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Are our Graduating Students Industry Ready ?

By | Ramesh Ranjan | Editor www.humanengineers.com

As per Aspiring Minds employ-ability focused study, based on 150,000 engineering students who graduated only 7% of them are Industry Ready.

Every one is chasing Engineering as a Graduate Qualification. Of which  as many as 97 per cent of graduating engineers want jobs either in software engineering or core engineering. However, only 3 per cent have suitable skills to be employed in software or product market, and only 7 per cent can handle core engineering tasks.

According to the HRD ministry, India has 6,214 engineering and technology institutions which are enrolling 2.9 million students. Around 1.5 million engineers are released into the job market every year. However the students passing out of these Institutions are not Industry ready and don’t have relevant Knowledge or Skills required to be gainfully employed.

Amidst the tens of thousands of management graduates churned out by the 5,500 B-schools in the country, only 7 per cent turn out to be employable, says a study conducted by ASSOCHAM. India

A McKinsey survey states that hardly 25% engineering graduates and 40% of science and math graduates are employable.

There is a proliferation of Professional Colleges, Engineering, Management and Medical Colleges but the quality of Education and the turnout of the Students are far from the expectations of the Corporate Employers.

In the process Students  are collecting their degrees despite not being skilled enough to gain employment in the Corporate World and be a productive part of the Indian economy.

President Pranab Mukherjee said in January, “if (the situation is) not reversed quickly, we will land ourselves in a scenario of having a large number of people with degrees but not enough manpower with proficiency to meet the emerging requirement of our industrial and other sectors.

What then are the reasons for this abysmal situation in the Country. There are many reasons :

  • Outdated Syllabus not in sync with the Current market requirement. More academic oriented and not Industry oriented. Focus on craming knowledge rather than application of knowledge. Need to keep pace with the Dynamic & Changing work environment
  • Quality of Teachers / Faculty – attraction, retention & development of Quality Teachers, constant updation of Knowledge, Industry exposure
  • Lack of Industry – Academia interaction, engagement & collaboration
  • Lack of skill based Education System
  • Students don’t have a true assessment of themselves outside of their University. No third party validation
  • Focus on Personality, Self Awareness, Attitude & Personal Development is missing

Students, Academic Institutions & preparatory Coaching Classes are always preparing Students for gaining admission in Colleges, Universities and cracking Company Tests but not helping students gain practical knowledge or skills.

The way forward is to

  • Decentralize and provide more autonomy to the Educational Institutions – off course with checks & balances. Give them more power to customize their offerings and fine tune their syllabus in line with the Market requirements (Corporate Employers). Currently most Institutions pass the buck by blaming their Central affliation universities and claim their inability to make any changes in thei Course Curriculum, Examination systems.
  • Make it mandatory to revisit the Syllabus every year to keep pace with the changing environment and market dynamics
  • Lay more emphasis on Application of Knowledge rather than Acquiring of Knowledge and provide more hands on exposure to Real Time Projects in the Industry, as Narayan Murthy has said that  “we have to teach our youngsters right from the school level to relate what they learn in the classroom to the real world
  • Encourage Industries & Academia’s to come together in co-creating syllabus, Teaching, Evaluation & Assessments and hands on experience
  • Encourage Industry Professionals to take up to Teaching and also Teaching faculties to take up Corporate assignments, Projects, Research to help them expose to themselves to the Corporate Reality
  • Include Personality, Self Awareness, Attitude & Personal Development in the curriculum and have them assessed thro’ professional third party organisations to assess their Behaviors & Personality traits.
  • Publish their Behavior & Personality Assessment also in their Performance Reports (mark sheets)
  • Assess Students on their Skills in addition to their Knowledge and have them assessed thro’ professional third party organisations to assess their Skills
  • Encourage Students, Universities to relatively compare their Performance especially on Skills within and outside the University and to publish these rankings in a transparent and objective manner.
  • Students must periodically Assess their Behaviors, Values & Skills and work towards bridging the Gaps and show continuous improvement and improve their Learning Quotient
  • The Teaching Faculty must also be encouraged to Continuously Learn and be assessed periodically for their Knowledge, Skills & Behaviors as much as we expect from the Students
  • Their recognition & rewards must be continuously linked to their continuous improvement of their Skills, Knowledge & Behaviors

Only through a concerted effort from the Government, Universities, Faculty, Students & the Industry, will we be able to address this serious gap between Industry Expectations vs University Delivery of Students especially at a time when we are charging exhorbitant fees to Students and are not able to guarantee their readiness for employment. Its our joint responsibility to ensure that we work towards“co-creating value thro’ People”

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Ramesh Ranjan

A Business Consultant, Executive Coach, Visiting Professor, Content Manager & Editor. Ex IIM NASSCOM LRC, ex VP NHRD Bangalore Chapter, ex VP-HR@Schneider Electric, Head HR@ APC, Caltex,Co Systems, Natural Remedies. https://www.linkedin.com/in/rameshranjan/

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