The need for changing the way engineers are taught and skilled

Engineers with the required new age skills are automatically being offered higher salaries even if they lack work experience

It is hard to imagine living one’s life without using some form of technology. Today, technology drives all industries, and innovations pertaining to it are piquing. However, these innovations can only be implemented effectively by professionals who have the right skills to match. Imagine going through a full training program or course and coming out not knowing where or how to use those skills! This has been a problem over a long period of time, but the focus is now shifting to preparing talent before they set foot into the professional realm. The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) reported that 80 percent of a million engineers and students of other technical courses are unemployed. Further, out of this million, only 45 percent are unemployable – a problem that is especially prominent in Tier 2 cities.

A consequence of the gap in skillsets and demand has led to a salary hike for both freshers and experienced professionals in the field. A recent report by Wipro revealed that a number of large companies are offering pay packages of 6 to 7 lakhs even to fresh talent, provided they have skills that fit the ask. The increase in salary is quite high, with a rise that is between 60 and 80 percent more than earlier amounts.

This further cements that there is more of a demand than there is a supply of employable talent. However, unlike several other countries, which have a significantly smaller percentage of the required talent for available IT jobs, India has the largest number of engineering professionals and graduates in the field. To reach an impactful solution, there is a need to take a deeper look at the problem at hand.

Thus, there needs to be a shift in mind-sets for engineering, as other specialisations have their training spread out over a period of time as part of their official degrees, along with constant mentorship to supplement it. It is experiential learning that will give students a holistic sense of exposure and application before they step out into the professional world on their own.

These models of learning employ a number of learning methods that aid the development of students. Students should be made independent in their work and thus be confident when put into a number of different work scenarios, such as complex coding processes that they haven’t attempted before. Having mentors in the form of experts from the industry will ensure they are up-to-date with skills and demands from current jobs. The use of simulation is another example of how actual work-environments can be recreated.

Programs based on this model, for specific specialisations within the IT space, will cover the aspects of the dynamic requirements and variables of the product or industry. When each program includes a job-specific approach, it will mean more confidence for the graduates aiming to join the industry and more productive professionals in the existing realm.

By Narayan Mahadevan, Co-Founder, BridgeLabz

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