As per the data compiled by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy (CMIE), the unemployment rate in India rose to 7.6 percent in April 2019, the highest since October 2016. With the Lok Sabha 2019 Elections almost getting over, resolving unemployment has been one key issue all political parties have clearly refrained from talking about. A clear indicator that the problem is just the tip of the iceberg.
With the advent of better technologies, as many jobs are eliminated, many more jobs will also be created. These new jobs would require new skill sets. This would require educational institutions to focus on teaching such requisite skills. Challenge is that the majority of educational institutions lack that foresight and are still delivering a run of the mill course curriculum that has nothing new to offer or any practical learning that is implementable during employment. This especially stands true for Engineering and MBA educational institution. Primarily because thus far, post hiring a fresh graduate recruit, companies used to consider the initial 6 months to a year’s time as a learning period during which the new employee was not really seen as job ready. As such various training programs are offered to bring such candidates up to par with existing employees.
With extreme market pressure on businesses to deliver performance and profits every quarter, companies have been forced to reconsider such practices, reduce training time and focus on hiring candidates who are better trained. This leads to candidates who don’t have the requisite skills being rejected. Today, companies are looking for future employees who have already have the skills that would allow the candidates to be completely productive from day one.
As per a report published by Aspiring Minds in 2019,
- Only 3.84% of engineers are employable in software-related jobs at start-ups.
- Around 3% of engineers possess new-age skills in areas such as AI, Machine Learning, Data engineering, and Mobile technologies. On an aggregate level, employability in these areas is around 1.5-1.7%.
- US has a much higher proportion of engineers, almost four times, who have good programming skills as compared to India.
- A much higher percentage of Indian engineers (37.7%) cannot write an error-free code, as compared to China (10.35%).
- Only 40% of engineering graduates end up doing an internship and 36% do any projects beyond coursework.
This is a vicious cycle that needs immediate redressal. What students need from their education are practical skills that enable life long careers. Unfortunately, under the current scheme of things, students are taught how to rote information rather than researching and self-learning. Students are conditioned to look for institutions that can offer great campus placements with high salary packages rather than focussing on actual learning itself. In the pursuit of earning the highest, students focus on mastering how to answer questions in the format expected that gets them the best scores. But most still lack practical implementation. Unlike the European or American learning ecosystem where education is self-explanatory, research-based, Indian education institutions lack the necessary tools to inculcate such skills.
What students need today is a quality education that focuses on the practical application of the learning rather than importance on theory. An education that teaches students how to learn and not just memorize random facts and information. Each year thousands of engineers and MBA graduates join the unemployment numbers primarily because of this reason. Schools, colleges and universities need to replace their age-old curriculum and offer a more modern education that offers skills required today. At the same time, they have to start imparting knowledge beyond the structure of the classrooms blended with personalized mentoring with a focus on every student.
Furthermore, there needs to be a better focus on technical and vocational education. India needs more specialized schools and colleges that offer specific guidance and education that enables students to learn technical and practical skills. Currently, everyone is forced to study science and math. Schools need to understand the strengths of a student and then provide appropriate training in the chosen field. This will ensure that the child shines in the particular field of their choice. A collaboration between companies and institutions is needed wherein a curriculum is developed together keeping in mind the needs of the students and companies where institutions then become the enablers.
Additionally, what is needed is a rigorous internship that learners learn actual job roles and are able to implement their learning accordingly. A hands-on internship gives learners deeper insights than most classroom-based learning.
Educational Institutions need to drastically rethink their pedagogy, curriculum and teaching methodologies and offer better. Millions of students each year are currently graduating with no real world skills even though on paper they look like exceptional candidates with stellar grades. Grades with practical knowledge are the need of the hour. At the same time, students also need to move away from looking for colleges only with a high package as the end goal. Rather search for an institution that offers a quality education that equips them with valuable skills that enable them to become an asset in the relevant industry of their choosing. That is indeed the true power of a quality education.
Luxury Connect Business School offers a dynamic skill-based training and education for learners wishing to build the requisite skills to pursue a life long career in the industry