Engineering education versus industrial requirements
‘It is better to work out than rust out’: Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya (Father of Indian Engineering)
Engineers are people who are capable to apply the principles of science and mathematics to develop economical solutions to technical problems. Their work comprises of scientific discoveries and commercial applications that meet needs of society and consumers. Does our Engineering graduates are capable of this? It is widely known that engineering graduates in India does not meet the expectations of Industry employers. In India engineering colleges or institutes are producing very sub-standard quality of engineers. It is critical that this gap in knowledge and skills be clearly understood in order to produce a better work force.
Let us understand the basis for categorising the colleges
- Tier 1: it includes the top central colleges like IIT’s and NITs
- Tier 2: It includes top-ranked private institutions and all the other state sponsored Government colleges like BITS, UPES, MIT
- Tier 3: It includes all those remaining colleges which are private institutions but are not categorised specifically.
India gets most engineering graduates from Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges when compared to Tier 1 college. So Tier 2 and Tier 3 colleges should follow adequate measures.
Measures to be taken by colleges & governments
Selection of students should be based on aptitude test. Provide admission to those who have the passion to study as many of the Indian parents wanted their child to be an engineer or a doctor. Also it is a fact that students with low marks and less effort gets admission in an engineering college but in a city like Delhi, a student who scores 85% marks cannot pursue in Bachelor of Commerce. So think that: Are these engineering colleges creating youth for unemployment? The Indian industries wants skilled people. Nasscom says six million people are required in cybersecurity by 2022.
Restructure the course contents as the present education system do not focus on market/industry needs or engineering graduates failed to satisfy the expectations of companies. In other words, we can say the students’ inability to apply the concept learnt. So a skill-based education is an immediate need. The four years should have hands on training on the basis of the problems they are likely to face in the Industrial world. Initiatives like the Start-up India and Make in India are positive efforts taken by the government for employment opportunities for engineers. Why this is in vain is due to the shortage of skilled manpower in India.
Stop Rote Learning as most of colleges focus on coaching students just like school to get 100% results. The attitude towards knowledge oriented education should change thereby students can able to think out of box and apply the concept they learnt.
Appoint Quality Faculty as most of the Tier 3 colleges are not comprised with well-qualified teachers. There is a trend in our country that that people who don’t have an option for employment after engineering, go to teaching in a tier 3 engineering college and this is the consequence of the above mentioned skill gap. Teaching requires passionate intellectual effort and storytelling to inspire their students. Colleges should provide faculty training and development programmes rigorously as Great teachers matters most.
Soft skills should introduce in the engineering curriculum as it is very essential in the present job industry towards client handling and team communication skills. Engineering graduates not only handle the technical challenges but also to work in a professional. If they failed to deliver their views effectively at the interview it will lead to rejection of even the most brilliant candidate.
Industrial tie-ups should be mandatory for colleges in Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities. because candidates from lower tier colleges/ cities are not getting the same opportunities as those hailing from Tier-1 colleges/cities, even if they are equally qualified and skilled. Usually companies have a habit to visit only top colleges for placement. This creates a lack in equal opportunities and also causes to ignore a large number of exemplary students who are in lower tier colleges/cities.
State of the economy also plays a major role for employment generation. Industry experts say that companies do not want to spend much on training. Most of the industries would prefer candidates with some skill sets who can be made billable soon.
In this competitive world, engineering students must be trained to manage the varied complexities and uncertainties to meet the needs of the present. If this can be achieved, the engineering education system will mass produce globally competitive professionals and mark for India in the global hi tech marketplace.