The term ‘employability’ indicates that a person possesses the necessary skills, proficiency, abilities, and attributes to get a job and to be successful in his profession. Highly skilled students who lead to employability will lead to the overall development of the nation. To get the desired job and be successful, a candidate first should have them what it takes to get the job. Higher Education executes an important part of getting a job. It develops employability among the candidates. Although we can say that these two are different things, it has been long assumed that when you possess a superior higher degree, it will land you a good job.
According to the Employment Report by Aspiring Minds, in the past nine years, there has been no change in the employability prospects of Indian engineering graduates. Only some of these graduates possess a handful of next-gen tech skills. In the knowledge economy, the report had highlighted that 80% of Indian engineers are not fit for any job. And only 2.5% of them possess the required tech skills of the industry in Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Comprehending the Problem
In India, Unemployment has been a long-standing challenge for the Indian economy. Although it is not necessary that just unemployment hinders economic growth, it is also the non-availability of the job but also the mismatch or lack of skills to carry out a particular job. Therefore, it is significant that we develop skilling models. These models will provide employment to the bottom of the pyramid but also the need for skilled human resources.
India has arrived in the phase where it has the largest demographic dividend of working youth in the world. The development of the country hinges on the quality of manpower. To encourage employability among the youth, the government has introduced, short-term courses, vocational courses, and professional courses. However, in spite of these programs, the skilled workforce In India is only 2.5 percent. This is much lower as compared to the developed countries where between 60-70 percent are skilled.
Another notable highlight is that this problem is not addressed by the Indian higher education system. This problem does not need just ad-hoc changes rather deal with high unemployable numbers, it needs a systematic and fundamental change. For the next 5-10 years, to ameliorate the low rate of engineering employability, it now requires long-term policy interventions in higher education. It also stated the problem that the engineers did not have the required technical, cognitive and language skills. Good coding skills are possessed only by a few handfuls of engineers.
The reason behind this is the small number of quality institutions in our country. This has led to the mushrooming of a large number of self-financed private institutions that have cropped up in every nook and corner of the country. These institutions do not have the basic infrastructure thus compromising the quality of intake of the students and teaching pedagogy. These institutions are not able to provide the quality of the students who can meet the expectations of the industries. The unavailability of infrastructure, sub-standard level of education and outdated syllabus have created a huge gap between higher education and employability.
To keep up with the changing requirements of the sector, the tech industry needs graduates to be equipped with skills in AI, Machine Learning (ML) and data science. As this is the future of work, the survey underscores that India must do more to educate its general population in proper coding skills. The survey also shows that the Indian education system focuses on the theory-based education system, where only 40 % of students perform internships while only 36 % undertake projects beyond their required coursework.
The students do not receive the necessary exposure to the industry. The students are merely living in a college bubble, where only 47% of students attend industry seminars and conferences. Another problem is the faculty itself where; the majority of the faculty do not tell students how engineering concepts apply to the industry.
Addressing the Mismatch
The report recommends that to address the skills gaps, we should use a mix of counseling programs and technology including AI. These tools will determine which job profiles match the student’s interests and skills; the skill gaps that may disqualify them; and how to address those skill gaps. In this manner, the students can assess their skills and thus prepare for matching companies and interviews accordingly. The focus should not only be the higher education and skill development programs but should encompass the skill development as a whole for Indian youth. Thus, it assumes importance for the government to invest highly in education, teaching, infrastructure, training, and skill development programs as a whole to supply quality and skilled manpower in the requisite number to diverse sectors.
-By Noopur Joshi
Posted By - Assistant Editor