At 23, Sridhar a graduate in computer science engineering, from a reputed private engineering college, finds himself at crossroads. He could not get into a company via the campus drives and neither has he had the inclination for higher studies. His academic track record is impressive, but he says that he faltered in the interviews due to lack of good communication skills.
A recent survey by NASSCOM says that only 25 per cent of the students churned out from the numerous engineering colleges are readily employable. While at the same time, China is scoring ahead, ticking at almost 85 per cent on the employability quotient.
It is not just that the students falter only in the arena of communication skills, majority of them lack knowledge in their core subjects, be it mechanical engineering or computer science engineering, says the Centre Head of Mahindra Satyam Ravi Eswarapu. “Companies look for certain skills, and the skill sets differ from company to company. Companies like Google and Yahoo may look for skills in core subject areas, whereas companies like Infosys, Wipro or for that matter Mahindra Satyam might look for graduates who are okay with the subjects but are good in communication skills. Whatever may be the matter, a majority of the students lack the requisite skill sets,” says he.
Despite the depressing atmosphere in Europe, US lowering its dependency on India and slashing its billing rates and competitors like China, Philippines and Mexico catching up fast – The IT industry is growing and will grow. Ravi points out that the domestic sector will play a major role in the coming years. He says that there is no dearth in quantity, but the quality is very low. “The percentage of entry level hiring is steady and will be growing, but at present many of the companies are switching on to low cost alternatives such as B.Sc. (computer science). The idea is, when the same work can be extracted from a B.Sc. graduate, why invest on hiring an engineer and spending the same amount of money on training,” he says.
It is estimated that IT and ITES companies in India spend millions on training for the entry level entrants.
The problem of skill sets is not very pertinent with tier-I institutes, it is more relevant and prevalent in tier II and III institutes. Considering engineering entrants in the IT sector, skill sets can be divided into five categories- technology, process, project management, soft skills and academic excellence. When it comes to technology most of the IT companies come with the assumption that the candidates would have programming knowledge of C, C++, Java and HTML, Database Management System, Data Structures and Algorithms.