Just What Is Wrong With India\'s Engineering Graduates?

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Why is the majority of fresh graduates in the field deemed unemployable? Divya Nair speaks to industry leaders, recruiters and academia who analyse the crisis and explain why there is a demand in institutes for trained faculty, as well as a mechanism to test and upgrade job-relevant skills.

In 2008, when textile engineering student Lakshmi Priya did not get a job through campus placements, she was convinced by her peers and parents to blame it on the recession. They told her not to lose heart and focus on pursuing her master's degree. But after repeated rejections and lack of response from head hunters, the 21-year-old from Mumbai sensed that there must be more to her situation than the economic downturn.

After conducting her own research on textile engineers and interacting with seniors and career consultants, Priya was convinced that her engineering degree was a mere rubber stamp. What she really lacked was the skills required for the job.

"One company wanted to know if I knew how to mix dyes and had enough designer and garment manufacturer contacts. Since I had never worked in a garment firm before and did not even have internship experience, I was at a loss," says Priya, who after switching four jobs in the last three years is now preparing for her MBA entrance exam this year.

While Priya's may sound like the classic case of a career decision gone wrong, it is not unique in the least. At least not to the 83 per cent of engineering graduates in our country who, as per the 2012 National Employability Report, are unfit for employment.

The report, released by employee assessment service provider Aspiring Minds, revealed that among the five lakh technical engineers who graduated in 2011, only 17.45 per cent are fit for employment.

The NASSCOM (National Association of Software and Services Companies) survey of 2011 first brought the situation to light, claiming that over 75 per cent of technical graduates are not ready for jobs. It also explained how India's $60 billion outsourcing industry is spending almost $1 billion a year training these graduates for jobs.

Other surveys have alarming findings too. An IRIX (Industry Readiness Index) survey conducted in 2012 by Purple Leap, an organisation that trains students to be job-ready, revealed that one third of graduates from the Tier 2, 3 and 4 engineering colleges are not employable even after interventional training.

It reported that students across the country fall short of desirable levels in generic abilities, including communication skills and problem-solving capabilities in particular.

Before you draw conclusions about the academic profiles of these graduates, however, Amit Bansal, CEO of Purple Leap, explains that the survey was conducted among students who scored above 60 per cent.

Earlier this year TeamLease, a private staffing company, published a report stating that although it claimed to hire somebody every five minutes for the last five years, only five per cent of its recruits were fresh graduates who applied for a job.

In its India Labour Report for the year 2012, TeamLease clearly stated that unemployability is a bigger issue than unemployment.

What ails Indian graduates? Why are they rejected by employers during interviews? What can we do to make Indian graduates more employable? Express your views...

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Source : http://www.rediff.com/getahead/slide-show/slide-show-1-career-whats-ailing-indias-engineering-education/20120912.htm

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