Deep tech skills

How Academic Institutions can assist IT Sector to address Unexpected Skillsets Scaling?

Post-COVID is developing into a new phase of geometric growth for the Indian IT Sector. Customers across the world and across sectors are seeking new and innovative ways of cost reduction. Some of these customers, who were resisting the idea of outsourcing IT Services to external agencies and different geographies, have shown an inclination to adapt themselves to the inevitable business model of shredding non-core, but critical business operations. Other corporates and IT product companies are looking at expanding and strengthening their existing IT and BPM operations in India.

The “Work-from-Home” has demonstrated that development and maintenance projects can be executed from any location other than the office. The development and deployment teams can efficiently and effectively deliver outcomes sitting at home through online mode. All the activities related to project management, communication, administration, training, and skills development can happen through online mode. For the companies catering to the IT services sector, this is a boon as it has helped in substantial reduction of non-billable time spent on traveling and other administrative activities thus increasing the productivity and boosting the morale of the employees. At the same time, the corporates in the services sector are resorting to cut in expenses on real estate, infrastructure management, and administration. These cuts have been passed on partially to the employees by up-gradation of IT infrastructure and official infrastructure at their homes and improvement in digital connectivity. Overall though the increase in productivity and reduction in expenses, IT companies have margins available for passing on to their customers.

The customers are looking for quicker deployment of new technologies and applications. The IT Product companies are working on incorporating new requirements and providing support for their products seamlessly. These requirements need skillsets on the latest methodologies and technologies. With skillsets, orientation towards innovation and design is also being sought. With increased business opportunities, they are also looking at both organic and inorganic ways of acquiring skillsets. The COVID situation has been used by IT companies to reskill their existing employees for redeployment as they themselves prepare for the new challenges in the Post COVID world. Hectic recruitment is going on for acquiring skillsets available from the market.

Shri Puneet Agarwal

Recruitment for fresh talent is also going on aggressively, but they need to be made employable and deployable on live projects by imparting technically relevant skillsets. The activities related to the training of fresh talent require time and resources in form of trainers. Also, the training needs to be done in physical mode to ensure quality and consistency. The trainers themselves are deployed on live projects and working against time. Hence companies are facing practical difficulties in withdrawing trained resources from billable projects to unbillable training.

At MIET, we are closely working with IT Product and services companies and taking feedbacks on their business requirements in terms of fresh talent. We are working with leading IT product companies in different domains and using the resources available at their disposal to train our Faculty on these latest methodologies and technologies. During the COVID period, IT product companies have made available plenty of resources like training materials, case studies, videos, exercise, problem statements, support, etc. online and free. We have been fortunate to get free or concessional facilities for testing and certification from these IT product companies either directly or through their partners. Based on their interest and work allocation, Faculty have been identified to avail of these resources and acquire skillsets & certifications. The Faculty in turn has been closely working with the students in guiding them to the advantages of these special and focused skillsets and mentoring them to the point of their certifications. Some of the students have even gone beyond the desired level of capabilities in terms of the acquired skillsets.

The efforts were clearly visible during the placement season of 2020-21. In spite of the COVID and lack of physical presence of students and companies on the campus, Meerut Institute of Engineering and Technology (MIET) and its sister campus – Meerut Institute of Technology (MIT) observed excellent placement seasons with IT Product and service companies vying for students with relevant skillsets. A few of the world’s leading IT product companies ensured that students trained on their skillsets were made available to their competency centers, implementation partners, and customers through virtual job fairs. Leading competency centers of MNCs in banking, manufacturing, telecom, retail, IT products, etc. gave offers to MIETians matching financial pay packets being offered by them at IITs and NITs. Students, who were offered internships in their final semester, have been confirmed at roles and salaries higher than that was promised at the time of selection because of their excellent performance during their internships. At the same time, the students have also submitted final year projects generating IPs through technical papers and patents, which can be used by their employers.

The learnings from the placement season of 2020-21 have cascaded down to the batch which is due for passing in 2021-22. Already students entering their final years are working on the latest technologies and skillsets. Their aspirations have grown tremendously and it is hoped that they will be in a position to make suitable and relevant choices for their careers.

It is also being observed that while students are working on new upcoming technologies, live projects, and contemporary problem statements, they are coming with new ideas and innovations. At MIET, we are encouraging students to take up challenges and explore the possibility of converting these ideas into prototypes and then possible commercially viable solutions. MIET is also the center for Innovation (ACIC MIET Meerut- promoted by Atal Innovation Mission, Niti Aayog, Government of India for promoting innovation) and MIET Incubation Forum (MSME recognizes Incubator). The Innovation and Incubation facilities are available not only to our students but also to the local community. ACIC MIET Meerut actively seeks engagement from IT corporates and employees/enthusiasts in different forms and ways for supporting its various initiatives promoting innovation, creativity, and design thinking amongst the children and youth of the Northern part of the country specifically in states of Uttar Pradesh, Uttarakhand, and NCR of Delhi.

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