Engineering is one of the most coveted choices for students who wish to undergo undergraduate and postgraduate studies in India. There are thousands of engineering colleges in the country but only about 3000 of them have the necessary recognition. Fewer yet are deemed universities. Each year lakhs of students pass out of these colleges, each with the hope of making it big, earning a lucrative sum each year. Most of them prefer to take up jobs in the IT industry and in core engineering industries but the top engineering graduates either prefer to go abroad to pursue higher studies or take up management seeking a job in the upper echelons of the corporate world. But do we have the opportunities necessary to employ these lakhs of students who hold an engineering degree? More importantly are they equipped with the skills set necessary to guarantee them a prosperous career? Here comes the real challenge if a recent study is to be believed.
Shocking Revelations By Study
Delhi based employability assessment organization, Aspiring Minds, recently conducted a study to assess the coding skills and programming logic of engineering students from computer and IT related branches. The results of the study may come as a shock to many. Aspiring Minds says that only about 4.7 percent of the students who are awarded engineering degrees from Indian colleges are capable of writing correct programming codes. About 60 percent of the candidates who were assessed by the study could not write any code at all.
Aspiring Minds undertook this study of 36,000 engineering students belonging to 500 colleges from different parts of India. Delhi engineers fared best, perhaps, scoring an average of 23.48 out of 100 on an automated program created to test their skills and their practices. Mumbai, Bengaluru, and Chennai engineers came next but the worst performances were of engineers from Kolkata and Hyderabad. This comes as a nasty surprise since Hyderabad is reportedly the city that sends the most number of students to pursue science, technology, engineering, mathematics (STEM) degrees to the US. This is not the first time Aspiring Minds has undertaken such a study. Last year the company undertook a study of 1,50,000 engineering graduates from across the country but found only 7 percent of them possessing the skills suited for employment in core engineering jobs.
The Major Challenges
What or who is to blame? Experts believe that the lack of quality education in the vast majority of the engineering colleges mushrooming across the country is to blame for this dismal state. Most private colleges charge a great amount as capitation fee and enroll students en masse without an adequate system for monitoring the quality of education and without exposure to practical challenges faced in the field.
Indian engineering and technology colleges – even the top ones such as the IITs – do not rank among the top in the world. The curriculum followed in many streams such as in the case of software engineering is often outdated. Computer systems and software development is a dynamic field which demands constant adaptation to changes – something that our education system fails to teach. Not only are our software professionals taught outdated programming languages, our engineers are asked to study old engineering and production techniques.
Aligning Ambitions With Capabilities
India harbours ambitions of becoming the manufacturing hub of the world. ‘Make in India’ is the Indian government’s flagship program aimed at promoting manufacturing and services in India and inviting foreign investments. The bitter truth, however, remains that the quality of education and skills that we produce are not in sync with such colossal ambitions. As students and parents of students, we also need to realize that Engineering is a career, a calling. More importantly it is a set of skills one learns – not merely a status symbol.