A few years back, we were familiar only to the concept of interdisciplinary or interdisciplinary skill sets that means an individual should work on the boundary of his/her educational discipline in the organization or a student should learn interdisciplinary subjects of one domain. Nowadays the scenery changes and the work culture of the origination/business world also changed. The multidisciplinary approach came into existed and the management of the organization wants that the employee should capable to work with a multidisciplinary team.
Before, I shall precede the article; we will understand the perception of “interdisciplinary” and multidisciplinary.” The interdisciplinary means that the person is working with a single area of expertise. For example, in traditional work culture, the person was only able to hand the one task of his area of expertise, and he was unable to work in the other areas. At present, the company prefers to hire the people who possess multiple skill sets or having multidisciplinary working abilities. On the other hand, the multidisciplinary approach means the people from different disciplines working together, solving the problems, thinking for the betterment and development of the organization by using their skills of expertise together or in a team. It is known as the multidisciplinary team and multidisciplinary work culture that is a demand of today’s corporate world.
Now, the question arises where an individual should develop the multidisciplinary skill set? Is today’s corporate world training their employees or are individual will learn self for his/her survival? The answer to these questions is very tricky. The grooming of multidisciplinary skills will start from our education system. At present the student of any educational background, i.e., Engineering, Management, Commerce, Humanity and Social Science etc. should have multiple subjects’ knowledge or the student should have multidisciplinary courses.
We all are well aware that our education system always tries to incorporate the new and the latest concepts in the curriculum so that budding employee should get groomed, well educated, full of knowledgeability and multidisciplinary. In India there are many Universities, Colleges and Schools provide the multidisciplinary courses which allow students much flexibility to select the course that supports in the fulfillment of their academic and career goals. Online courses provided play a significant role in multidisciplinary studies like “Coursera”, MOOC (massive open online course), NPTEL (National Programme on Technology Enhanced Learning) and many more. It provides an opportunity to select from a range of different subjects and allowing a student to learn in different ways.
The multidisciplinary working is often seen as a revolutionary approach at the present business world. The corporate world prefers the team composed of members from two or more departments or different functional areas like Marketing, Finance, Operations, Information Technology, Human Resources, etc. working together to solve a problem or handle a situation that requires knowledge and skills from multiple disciplines. The traditional culture of the organization has been found not to work for the benefit of the broader public interest, but on the other hand the multidisciplinary approach has recently become more popular among some progressive professional bodies that have been very much acquainted with the concept of “working together” or a “team” with multidisciplinary people.
There are many challenges in multidisciplinary teamwork. For example, a person is not only responsible for completing his own allotted task; he must also spend time with interaction, communications, and problem-solving with the other departments. Another challenge for the person is to interact with the different team members come from unique backgrounds.
This study concludes that the multidisciplinary studies or working with the multidisciplinary teams are likely to be better for everyone or the betterment of the organization. In the present competitive world, every individual should be posse multiple skills set, and this is only possible to adopt or enhanced the multidisciplinary approach. We are leaving in the cross board scenarios. The working culture is not limited to the home country. A businessman thinks to expand his business not at national but also international level. The job opportunities extend the international platform. To reach that level, the time comes to become multidisciplinary.
Yes, in the end, I would conclude to say that a multidisciplinary skill is the demand of today’s corporate/business world.
Dr. Hamlata J. Bhat (Professor-CSE)