Every year, 60 per cent of eight-lakh engineering graduates from across the country remain unemployed. The problem is due to gap between what is being taught and what the industry requires, says Brijesh Kohli
The current job market is undergoing a transformation which has created a need for academic institutes to address the challenge of developing employable individuals. The evolution of technology has created a vacuum between industry and academia as institutes/colleges are not able to keep pace with the changes in technology advancement. The fresh talent that is coming out of institutes is not job-ready and unable to meet expectations of the industry. The budding talent pool is not equipped with knowledge and skills that may help them to compete in the job market. And, there are cascading effects of the unpragmatic engineering programmes in countries economic development.
According to the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) report in 2017, more than 60 per cent of the eight lakh engineers graduating from the country every year remain unemployed. Same year a study by Aspiring Minds, employability assessment company, claimed that 95 per cent of engineers in India were not fit for software development jobs. Indeed, the root of the problem lies in the education system, which is not able to cope up with the changing needs of the market due to their impractical and archaic curriculums and pedagogies. Further, our education system is skewed towards providing only knowledge and information rather than developing skills. This does not help us to churn employable students as in today's environment, it is very important to unlearn and acquire new skills in a very short span of time.
The problem arises due to gap between what is being taught and what industry requires. In orderto overcome this situationstudents, need to acquire skills that bridge the disconnect with the job market.Our education system is skewed towards providing only knowledge and information rather than developing skills. This does not help us to churn employable students as in today's environment, it is very important to unlearn and acquire new skills in a very short span of time.
The pace of change is very rapid, and we are at the cusp of technology revolution where IoT, AI, ML, Robotics and Blockchain are shaping the future of public as well as private institutions. The current industry scenario has created an urgent need for the academic institutes to bridge this gap and head towards the technological advancement to empower the businesses with job-ready engineers.
In today’s VUCA (volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity) world, it is imperative that our education institutes must prepare young workforce to face the changing demands of the industry and provide them full range of skills ranging from creative to a complex one. The role of education system is to empower the students with cutting-edge technologies and equip them with the skillset that are aligned with norms of today's IT ecosphere.
In India, though technological advancements have constantly triggered developments in various industries, the education sector hasn't been able to keep pace. Still, things can be improved to harness future opportunities, especially in the IT sector. It is believed that India's IT space is expected to reach 7 million by 2023, according to the Indian Staffing Federation. Indeed, most of these job roles will revolve around the latest technologies and applications such as IoT, AI, ML, Big Data, Blockchain, AR, DevOps, Agile, and Scrum. Hence, the engineering colleges offering degrees in IT, Computer Applications, and Software Development must equip their students with these trending technologies.
Innovators of tomorrow
A lot of changes are required in the curriculum of engineering programmes, and it is imperative for colleges to upskill their faculty and make them well-versed with thetechnologies that are emerging in the industry.
Though the theory has its own significance, the focus should be laid on practical implications to serve the actual purpose of an engineering programme. The programs should be designed in such a way that young workforce builds a creative mindset and develop a sound foundation of knowledge towards key concepts of programming and software craftmanship. This will help the individuals to transition from classroom lectures to building practical solutions.
Colleges can also engage willing senior professionals from various companies to take classes on weekends and provide career guidance as well. Academic institutes/colleges can also collaborate with companies for few courses that can be taught by professionals from companies physically or through webinarsetc.
Moreover, institutes can also collaborate with the industry through joint research projects under the mentorship of industry experts which will help students to interact with them to resolve their queries. In this regard, we at Xebia are working towards building synergies with the universities and educational institutes to offer industry focused programs on emerging technologies.
In fact, to garner the best talent from engineering colleges, industry players must also come forward to communicate what are the demands of the industry from their prospective employees and what changes colleges have to incorporate in their teaching methodologies. With such a collaborative and integrated approach, the gap between demand and supply can be minimised to a great extent and help us in preparing for a digital tomorrow.
Equipping future engineers and innovators with latest technologies will help them to compete not only in the job market but also provide a step towards their dream organisations and become indispensable resource.
The writer is Director, Xebia Academy Global