Bhanu Kumar
Director
WinVinaya InfoSystems

This is the often beaten to death topic that all of us in the colleges and corporates talk and/or worry about. The statistics indicate various aspects – some samples below

Student as part of the curriculum and various interactions with the industry must learn to know how to "apply their knowledge" in real project situations.

• 90% of the Indian Engineering graduates are not employable
• Only 25% IT Graduates are readily employable
• 58% of India's graduates have some degree of un-employability
• 64% of surveyed employers are "Somewhat", "Not very "or "Not at all "satisfied with the quality of engineering graduates and their job skills
• The percentage of ready-to-deploy engineers for IT Jobs is dismally low at 2.68%
• Only 25% of Technical Graduates are suitable for employment in the outsourcing industry because they lack communication skills

We have a lot more around this, but the key is we are churning out graduates year after year but not all of them are ready for employment. Is that the fact or is it just a hype? As a person involved in recruiting fresh graduates, I still feel we have miles to go with respect to employability. But the unfortunate reality is we cannot point fingers against anybody but all of us are part of both the issue and the impact.

There are various aspects that are being said about improving the employability and how the same needs to be done and the likes. While none of it can be disputed nor can we add more to what has been said, to me, there is something fundamental that needs to be addressed and that is understanding the need of the industry to ensure that the right fit talent is available.

Some of the aspects that one must clearly understand and tweak or correct to ensure that one is employable include (but not restricted):

Application of Knowledge – This is critical from an industry perspective. We see that students focus on the academic results, which is important but definitely not adequate. Student as part of the curriculum and various interactions with the industry must learn to know how to "apply their knowledge" in real project situations.

Curriculum Vs Changing needs of Industry – Technology and change goes hand in hand. Technology keeps evolving, as time passes by. In such a scenario, it is important that one needs to keep abreast of latest technology and industry trends. It is critical that both faculty and students keep themselves updated on this. For example, IT Industry definitely looks at skill beyond coding like optimized code; understand Cloud environment and the likes. It is important that the student community grabs opportunity to understand these aspects too!

Communication Skills – This is another often beaten aspect. There is a sea of a difference between what is seen in Tier 1 city colleges Vs Tier 2 or 3 city / town colleges. There is a cultural aspect that contributes to this but one needs to identify ways and means to overcome this hurdle. Communication is just not talking in English, but it is much more than that – starting from understanding to-listening to-expressing to what not! The key is, students must be able to talk fluently and listen effectively, and understand thoroughly. One who is technically sound but not able to communicate effectively, never succeeds!

Inter-personal Skills – Again this is a big ticket item impacted by our culture across various cities and towns. It is important for one to have confidence in oneself, and in what they do and have the right body language utilized during the various interactions they are involved in and obviously communicate assertively and appropriately. For example, students that are technically sound and are involved in debates or in some external coordination activities like symposiums have a better chance to be selected than others as they have faced the reality and have an edge. So it is important that one utilizes the opportunities of interaction effectively and learns!

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Corporate Culture – This is one of the most debatable topics. It is important that the education community understands the corporate community and vice versa happens. Corporate environment looks for individuals who are able to take ownership of responsibilities and deliver results. A simulated example in an educational environment could be the project internship or project execution done by the students. It is basically for students to learn the corporate culture but unfortunately it is being looked at as an academic requirement. But that's a huge opportunity to learn, and one must learn from every environment that one is exposed to.

A 'ready-to-deploy' graduate is one who is equipped to be deployed on projects and can generate revenue for the company. To bring graduates to a state of 'ready-to-deploy', most IT Organizations spend around 3 to 4 months in training them. This period must reduce from being months together to a couple of weeks, basically for the new entrants to learn the culture of the organization they are into. To achieve this, the Employability Quotient of the student / college must improve. There are multiple aspects in which the employability quotient of a student improves. It could be attitude towards people, technical skills and its assessment on one side, and could be the various training that undergone or the faculty and fellow students that they interact with on the other side.

What is important for one to succeed is to learn a lot, not just within the campus but also outside too. Interacting with fellow students or with industry representative during industry sessions or with faculty or even when browsing the internet helps them to hone their skills towards what they want to achieve and start focusing on learning them, practicing them, evaluating themselves on their readiness towards those goals. The aspects stated here are only tips of the iceberg. What will enable one to succeed and not LAG is to ensure that one keeps in mind the following principles (there are other things that are important but in my opinion these are primary). Here is a new dimension of the word usually associated with a negative connotation.

Learn – realizes that every minute there is an opportunity to learn and never assumes he knows every thing
Adapt – understands that in a society we are dependent on each other one way or the other and we must be in a position to adapt ourselves to the compelling needs of the society, environment and succeed< br /> • Grow – Never lose focus on his goals – short and long term – and use every opportunity as a stepping stone to achieve his goal and grow

Author Profile

Bhanu Kumar is the director of WinVinaya InfoSystems. Has 25+ years of IT experience including Solutioning, Architecting, Development, PM & QA experiences in typical application development and Cloud. Spearheaded assessments/implementation of quality paths across various standards. Has incubated/established practice lines like Service Desk and established and spearheaded various competency centers around Service Desk, Communication. He has conducted multiple training sessions across various technical and behavioral aspects and is recognized as a mentor/coach across various colleges. Is an Expert Member from Industry in the Board of Studies of MCA for an Autonomous college bhanukumar@eth.net