Discover how Masai's holistic learning approach transforms tech professionals by developing cognitive, communication, and social-emotional skills.
When we compare the job roles of developers of today and the job roles of developers from 10 years ago we find some startling differences between the two.
Apart from writing lines of code, today, developers are required to bring to the table various other skills that involve a lot of human interaction. It is essential that developers of today are equipped with the ability to learn newer concepts easily and have the potential to lead teams.
Employers also give priority to individuals who have the ability to evolve into a personality that can contribute both at the individual as well as the functional level.
The need for holistic learning
The current education system seems to be falling short in forging personalities that start delivering the job expectations from day one. One of the big reasons why this happens is the lack of focus on providing education that is outcome driven.
And this is where Masai comes into the picture with its holistic approach of learning that has seen more than 1000 students build successful careers in tech. To explain the concept of holistic learning let us consider an example.
Recruiters from a big firm have to make a hiring decision between either of the two candidates- Ramesh and Suresh.
Both Ramesh and Suresh have almost identical functional acumen. But, Ramesh has something extra to offer. Apart from the functional skills, he brings to the table other sets of skills that make him good enough to be trusted with a wider range of responsibilities on the job.
Thus, who should the recruiters choose? Obviously, Ramesh.
What Ramesh brings to the table is a unique set of skills including excellent communication skills, empathy, interpersonal skills, and the ability to work together in teams. All these skills will not just help him but also the company grows alongside him. And this is what holistic learning does.
A holistic approach to learning refers to the approach where individuals gain skills and competence by developing their social, emotional, cognitive, and linguistic abilities.
It brings about a gradual shift from the mindset of earning money to a mindset that focusses on building skills that lure in high-paying jobs.
Apart from learning to code, Masai students help develop qualities of teamwork, communication skills, commitment, and time management.
At the end of the 30-week curriculum, Masai students have the necessary skills in their arsenal to present themselves as well as their ideas in a manner that helps them swiftly climb the ladder of success.
This article will set the base by giving out details about the different ways students undergo holistic development at Masai and how it helps students kickstart a career where skills become the catalyst that produces money as the by-product.
Holistic learning at Masai
Masai’s holistic approach toward learning helps develop an individual at the following 3 levels:
This is one of the vital aspects of holistic learning and is concerned with the development of an individual’s intelligence. It involves thinking, problem-solving, and understanding concepts.
Here at Masai, we develop the cognitive ability of an individual through the gradual process of mastery-based progression. The core mission of this project is to make sure that not even one student is left behind.
This process allows students to learn at their own pace. Students who do not demonstrate the level of proficiency necessary to get through a particular unit are termed “Async” and have to repeat that particular unit until the necessary level of proficiency required to get through that unit is displayed.
With Mastery based progression, students get enough room for self-discovery. They are able to figure out their own learning structure and identify their strengths and weaknesses.
Throughout the duration of the course, students make the gradual shift from a mindset of scoring marks to a mindset of mastering the core competencies needed to ace a software developer job.
One skill that is of utmost importance in the workplace is communication. It is necessary to communicate effectively at the workplace as it boosts teamwork, facilitates better collaboration, and makes sure everybody on a team stays on the same page.
Communication skills and behavioural training (the CSBT team) at Masai enables students to gain an extra edge over the other students when it is time for placements. The CSBT team consists of instructors who put in work daily to better their communication & interpersonal skills good enough to crack the placement code.
The CSBT team also helps our students inculcate good interpersonal skills. Students learn to communicate in an open, honest, and empathetic manner. They also learn ways to respect and accept differences.
Developing the social and emotional sides of individuals requires them to go through experiences that foster strong relationships with other individuals in a space that is safe enough to convey their emotions.
The Masai experience creates a space that is conducive for individuals to socialise and develop strong relationships with their peers. And we do all of this while making sure there is enough room left for them to convey their emotions.
Peer learning: During the 30-week Masai curriculum students get many opportunities to interact with their peers on assignments (both individual and group). These interactions help students inculcate within themselves the quality of teamwork.
They act as the perfect gateway for students to socialise with each other and enhance their critical thinking. Since opinions on a particular subject might vary from person to person, peer learning makes it possible for students to share different ideas and get into the habit of finding out various ways to solve a problem.
Since these students work towards achieving a common goal, the feedback from teammates is tailored towards achieving success. It caters to everybody’s needs and fosters an environment that teaches students the importance of giving and receiving positive feedback that is geared towards achieving a larger goal.
Instructional Associates: Former Masai students also help us in fostering a safe and secure environment in a big way. Passed-out students from a particular batch of Masai get the opportunity to become Instructional Associates (IAs).
These IAs stay in close touch with the students throughout their Masai journey, develop personal bonds, and in some cases act as their lifeline. This allows students to perceive them not as teachers but as a person who is a friend, a facilitator, and a companion with a considerable amount of experience.
With the presence of an IA, students get to develop a friendly connection and this is where we get to see a culmination of all the aspects of holistic learning.
Firstly, the IAs impart learnings to students and ensure they have no doubts left on the curriculum side.
Secondly, both the IAs and the students work together to resolve doubts, they get ample amount of opportunities to practice open and honest communication. With the age gap being minimal, it becomes easier for both the IA and the student to develop a sense of empathy which with long-term practice becomes a habit.
Now, we'll explore how this holistic approach aligns with current industry trends and will provide valuable tips for aspiring tech professionals.
Technology-related innovation continuously affects how people live, work, and communicate. To thrive in this fast-paced sector, ambitious tech workers must not only learn the necessary skills but also remain current on industry trends.
- Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML): The cutting edge of technological development is represented by AI and ML. Across industries, they are being utilised to streamline processes, make data-driven decisions, and enhance user experiences. Aspiring tech professionals should consider gaining expertise in AI and ML.
- Cybersecurity: Cybersecurity is a significant responsibility for organisations due to the rising frequency and sophistication of cyberattacks. Cybersecurity expertise is in great demand to safeguard critical data and digital infrastructure.
- Cloud Computing: Cloud computing has transformed the way organisations function. Cloud systems such as Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, and Google Cloud provide scalable and cost-effective solutions. To remain competitive, tech professionals must learn cloud computing.
- Blockchain: Blockchain is not limited to cryptocurrencies. It's being used for secure transactions, supply chain management, and more. Understanding blockchain technology can open up diverse career opportunities.
- Internet of Things (IoT): IoT links devices, enabling communication and data sharing. This trend is transforming industries, including healthcare, agriculture, and manufacturing. Tech professionals who specialise in IoT can drive innovation.
- Data Science and Big Data: Data is the new gold. Companies are gathering massive volumes of data and require specialists to analyse and generate insights from it. Data science and big data skills are in great demand.
Tips for Aspiring Tech Professionals
- Continuous Learning: Take online classes, attend seminars, and read tech blogs to stay updated on the newest technology and trends.
- Build a Strong Portfolio: Create projects and showcase your skills. Whether it's coding, web development, or app design, having a portfolio demonstrates your capabilities to potential employers.
- Networking: Connect with professionals in the tech industry through LinkedIn, local tech meetups, and conferences. Networking can lead to job opportunities and collaborations.
- Soft Skills Matter: While technical skills are crucial, don't overlook soft skills. Communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and adaptability are highly valued in the workplace.
- Certifications: Consider obtaining relevant certifications. Certificates from reputable organisations can validate your expertise and boost your resume.
- Internships: Gain practical experience through internships or co-op programs. Many companies hire interns with the potential for full-time roles.
- Personal Projects: Work on personal tech projects that interest you. These can serve as great conversation starters during interviews and demonstrate your passion for technology.
- Mentorship: Seek out a mentor who can provide guidance and insights into the industry. A mentor can help you navigate your career path effectively. Problem-Solving Skills: Tech professionals are often faced with complex problems. Cultivate your problem-solving skills by tackling challenges and puzzles regularly.
How holistic learning helps develop careers?
Holistic learning by working at the levels mentioned above makes an individual aware of unique personality traits, interests, preferences, values, attitudes, strengths, and weaknesses.
It empowers students by first making them aware of their unique abilities and then by teaching them the various ways they can channelise them to meet the job demands.
Masai started out in the year 2019 with a single goal to bridge the gap between the availability of potential and the availability of resources in the country.
Apart from focussing on building skills, holistic learning hands individuals with the tools necessary to navigate professional challenges and add a new dimension to the working culture thus helping themselves as well as the organisation thrive and drive the vehicle of growth.
The approach of holistic learning toward building careers at Masai is a small step toward bringing reforms to the Indian education system.
By taking a holistic approach to solving this problem we have been able to successfully bridge this gap. But the lack of reforms in the Indian education system has ensured that there is still a lot of work that needs to be done.