Addressing the skill gap in Engineering Jobs in 2019

 

  • “Only 1.7% of engineers in India fit into new-age jobs”
  • “80% Indian engineers unfit for any job”: Study
  • “Just 3% of desi techies have AI skills” : Report
  • “Over 80% Indian engineers unemployable, lack new-age technological skills”: Report

 

These are some of the glaring headlines that have been doing the rounds in some of the leading newspapers the past month. In the digital age, when the world is swiftly progressing towards the adoption of disruptive technologies, Indian engineers are being largely left behind in the race to reach the tech zenith. Talk about discrimination? Not really.

According to a recently published report, only 3% of Indian engineers have new-age technological skills in areas like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Data Science and Mobile Development.

The same report also states that only a handful of engineers possess coding skills. Although 4.6% of Indian engineers can code correctly compared to their Chinese counterparts (2.1%) but they largely lag behind their American peers (18.8%) who can write codes correctly.

 

Where is the lag?

More than 1.7 lakh engineering students from over 750 engineering colleges were a part of the recently conducted 2019 Annual Employability survey. Some of the common connecting threads it revealed were:

  • Industry exposure

The study stresses on the lack of industry relevant curriculum and exposure. Around 60% of the faculty do not discuss how engineering concepts apply to industry. A common struggle among engineering students, the report says is during their placements, whether it is finding the right company or the most suitable job profile. Approximately 40% of students reported that as their primary challenge.

  • Theory based education

Although one might argue that Engineering is an applied discipline and the need to learn primarily by doing, not only by reading and listening, yet in today’s time the nature of engineering education has come to being largely theory-based. The report also points out that micro-interventions have helped create isolated pockets of competence, but they do little for higher education or the larger economy as a whole. Industry experts believe that during the academic years at least a minimum of six months should be allocated to imparting education in collaboration with industry.

  • Lack of project experience

Students are trapped in a college bubble the report says. Internships are performed by only 40% of engineering students in India perform while only 36% undertake projects outside their assigned coursework. Attending industry talks is limited to only 47% of them.

  • Skill Gap

In the survey students have reported the lack of counseling and direction as a key hurdle in finding a job. Starting from the unawareness in the skill gap that might disqualify them from different jobs and the best way to get around them to finding the jobs that are most relevant according to their background, the struggle is real. Most students only focus on aptitude and not on interview preparation and therefore they find it hard to clear the interviews.

 

The essential need for upskilling and reskilling

Industry experts have time and again stressed on the need for upskilling in the digital age and this report is certainly a wakeup call. A very dismal yet true fact stated in the report says that “there has been no significant improvement in employability skills of Indian engineers in the last seven years, with a huge gap in new-age skills”. In the words of Sundar Pichai :

“In the past, people were educated, and learned job skills, and that was enough for a lifetime. Now, with technology changing rapidly and new job areas emerging and transforming constantly, that’s no longer the case.”  

The future is now. In order to get ahead in the race, develop your Analytical maturity. A fact which holds true for professionals looking to enter the world of Analytics is the constant yearning to keep up with the rapid advances in technology and a hunger for learning new skills. It is certainly set to put you in a competitive position. Also crucial is the focus on leveraging core soft and cognitive skills such as complex problem solving, creative thinking, cognitive flexibility among others to make a mark.

 

A FUTURE THAT WORKS: AUTOMATION, EMPLOYMENT, AND PRODUCTIVITY

 

When talking about the future, artificial intelligence, and machine learning, robotics,  can’t be left out for sure. These disruptive technologies are ushering in a new age of strategic automation and ubiquitous AI with the machines set to match or outperform human performance in a range of work activities, including the ones which require cognitive capabilities. On the other hand, it is also being believed that machines will complement the human workforce by eradicating repetitive tasks or manual work and pave the way for newer opportunities.

This would likely include rethinking education and training. Although many short-term courses are being offered at the Universities, they are however, unable to keep up with creating courses in emerging technologies because of the breakneck speed at which these technologies develop. Also a clear disconnect between what is ‘taught’ at University and what one finally works on in the ‘Industry’ is a glaring truth facing Indian Students. Therefore courses that bridge this gap with Industry endorsed curriculum, Mentors and Experts who are also working professionals and opportunity to work on Capstone Industry Projects should be considered the best bet.

A good data science course to get started will act as a stepping stone in the right direction. While on the course your chances of getting internships opportunities are likely to be higher as well doing hands on projects which is crucial to sharpen your analytics and data science skills.

Enroll in a comprehensive Data Science and Machine Learning course or a Machine Learning course with Python Certification or even choose from one of the analytics courses that fits you the most.

The courses at Ivy Pro School are brilliantly structured and a lot of intelligence has been applied in sequencing the content and modules. Choose an institute like Ivy Pro School which is trusted by Large corporate houses like Honeywell, Capgemini, HSBC, Cognizant, Genpact, eBay.

Ivy alumni come from varied backgrounds and get trained in the latest tools and acquire new skills that will be in demand in the new automation age.

REFERENCES

  • Annual Employability Survey 2019 by Aspiring Minds
  • https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/jobs/employability-survey-2019-jobs-slip-away-from-the-ill-equipped-indian-engineer/articleshow/68559686.cms?from=mdr
  • https://www.businesstoday.in/current/corporate/indian-engineers-tech-jobs-survey-80-per-cent-of-indian-engineers-not-fit-for-jobs-says-survey/story/330869.html
  • https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/india/just-3-of-desi-techies-have-ai-skills/articleshow/68489793.cms
  • https://disruptionhub.com/disruption-trends-9-for-2019/

 

– Shromona Kahali, Content Strategist, Ivy Pro

 

 

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