India’s largest online higher education company, upGrad in partnership with ‘The International Institute of Information Technology Bangalore’ (IIIT-B), the premier research-based innovation institute hosted an online graduation ceremony for approximately 2800 learners, this Sunday morning. Gracing the event with their presence were, Chief Guest Mr. Pravin Rao, COO, Infosys and Chairman of NASSCOM, along with Professor Chandrashekar Ramanathan, Dean (Academics) – IIIT Bangalore, Professor S Sadagopan, Director – IIIT Bangalore, Ronnie Screwvala, Executive Chairman & Co-founder, upGrad, and Mayank Kumar, Co-founder & MD, upGrad.
upGrad and IIIT-B celebrated the successful completion of PG Diploma programs in Data Science, Machine Learning (ML) & Artificial Intelligence (AI), and Software Development/Blockchain, respectively. These included seasoned working professionals with a range of 8-11 years of work experience, from organizations including Fortune 500 Companies. 20 graduating students were awarded the ‘Top Performer’ award for achieving the highest CGPA in their respective programs.
upGrad and IIIT-B also recognised over 100 learners who went beyond the academic curriculum including those who went out of their way to help their peers. Some even set inspirational benchmarks for others, pushing them to do better, while many achieved stellar career transitions.
The uptake for online education has rapidly grown in India, especially among working professionals, and this has only been accelerated due to the pandemic. In fact, upGrad has doubled its course capacity to keep up with the growing demand, as it allows for Continuing Professional Education (CPE). By partnering with renowned universities like IIIT-B, upGrad provides students access to the latest content, mentors, and reputed faculty from IIIT-B to help with their learning.
“We are aware that education can never be measured ‘complete’ by any yardstick and recognize that goalposts keep changing. At IIIT-B, we closely monitor these changing demands and provide flexible opportunities for working professionals to stay competitive and relevant. With upGrad, our aim is to provide avenues of quality education for individuals to pursue continuous learning. I wish to congratulate all the graduating students from the batch of 2020 who have seized this opportunity,” said Professor Chandrashekar Ramanathan, Dean (Academics) – IIIT Bangalore while addressing the graduates.
“IIIT-B has always been at the forefront of creating innovative ways of inculcating the spirit of innovation amongst technology students. Our vision of quality at scale is realized today as we graduated in one day, what we did in 20 convocations over 21 years! With upGrad’s learning platform we hope to continue to equip students with the new-age tools to upskill and be future-ready,” said Professor S. Sadagopan, Director, IIIT Bangalore.
Commenting on the occasion, Ronnie Screwvala, Executive Chairman and Co-founder, upGrad, said, “The graduation ceremony is a critical part of the learning experience and we were determined to deliver that experience to our learners. Once individuals start working, it can be difficult to prioritize learning and upskilling, but it’s this tough decision that sets apart our learners from everybody else and the graduation ceremony is a celebration of their perseverance, their hard work and dedication.”
Pravin Rao, COO, Infosys, the guest speaker at the Graduation Ceremony spoke about India’s resilient IT sector, the current era of unprecedented disruption, and the commitment to continuous learning, “As corporates are reinventing themselves, individuals also need to reinvent themselves to stay relevant. Shelf-life of skills are becoming short, 2-3 years. Machines and algorithms in the workplace are expected to create 133 million new roles. People need to unlearn, learn new stuff and therefore commit to lifelong learning. This is critical to stay relevant and employable.”
Talking about his experience, Sajjad Yunus Mohammed, IIIT-B upGrad alumnus said, “I got hired in AstraZeneca through upGrad which brought me into the field of Data Science. Later, using the knowledge which I gained through the rigorous program module at upGrad, I was able to achieve further in my career.” He has recently bagged an opportunity to work with Philips, as a Senior Data Scientist.
Another alumnus, Vijay Narayan, spoke about his experience and learning from the program. He said “The biggest lesson for me is to never stop learning in this information era. Data science was a new skill and capability that I learned after 22 years of professional experience. Never shy away from achieving your dreams, because they are only yours to have and no one can take them away from you.”
The graduation ceremony had special elements for the learners which included a live performance by Maati Baani, a band founded by Hindustani vocalist Nirali Kartik and award-winning music composer/producer Kartik Shah.
The PG Diploma in Data Science is India’s largest Data Science program with over 10,000 alumni and learner-base. This program in partnership with IIIT-B is India’s first-ever PG Diploma to be recommended and validated by NASSCOM and is aligned to Government approved National Occupational Standards (NOS).