Anil Warrier, Global Head, Early Talent, SAP
It all starts with the IT boom over a decade ago that chiselled the job market in India. Gradually India became the IT hub for the world and all the major IT companies established their offices here which in result soared the demand of engineering graduates. Today, there are over 3.600 engineering colleges in India most of which are private institutions. Gradually the focus of major colleges shifted from providing quality education to quantity of students enrolling in their colleges resulting in a decreased level of industry knowledge and sharpened industry skills. And today we can find major chunk of the students struggling to grab their dream job and live it as they lack the niche skills required to survive the current cut-throat competition in this economic downturn.
However, the problem persists in both the academic and industry surface. As the quality of an engineer has become a priority, a lot of people from the industry, the education department and students have noticed that some of the subjects or content taught in colleges are outdated and unnecessary. This is where Indian education should look at the west. Indian education has always been rigged but it is slowly starting to become a little free. Although people who have gone through the Indian education system reached great heights, the rest haven’t. If the Indian engineering colleges follow the west, this will soon bring a positive difference in the students academia as they will be able select their specific subjects they want to do major and minor in. The academics will take a long time to change and become like the west. Colleges have started seeing their really good faculty members leave, and getting the replacements for them is going tough. No youngster after working for a couple of years wants to join a college and teach. Most people who have 10 to 15 years work experience do not want to teach and even if they are they would want to teach at reputed colleges.
On the industry front, most companies employ freshers as an extra pair of hands at a reasonable pay, while few companies employ freshers for brining in innovation, new thoughts and processes. The current generation understands mobility and social media better than people who have been working for 20 to 25 years. Companies should come up with a long term plan which will help them to hire, train and groom the upcoming youngsters who will become managers of tomorrow and the world leaders of day after.
Learn to Be the Part of a Team
Recently Indian universities have started incorporating things from the west like internships, seminars and many other such activities. Most of the internships here in India happen during the summer break of the courses and so the durations of these internships are for a minimum of 2 months. Looking at the universities abroad, you will see placements happening through the internships. Internships in the west are of 2, 3, 6 months extending to maximum of a year in duration. In India, companies should conduct six month internships which will help the company decide whether the candidate is really good and will he/she be a good investment if converted. The candidate as well will understand how it is to work in a professional organization and may get a hand-on on some of the latest projects the company might be working on. But the companies should also take a note that they will be making a lot of investments on the new candidate for duration of the first six to eight months to make sure he/she becomes productive. They can also make sure that the candidate can shadow a senior person or work closely with him/ her; or he/she could be part of a team.
Do What’s in Your Heart
With the advent of the IT boom, the engineering education also witnessed the substantial growing number of aspirants willing to leverage this boom. Blindly following the trend, tagged themselves as engineers. However, with the passage of time, several of them quit the job as they did not enjoy their work anymore. When you want to start working after your degree, you should wait for the right job. If you really enjoy your job, you will only excel at it. When a person gets passionate about his/her job, the person will start bringing in new ideas and ask uncomfortable questions to the bosses. Asking if all the problems have been trouble-shot by the company before the launch of the project is one such uncomfortable question. Luckily, the present generation has turned to do what they want to do and how they can utilize their own strengths to get a job they would love to do. They have stopped looking at brand names and are more focused on what jobs they would like to do no matter whether it maybe in a big, small or even a start-up company.
Most youngsters while deciding whether to pursue their masters or not fix on to take a year gap and get a job. In case they zero in on an MBA; the best advice one should give them is to have a couple of years of work experience before doing it. Although people who also do distance education MBA are no less when it comes down to doing good work; but at the end of the day doing a normal MBA is far better than doing distance education MBA. MBA should be learnt with case studies, debates and discussions which are more frequent in a class environment unlike the distance education MBA.
No matter where one studies, one thing is certain is that not all the students will get the jobs they want. But as much as possible, the colleges along with the industry should set up interview processes in such a way that the aspiration of a student will be rightly matched to what the company can offer. If the match making is right then the employer and the student will be happy, else it’s a short term relationship.
SAP AG (NYSE: SAP) is an enterprise software maker corporation. Headquartered in Walldorf, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, the company currently has a market cap of $89.78 billion.