Short Vocational Courses Gain Favour with Students

DUBAI — A single year in college, training by professionals and the chance to get a job immediately — that’s what seems to be enticing students to enroll into quick diploma programmes.

By Afshan Ahmed

Published: Wed 15 Apr 2009, 10:42 PM

Last updated: Thu 2 Apr 2015, 9:15 AM

Vocational institutes have noticed a rise in students who are looking for courses that are affordable, won’t take years to complete and present hands-on experience to break into the industry once the economy stabilises.

“I was planning to join a regular graduate programme but thought against it. I want to do something specific that won’t take long. Anyway, organisations here look for experience that I will acquire during the course,” said Comfort Nafuna, a high school passout who has opted for a Diploma in Sound Engineering at the SAE institute in Dubai.

“Within a few months I will be working, as ensured by my institute,” seconds Arab national Rana Khatib.

“In boom times one should train, but in recession one must train and fast,” said Nowshir Engineer, Founder, Director of EMDI Institute of Media and Communication that is housed along with several training institutes at the Dubai Knowledge Village.

The institute offers year-long specialised courses, introducing students to the practicalities of the industry. “Professionals who have lost their jobs are looking for skill upgrades and do not want three year courses and now young school passouts also equate education to employment. So they ask: if I take this course will it guarantee me a job,” said Engineer.

Most of the courses come as a part time option that does not bind students to rigid modules and are evening based for the convenience of office goers.

“It’s almost like an a la carte option. Students can shrink or extend their course according to their convenience,” said Asif Iqbal, IT trainer at Arabian Vocational Training Center in Dubai. The centre provides courses in Applied Information Technology and Diplomas in Business Administration.

Industry interface forms an integral feature of these institutes that follow an Experience Transfer Approachto training.

“I got the opportunity to work for the Dubai International Film Festival through the institute, as the organiser was a guest faculty. Now, that has become an added experience on my CV,” said Jagruti Narwani, a student of EMDI on the avenues that have opened up for her.

Eikon Institute in Dubai offers hospitality management courses, organises industry visits for students.

“A five month internship is compulsory to attain a diploma,” said Chanda Nair, programme coordinator of the Institute that is affiliated to the American Hotel and LodgingEducational Institute.

More news from