The present study strives to realize the following objectives: 1. (a) To enquire into the needs of various segments of urban Indian community with regard to Business Education. (b) To explore as to how such needs get translated into the demand for training as Business Professionals. 2. To study the trends and the reasons thereof with respect to the number of students opting for Business Education at +2 stage and at an under-graduate level. 3. To study the efficacy of early specialization in the field of Business Education on professional efficiency of students and working professionals. 4. To do the critical analysis of the present Business Education curriculum at +2 level.
The study required construction of questionnaires to be administered to the samples of following sections of urban Indian society: • Students at Post-graduate level: 60 students studying at Post-Graduate level and pursuing various commerce based professional and academic courses; for example M.Com., MBA, CA, ICWA etc. • Students at Under-graduate level: A sample of 50 students studying at Under-Graduate level and pursuing various commerce based professional and academic courses like B.Com (P), B.Com (H), Hotel Management etc. • Professionals: For the purpose of the study People working in various organisations w involved in different types of commerce-based jobs at different levels i.e. the lower, the middle and higher level. 36 respondents chose to become the representative sample • Employers and HRD Personnel: A total of 08 employers who gave consent to be a part of the study were interviewed. • Teachers and Specialists: For the purpose of this research, 26 Teachers and specialists working in the field of Business Education at various levels: for academic and professional courses for a considerably long period of time (5-25 or more years) and thereby deemed to have developed certain perspectives on the subject.
Questionnaires and Interviews: Questionnaires were administered to the following: 1. Students pursuing Business Education at Post-graduation level 2. Students pursuing Business Education at Graduation level 3. Persons and professionals working in the field (along with interview) 4. Employers and (HR) Human Resource people (along with interview) 5. Specialists and teachers in the field (along with interview) Ensuring Validity or Trustworthiness of the Research: 6. Investigator triangulation for Descriptive Validity 7. Participant feedback for Interpretive Validity 8. Extended fieldwork for Theoretical Validity 9. Methods triangulation and data triangulation for Internal Validity 10. Adequate representation from different sections of society to ensure Replication Logic for External ValiditySince the present study seeks to understand the relationship between needs of contemporary Indian society with respect to Business Education on one hand and the extent to which these needs are reflected in the demand for being trained as Business Professionals on the other hand; it became imperative to make use of both the paradigms- qualitative and quantitative for the purpose. For assessing the needs of Indian society, perceptions of people from different segments of Indian society were gauged and analysis of all the documents generated by various agencies of national level was done and inferences were drawn. So a combination of survey techniques and documentary analysis had to be used along with certain components of critical theory. As one of the main objectives of the study pertained to studying the efficacy of Business Education at various levels; again it became essential to collect and study the perceptions of students, teachers at various levels, employers, HRD people and other specialists and combine the results with aspects of critical theory to analyze the situation properly. For realizing other objectives also similar techniques which combine Naturalistic and Interpretive approaches were used to arrive at inferences and conclusions. Since, the purpose of the study is to examine in detail the efficacy of Business Education especially at +2 stage, taking into account the perceptions of various segments of society and drawing inferences from various documents generated by national level bodies, the tenets of the study are descriptive and exploratory in nature and perhaps first of its kind in India. Therefore, the study has been dealt with in a predominantly qualitative way.
(1) Qualitative data collected was subjected to Response Analysis done in a qualitative manner (2) Quantitative data collected by way of reports generated by Ministry of Human Resource Development, Ministry of Education, Institute of Applied Manpower Research, National Sample Survey Research, CBSE, Central Statistical Organisation etc. were scrutinized statistically and inferences were drawn.
The study concluded that Business Education is extremely important for every individual whether or not he/she intends to be a part of Business World. It is compulsory for anybody desirous of a being a part of Business World at any stage or level; which explains the exponential increase in the Demand for Business Education over the years. Also the study finds that the curriculum of Business Education at all levels, more or less adequately covers all the hard/technical skills but lack intensely on the interpersonal, intrapersonal or the soft skills. Also the transaction of the curriculum needs a swing to student-based Experiential Learning: Practical Exposure, Case Studies, Problem-Based learning activities, Projects etc. Another major findings of the study is that studying Business education at +2 stage or early specialisation is not considered to be very fruitful venture as it does not contribute to academic or professional excellence; also the students do not get any specific job advantage; though at Under-graduate stage and higher stages it does makes a lot of sense. This forces us to think when there is no specific advantage attached to studying Business at +2 stage why the students should devote 2 years of their lives in pursuing something which they anyway have to study if they take up Business at higher stages? Clearly the students are choosing this at the cost of not studying something else. So why not pursue some other subjects or general education which might contribute in development of basic analytical and logical reasoning skills; which may be more advantageous to them in the long run; as the opportunity cost of not studying something else is greater than advantages of pursuing commerce at this stage.
Keyword(s): Social Need, Market Demand, Business Education