KARACHI: The IBA Karachi organized a discourse on ‘Industry-Academia Linkages’ Thursday at J.S Auditorium, IBA City Campus Karachi. This was the second session conducted under the dialogue series ‘CEO Forum’.
The discussion was moderated by Malahat Awan,Head Communication at IBA Karachi who was started this session with guest speakers, including Ms. Jehan Ara, Founder and CEO, Katalyst Labs and Raza Pirbhai, CEO, KFC Pakistan. Attendees included industrialists, students, faculty, media personnel, academicians and members from the corporate sector.
Commencing the session, Dr. Zaidi inquired the speakers about how to bridge the gap between academia and the industry. And how academia can provide solutions to the industry and the challenges associated with it.
Sharing her expertise, Ms. Jehan opined that a good foundation of education must be laid at university level. But the main skillset is developed once an individual is employed and, on the job, learning and training takes place. She also said that the IT industry needs trained personnel and currently there is a lack of such human resources.
Reflecting on his vast industry experience, Pirbhai stated that universities cannot keep up with rapid industrial changes and requirements. He said that the era of only obtaining a degree from renowned universities had passed and in today’s world, one needs eagerness to learn and adaptability to change. “Leading universities produce good quality talent, but external elements including technology are changing rapidly and therefore universities are facing a challenge of keeping up with the industry’s requirements”, said Pirbhai.
He also enlightened about the role of internships and how a structured internship program helps mentor students to adapt to today’s work environment.
Dr. Zaidi opined that universities have the capacity to adapt as compared to school curricula. He stated that universities update their teaching modules periodically to keep up with the evolving trends and practices.
Dr. Zaidi asked the speakers what academia needs to change to be more relevant to the industry’s requirements.