique perspectives.
Engaging with the faculty members on their current and ongoing research by taking the initiative to contact the faculty members in your area of interest can be useful.
Being a part of the cultural and social ecosystem of IITs, participate in culture, technical festivals. Take a deep breath and get the smell of the place. There is also something about the robust meritocratic and high performance work culture at IITs. A lot of things in management education are “caught” and not really taught in a structured classroom context. Work values and processes provide this subliminal and subconscious education that guide students in their personal and professional lives.
The IITs are meritocratic and performance-based and these values are reflected in every aspect of its being. Students imbibe these values through their day-to-day experiences and interactions with the system.
Courtesy : The Indian Express