LIVE’ning the Dream Careers

When Henry Ford was talking about a Model T and the color variants, he famously quoted – “A customer can have a car painted any color, as long as it is black”. Remember this and we will discuss the same at multiple places in this piece.

Decades later, every new recruit at this firm kept asking a similar question to this organization involved in education about going online. The reply – “we are fine with teaching anything in Data Science as long as it is classroom teaching”.

Parallels can be drawn between the thought process of both, the entrepreneurs and the belief system about the value proposition that is extended to the customer as well. While Ford was looking at operational efficiency and improved the quality of the cars he produced, the Founders of INSOFE were looking at the quality of Education and the commitment to create a world-class research institute in India.

“We want to build a Stanford of India” – this sentence reverberates the premises whenever there is a new hire orientation that is taking place at INSOFE. Standards, integrity and transparency have been the cornerstones of INSOFE’s success. 

The depth of concept, the span of practical understanding and rigor of evaluation make the flagship program of INSOFE – PGP in Data Science an arduous yet exhilarating journey of 19 weeks. During these 38 days of classroom teaching followed by instructor-led practical sessions, the student is expected to go through Recall output evaluations, Conceptual Understanding Evaluations and Hackathons that ensure no stone is left unturned in transforming a Data Science enthusiast to a Data Scientist. 

Time changes but INSOFE’s heart remains in the classroom and the head on the research orientation. It is a “Who moved my cheese?” moment for INSOFE today. Poetically, is Ford being asked to produce a Mint Green Model T? Success of the model was not enough, replicating success to bigger and better things has been the dream that INSOFE longed to realize. As an organization, we were obsessed with our vision and our direction. When the world presented us with a challenge where Classroom Education was impossible because of a pandemic that rewrote the rules of social interaction and made lockdown a norm of the day – INSOFE had to reinvent itself. 

Go the e-learning way with time tested methods of competitors or evolve with a difference. We chose to evolve, we chose to replicate our classroom experience, we chose to get closer to the student during the times of social distancing and presenting ladies and gentlemen, the genesis of a program designed to provide competitive advantage even during tough times – PGP Live in Data Science.

The whole world went the digitization way, today it is online. Some of the cutting-edge technologies are taught online.

  • Which in a way is good but is this also a huge optimization problem? INSOFE alumni thrive on Conceptual Understanding and recall the output with rigorous evaluations.
  • Can INSOFE go digital and still maintain the flavor of classroom learning?
    Understanding optimization is the order of the day. The PGP Live Program is optimized both in terms of time spent on concepts as well as the amount of time that is spent on a daily basis.
    We know what we know.

A direction of going live can as well be misunderstood as going online. Are we going online? The answer is an emphatic “NO”. We are going Live, INSOFE still is not offering the mass online open courses (MOOC). The values, the discipline and the expectations of INSOFE’s students can never be met through this model. Again – We know what we know!

Certifications on Coursera or any other platform are great to start and personally I envy those people with such outstanding discipline to complete an out and out online program. At INSOFE, the first step to learning is the structured classroom presence where the interaction resembles more like between Socrates and Plato rather than that between Dronacharya and Ekalavya. A session as it happens is non – negotiable, recorded sessions are not something we are great fans of. Here – We know what we don’t know.

The new advantage of PGP is that people across time zones can wake up for a class. PGP Live introduces our unique classroom experience to a global audience now. INSOFE addresses a global challenge with a global solution. We thought local, we went global. Get ready, INSOFE classroom might have students from diverse cultural, ethnic, educational and geographic backgrounds. This makes the class exciting – isn’t it?

Teaching can never be a Soap Opera. If a streaming device teaches Data Science, I am sure a recording device will listen to the class. Teaching has to be live, as it happens like a press conference. You get to ask questions, clarify issues, participate to amass knowledge. At the same time, you can customize what you want to learn through our elective driven curriculum. Again, a moment of “we know what we know”.

Physical Classrooms are not possible, there are increasing numbers of students across the globe looking for quality education in data science and finally, the time has come to reinvent a new arm. We said, let us replicate the classroom over the web. This gives us a cost advantage; we do not spend on physical infrastructure costs. Again, we know what we want as well so the benefit of lowered cost is passed over to the student. 

Did you know that PGP Live is priced at almost 60% of the cost of the Classroom PGP program?

Ford manufactures cars of all colors, INSOFE teaches Data Science both online as well as physical but LIVE also can bring learning to life. We are not great believers in recorded lectures, we don’t believe in increasing value by reducing denominator and we believe in designing programs that are futuristic in nature. 

In a nutshell, PGP LIVE is our VOICE (Value for Money, Optimized, Intensive, Customized and Enriching) during these challenging times.

  1. Akhilesh

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