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Vocational Skills, Recognition of Prior Learning and Technology: The Future of Higher Education

Authors: Shankar Subramanian Iyer


The vocational education, enhanced by technology and Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) is going to be the main ingredient of the future of education. This is coming from the various issues of the current educational system like cost, time, type of course, type of curriculum, unemployment, to name the major reasons. Most millennials like to perform and learn rather than learning how to perform. This is the essence of vocational education be it any field from cooking, painting, plumbing to modern technologies using computers. Even a more theoretical course like entrepreneurship can be taught as to be an entrepreneur and learn about its nuances. The best way to learn accountancy is actually keeping accounts for a small business or grocer and learn the ropes of accountancy and finance. The purpose of this study is to investigate the relationship between vocational skills, RPL and new technologies with future employability. This study implies that individual's knowledge and skills are essential aspects to be emphasized in future education and to give credit for prior experience for future employability. Virtual reality can be used to stimulate workplace situations for vocational learning for fields like hospitality, medical emergencies, healthcare, draughtsman ship, building inspection, quantity surveying, estimation, to name a few. All disruptions in future education, especially vocational education, are going to be technology driven with the advent of AI, ML, IoT, VR, VI etc. Vocational education not only helps institutes cut costs drastically, but allows all students to have hands-on experiences, rather than to be observers. The earlier experiential learning theory and the recent theory of knowledge and skills-based learning modified and applied to the vocational education and development of skills is the proposed contribution of this paper. Apart from secondary research study on major scholarly articles, books, primary research using interviews, questionnaire surveys have been used to validate and test the reliability of the suggested model using Partial Least Square- Structural Equation Method (PLS-SEM), the factors being assimilated using an existing literature review. Major findings have been that there exists high relationship between the vocational skills, RPL, new technology to the future employability through mediation of future employability skills.

Keywords: Vocational education, vocational skills, competencies, modern technologies, Recognition of Prior Learning, RPL.

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