What TPOs can do to help improve the employability of engineering students?
Employability of engineering graduates is a major concern for colleges. In the past, multiple industry reports have brought forth the lack of employable skills in engineering graduates. Out of 8 lakh engineers who graduated last year, half of them could not get a job. At the same time, there has also been a shortage of skilled workforce in the industry. Unemployment among graduates and shortage of skilled workforce is a clear sign that the skill demanded in the industry and those supplied by colleges are not met.
Recently, the chairman of Tech Mahindra put forward an appalling fact that the top 10 IT companies in India only hire 6 percent of the total engineering graduates in India. However, these hired graduates still need to be trained on various technologies by these companies at various skill development and learning centers built by them. The major step taken in this direction is to make graduates more employable by institutions is to run campus placement preparation classes or EEPs ( Employability Enhancement Programmes).
Majority of these development programs are limited to improving aptitude and communication skills. While these skills are good to have, companies are now looking for niche skills in graduates, so as graduates are almost ready to be put to work.
Majority of colleges run traditional aptitude skill development programs. However, these programs seem to have an ineffective result on the overall employability of graduates. Given the current statistics and poor placement among colleges, it is certain that more needs to be done to make graduates more employable.
Making graduates more employable
The placement of a student majorly depends on a student’s skill. However, a placement and training officer can do a lot more to make skill development programs more effective. There are measures TPOs can take for better skill development of student and improve the overall employability of graduates.
- Understanding the skill demand of the industry: There is a massive skill gap in the industry. TPOs, need to take proactive steps to understand the skills companies are looking for today. Preparing graduates in skills as per the requirement of the industry can immensely increase the employability of graduates, instead of relying on traditional aptitude training and personality development classes. Companies need graduates who are ready to work as soon as they enter the industry.
One of the ways for TPOs to keep themselves updated with the skill demand of the industry is to attend technology conferences regularly. Organizing college seminars on in-demand skills led by industry professionals can contribute to a large extent in exposing students, faculties, and anyone concerned with the placements of college.
2. Building niche skill development programs: Skill development programs need to be built in accordance with the skill demand of the industry. Collaboration with industry to train students in in-demand technologies will have better results on the employability of students than traditional aptitude training programs.
3. Devising individual skill development programs: Two students from the same college, same engineering trade, and the same batch can have a widely different level of aptitude. Each student might not be a good fit for the same job role. Hence, it is imperative to see whether the same skill development can benefit both. Before finalizing a technology skill which you want the students to be trained on, checking their fit for the job role would be wise. The choice to learn a technology should not be solely based on the interest of a student, instead of on the level of aptitude and other skills.
Be aware that your skill development program might need to impart multiple skillset/technology skills to students based on their level of aptitude and interest.
4. Getting faculties to interact with Industry experienced professionals: Most colleges lack faculties with industry experience. Regular interaction of experienced professionals with faculties will expose them to trending technologies and the skill requirement of the industry. This could, in turn, help faculties to emphasis on areas which can potentially be helpful in skill-building.
In a nutshell, to improve the employability of engineering students, there is need to build skill development program that specifically addresses the need of each student skill-wise, while at the same time meets the skill demand of the industry.