Admissions Blog

Learning business management is a complicated enough exercise with experts divided on whether management is science or art, or both. In the current era, the complications are compounded by the pace of change. Theories and frameworks are getting outdated rapidly and textbooks can be obsolete by the time they reach the student’s desk from the printer. In this scenario, how does a student ensure that the business studies course is keeping him or her future ready? The answer is not easy given the situation, but there are 5 universal aspects that few would dispute.

1. Practical experience

Many business studies courses are geared towards freshers with limited to no work experience. If the course itself offers no avenues for practical experience then the student graduates with a skill handicap. Look for courses that offer hands-on business experience during studies. This can be in the form of industrial projects from real companies, internships, assistance on faculty research projects for companies, or even simple opportunities for interaction with the real business world. Being in actual situations, facing real problems of real people shapes your world view and the sooner you can gain this experience the better. For this, look for institutions that have tie-ups for such opportunities with their recruiters and other corporates.

2. Soft skills

Many business studies courses are geared towards freshers with limited to no work experience. If the course itself offers no avenues for practical experience then the student graduates with a skill handicap. Look for courses that offer hands-on business experience during studies. This can be in the form of industrial projects from real companies, internships, assistance on faculty research projects for companies, or even simple opportunities for interaction with the real business world. Being in actual situations, facing real problems of real people shapes your world view and the sooner you can gain this experience the better. For this, look for institutions that have tie-ups for such opportunities with their recruiters and other corporates.

3. People matter

In a networked and ever-changing business world, no one can function in a silo. Effective team work is essential in an era where multiple perspectives are needed to solve complex problems. And this means people need to be effective at working together. Empathy, accommodation, appreciating diversity, understanding and working with differences, and sensitivity are the key skills that need to be developed for success and these are timeless skills. Institutes that build in team work and people dependencies into course work will help groom managers who can work effectively and efficiently with any group of co-workers. This is why many courses involve a large volume of team assignments, presentations, and projects.

4. Global perspective

Globalisation is a reality that no business, big or small, can ignore and this will only compound in the future as trade and people mobility go up in future. Even an entry level business manager needs to be cognisant, aware, and prepared to work in a complex and interlinked world. How do you achieve this when many entry level managers have not even stepped out of their city of birth? Developing the ability to work with different nationalities, being comfortable in foreign environments, and being able to blend into the unfamiliar are going to be must have skills for the future and preparation needs to begin early. Courses that offer foreign language courses, cross-cultural collaboration opportunities, international exchange programs, diverse pool of international students, and opportunities to learn from foreign visiting faculty are one way to prepare for this business reality.

5. An entrepreneurial approach

Some theoretical concepts are timeless while other whither away. However new approaches to solving old problems and developing abilities to deal with new problems are always evolving. After all, many of the challenges and opportunities seen today did not exist even 5 years ago. How would a graduate from then cope today and how will he/she cope tomorrow? The dynamism needed to face unique situations and problems comes from developing an entrepreneurial mindset in students from an early stage. This mindset can be developed through a pedagogy that focuses on doing, experimenting, failing, learning, unlearning, and taking responsibility for one’s efforts. Courses that spoon feed will soon disappear into the sands of time, as will the students who learned with such approaches.

Bear in mind that there is no course which will teach you all the skills you will need in the future. A course can provide you with timeless skills, some of which are listed above, and it can provide you with a mindset of flexibility, entrepreneurship, ownership, responsibility, and risk taking. If you have these then your skill set is indeed timeless.

What it is

Engineering Physics refers to the combined disciplines of physics, mathematics, and engineering. The field seeks ways to apply, design, and develop new solutions in engineering and holds promising career prospects for interested graduates of science or engineering.

One of the biggest advantages of Engineering Physics is that unlike traditional engineering or science disciplines, it does not restrict itself to one domain. The focus is on applied physics covering highly specialised fields such as quantum physics, materials science, applied mechanics, electronics, nanotechnology, microfabrication, microelectronics, computing, photonics, nuclear engineering, biophysics, control theory, aerodynamics, energy, solid-state physics, and others.

The focus on coming up with integrated solutions sourced from multiple specialities ensures that the solutions thus derived are more optimal, effective, and efficient. The cross-functionality also serves as a bridge for the long-standing gap between the theoretical and practical sides of science and engineering.

Who is it for

As stated, graduates of science or engineering can look to specialise in Engineering Physics. Scientists looking to move beyond theory, or engineers looking to create real solutions to tangible problems using theoretical rigour find this field exciting.

Career prospects

Qualified engineering physicists fit in into opportunities within high technology industries some of which are in emergent domains. Broadly speaking, the roles span research and development, design, and analysis. The industry will depend on the engineering specialisation that is selected, i.e. mechanical, computer, nuclear, aerospace, etc.
Engineering Physics is well poised to grow as a segment specifically because of the many emergent sectors in which it has application as well as the technological progress in the last decade that has created entirely new industries. Some of the key areas that will see job growth are discussed below.

Agro Physics

The pressures of a growing global population and the need for sustainable agriculture are going to [belatedly] lead to science and engineering playing a larger role in how we grow crops. Agro Physics is an evolving field and it involves the study of materials and processes in the sowing, harvesting, and processing of agricultural produce.

Artificial Intelligence

Artificial Intelligence or AI refers to machines that mimic human cognitive functions such as learning and problem solving. This exciting field is growing by leaps and bounds and holds great promise in automation of many processes besides an exponential growth in processing capacities.

Biomechanics

Biomechanics involves the study of the structure, function and motion of the mechanical aspects of living systems. The field touches applications such as aerodynamics, orthopedics, locomotion, pathology, oncology, among others.

Bionanotechnology

Bionanotechnology refers to the combination of nanotechnology and biology. Here, bio systems within nature are used as inspiration for creating new nanodevices or nanoparticles. Nanomedicine is the obvious field that is looking to benefit from the progress made in Bionanotechnology, while agriculture is another sector that will see application of new solutions.

Composite materials

A composite material is made from two or more constituent materials with significantly different physical or chemical properties that, when combined, produce a material with characteristics different from the individual components. The objective could be to make the composite lighter, stronger, harder, softer, resistant, flexible, rigid, etc. While composite materials have existed since ages (concrete and steel are composite materials!), limits in development of new materials are constantly being pushed through progress in Engineering Physics.

Machine learning (ML)

ML is a subset of AI and refers to algorithms and statistical models that computer systems use to perform a task without any instructions input by human operators, relying on patterns and inference instead. ML is beginning to find application across many sectors including primarily Economics, Finance, Forensics, Medicine, Search Engines, etc.

Microfabrication

Miniaturisation of various devices (think about the first cell phones and compare them with devices today) has led to the need for Microfabrication, which is the process of fabricating miniature structures of micrometre scales and smaller. Progress in material science, nanotechnology, and other fields has led to growth in possibilities in this field.

Nanotechnology

Nanotechnology is the manipulation of matter on an atomic, molecular, and supramolecular scale. Apart from medicine, Nanotechnology holds immense potential for multiple industrial sectors such as defence, textiles, food packaging, sports, construction, and energy. The fruits of the research conducted in this exciting field over the years is only just beginning to be realised.

Neural engineering

The human neural system is an extremely complex arrangement linking the brain with the rest of the body. Neuroscience is still making tentative progress in understanding how this system works and this pace has quickened lately thanks to the improvement in imaging systems. Neural engineering is a discipline within bioengineering that uses engineering to understand, repair, replace, or enhance these complex neural systems. Aspects such as Neuroimaging, Neuromechanics, Neuromodulation, Neurorobotics, and Neuroregeneration hold great promise for patients who have been resigned to living with neurological disorders.

Robotics

Robotics is the true combination of Computer, Electronics and Mechanical Engineering with Physics. While Robots have existed since many decades now, the application across more sectors, the sophistication of the robotic systems, and their efficiency are being enhanced through the many technological developments. This will lead to productivity and efficiency gains across multiple sectors.

Careers in Nanomaterials

What are Nanomaterials?

Nanomaterials are substances or materials that are manufactured and used at a, as the name suggests, very small scale. ISO (2015) defines a nanomaterial as a ‘material with any external dimension in the nanoscale (size range from approximately 1 – 100 nm) or having internal structure or surface structure in the nanoscale’.

Insert video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DAOFpgocfrg

Why are they important?

Nanomaterials are the most recent and most exciting development in materials science. Nanoscale materials have unique optical, electronic, or mechanical properties. Thus, when compared to the same material which is not at a nanoscale, they show more optimal performance measured typically in strength, chemical reactivity or conductivity.

What are the industry applications of nanomaterials?

The scope, unlike the size of nanomaterials, is massive:

  • Better building insulation,

  • More energy efficiency,

  • Better batteries,

  • Better cosmetics,

  • Nimble automobiles, aircraft, ships, spacecraft

…..there is nothing nano about the potential for nanomaterials and nanotechnology. There is every possibility that this field will touch just about every industry that exists today and will even create new and unthought of applications.

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Who is the field relevant for?

Considering that we have only just begun to understand the scope of development and application of nanomaterials, the future for this field is bright.

The kind of backgrounds required for this field could include:

  • Engineers,

  • Material Scientists, and

  • Physics, Chemistry, and Biology graduates.

However, nanoscience is essentially interdisciplinary wherein science is applied to engineering and hence a holistic mindset/approach is needed.

What are the career prospects?

As mentioned, the industries requiring this expertise are extremely diverse. Currently, nanomaterials have seen significant adoption in sectors like:

  • Electronics,

  • Textiles,

  • Polymers,

  • Packaging,

  • Transportation,

  • Sporting goods,

  • Computing,

  • Medical equipment,

  • Forensics,

  • Military, and

  • Energy, among others.

According to the widely followed recruiter.com, salaries in the USA range between $45,000 and $73,000 for nanotechnology engineering technicians. Needless to say, as use of nanomaterials expands engineers with significant experience can see their salaries grow significantly in the coming years, more so since demand will outstrip supply of candidates.

How do I get started?

The pathway starts from an undergraduate degree in engineering or sciences with a focus on specific courses in nanotechnology, nanomaterial, or nanoscience. Alternatively, with the growth of nanoscience in India several universities including SRM AP offer undergrad and masters courses with specialisation in nanotechnology. This can be coupled with the many options available at the PhD level in this exciting field.

What is Energy Storage?

Ever since humans mastered energy capture, energy storage and retrieval for use at a later point of time or place has been the key pursuit in power engineering. As per Wikipedia, “Energy storage is the capture of energy produced at one time for use at a later time. A device that stores energy is generally called an accumulator or battery.”

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Why is it important?

Energy comes in multiple forms, which include radiation, chemical, gravitational, electrical, temperature, and kinetic. Energy storage technology converts energy from these forms into economically storable forms that are safe and accessible.
Energy storage systems are assuming greater importance with the increasing focus on sustainable energy (solar, wind, hydro) electric vehicles and the rapid rise in use of battery-powered electronic devices like smartphones, which has led to a surge in production of lithium-ion batteries. This makes energy storage one of the most promising upcoming sectors.

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What are the industries involved in Energy Storage?

When one thinks of Energy Storage, one immediately thinks of batteries. However, batteries are about storage and retrieval of chemical energy, but energy is of many different types. A hydroelectric dam, stores gravitational potential energy, ice storage tanks store ice frozen by cheaper energy at night to meet peak daytime demand for cooling, and fossil fuels such as coal and gasoline store ancient energy derived from sunlight, buried and over time and then converted into these forms. Industry application include power storage and distribution obviously, but also automobiles, real estate, mining, and telecom.

Insert video ‘Future of Energy Storage’: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_LAuDTNW5dw

Beyond Batteries: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3R7EzO3uBms

Who is the field relevant for?

The demand for energy storage systems is likely to grow exponentially globally as the world shifts towards renewable energy sources. This shift will mandate both grid level and unit level energy storage systems that are of a viable size, cost, and energy efficiency. Significant research is currently being conducted on materials, engineering, and other optimisations.

The kind of backgrounds required for this field could include:

  • Metallurgists for analysing potential of viable materials,

  • Chemical engineers and chemistry graduates,

  • Electrical engineers

  • Automobile engineers interested in electric vehicle development

However, energy storage is somewhat interdisciplinary bringing together material science with expertise in the energy storage using sectors.

What are the career prospects?

Estimates by Lux Research, an independent research and advisory firm, suggest that the global industry for energy storage could be worth $100billion in the next few years.
Given the focus, demand, and growth, energy storage sector will generate significant jobs in the future. Moreover, due to the shortage of qualified professionals relative to demand, entry salary and salary growth prospects are positive.

How do I get started?

The roadmap involves an undergraduate degree in electrical engineering or material sciences with a focus on specific courses in renewable energy and energy storage.

Since its inception in 2017, SRM University, AP has raced towards its vision of becoming a world-class university that is globally connected, nationally relevant and regionally transformative. The ambitious plan for the multi-stream research university was built on its state of the art infrastructure, new age curriculum, and a strong faculty team. At the heart of it all has been the sprawling, green campus designed by American architects, Perkins + Will.

But the campus of any learning institution is only its foundation. It needs to be harnessed and complemented by a holistic, dynamic learning experience that can give students the edge in their respective careers. Undoubtedly, it is hard for freshers walking onto the nascent campus to envision it for their future. “Not knowing what my journey was going to be like was the most challenging part for me,” confesses Alluri Harika, CSE, student of the first batch.

In three years’ time, she not only graduated with a specialization in Cyber Security but also got placed with Optum Global for a plum package of Rs. 11.59 LPA. “I wanted to experience diversity. I went through many stages of knowing about the faculty, university culture, curriculum, campus diversity. It showed their willingness to provide an efficient and global standard of teaching. I would say we grew together a lot in three years,” she adds.

Campus diversity of SRM University, AP is much talked about because it in itself is an enriching experience for students. Sri Harsha TR, who also specialized in Cyber Security vouches for the impact it had on his transformation as he says, “I had some amazing discussions and interactions with students from different streams on campus, in research labs. I also learned a lot while I was organizing festivals. It’s the diversity that I miss the most today.”

Today, he is realizing his professional dreams after converting his internship into placement with AbInBev for a handsome package of Rs. 12+ LPA. Students of the first batch of SRM University, AP unanimously agree that their initial scepticism faded quickly as the curriculum went from strength to strength. They also got the opportunities to explore a wide range of platforms to grow and showcase their talents.

Nilofer Sultana Mohammad, who specialized in Data Science and bagged a placement with Barclays Global Service Center reveals how campus activities groomed her personality and instilled a sense of independence in her. “Always being a part of organizing committees made me a multitasker, who could manage time efficiently. I also overcame my fear of public speaking and became more persistent,” she says brimming with confidence.

Her defining moment came when she attended a semester at the prestigious University of California, Berkeley. Nilofer admits that it changed her perspective about the world and her own life, and made her an independent woman. That seems to be the story for all students, who have been part of the young SRMAP campus. They have broadened their horizons, gained new perspectives, built a strong professional foundation, and transformed with their university.

“Education is not the learning of facts but the training of the mind to think,” said Albert Einstein. In recent years, there has been a sea-change in the understanding of what we need from professionals of tomorrow. We need thinkers and thought-leaders that can shape the future. Interestingly it has coincided with new-age digital disruptions that have made information easily accessible to Gen Z. Knowledge acquisition for them, is not limited to classroom learning. The new Internet age has practically made traditional modules of learning redundant.

Traditional learning worked on “one size fits all” model with the unreasonable expectation that all students have similar capabilities. If learning institutions and educators have to keep up with the evolving demands of the industry and Gen Z learners, they have to embrace new-age advancements. These pedagogies and technologies encourage students to be inquisitive, to explore and innovate. New age universities like SRM – AP, Andhra Pradesh have already incorporated these advancements in their learning experiences for students.

Multi-stream learning

“Interdisciplinary communication is where truly great ideas emerge,” said Carl Seger. As work environments get more collaborative across functions, it’s vital for future professionals to have insights into streams that are beyond their domain. Moreover, experts also assert that multidisciplinary learning encourages lateral thinking, which is a sought after trait in tomorrow’s professionals and leaders.

Active Learning

Active Learning places greater responsibility for learning on students as they are actively involved through case studies, role plays etc. It does not diminish the role of the instructor but simply puts more onus on learners, which develops problem-solving skills amongst them. Application cards, minute papers, visual modeling are some of the advances in strategies that are being adopted by leading learning institutions today.

Artificial Intelligence

AI become the buzzword and is certainly here to stay. It has revolutionized the way curriculums are delivered across schools and Universities. AI has the capability to arm educators with insights to understand students’ performance, their strengths and weaknesses. This information can be used by educators to offer more personalized guidance to suit their specific needs. AI tools overall generate a more dynamic learning experience for students.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual Reality has taken the education sector by storm due to the truly immersive experience it creates for learners. It makes it easier for students to process and absorb the information they are getting. Augmented Reality through the mediums of video clips, images, animations etc. create a real-time experience while keeping students engaged. Experts believe it can enhance creativity, problem-solving skills and critical thinking skills amongst students.

Remote to Hybrid learning

Remote learning was already gaining prominence before it was necessitated by the pandemic this year. The potential of virtual classrooms is limitless as high-quality learning is made available to students across the planet. Modern technologies like Zoom, social media, video-conferencing are being leveraged to deliver highly productive sessions for educators and students alike. These learning experiences complement offline learning into a powerful Hybrid learning module.

Education sector as we knew it has gone through a reboot. It’s up to learning institutions and academics to keep pace and put their best step forward. Some of the pioneers of new-age education in India like SRMAP are already leading the way.

Fear of the Unknown is the greatest fear of all, they say. It’s that fear that we have almost universally dealt within this year of uncertainty. The word “new normal” has been coined and is talked about by experts in great detail. But what does it truly entail? How do professionals of today and tomorrow navigate their way through the new normal on their way to success? It’s time to upskill, but what are the skills that will be in demand in the post-Covid world?

The new world might be mired in uncertainty, but one thing is certain – that workspaces will see a transformation in times to come. If you want to make your mark in the changing professional scenario then here are skills you should possess:

  • Adaptable professionals for the flexible work environment: Work from home has already become a norm for companies big and small. Workspaces will keep evolving rapidly in times to come. As a professional, you need to keep pace with the changes or be left behind.

  • Get what it “techs”: Technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Robotics, IoT had already made their presence felt before the pandemic. They will make businesses more resilient in the post-CoVid world. Being equipped with skills in the latest technologies is the surest way to futureproof your careers.

  • Data with destiny: Data has become the most valuable asset for organizations. But as Bernard Merr writes in Forbes, “Data is useless to a company unless there is data literacy – people equipped with skills to understand the data and make better decisions because of it.” Data literacy skills will score high on companies’ priority list.

  • Innovators have a way in: In spite of the difficulties this year, some businesses have thrived. It’s largely because of the creativity they have shown in catering to their audience through innovative strategies. In the future too, organizations will be focused on professionals who can think and function creatively.

  • Critical thinking will be critical: With great amounts of data, comes great responsibility to analyze it discerningly. The rise of fake news, misinformation has been a menace in the recent past. The industry will be looking for critical thinking professionals, who can scrutinize information for objective decision making.

  • Leaders are forever: Technological disruptions with the changing nature of the workplace have meant that teams and teamwork have become more fluid. It will take strong and capable leaders with high EQ to bring out the best in their teams. Leaders who can encourage and enable seamless collaborations will be highly sought after.

Research and innovation-driven Universities like SRM University – AP, Andhra Pradesh have already incorporated platforms and initiatives in their curriculum to equip students with these skills. “We, at SRMAP, believe that the Universities and educational institutions need to trigger the thought process and inquisitiveness to go beyond the classrooms and textbooks,” says Prof. D. Narayana Rao, Pro-Vice-Chancellor of the University. And it’s this inquisitiveness and thinking out of the box that will make all the difference in the post-CoVid world.

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