Come June, another batch of engineering students will be passing out of college. Given that hardly 20% of them are employable, next step for them is to start searching for courses with training institutes. Thanks to the lower level entry barrier, every corner of the town / city is filled with institutes claiming “100% placement assurance” | “We guarantee you a job” | ” Join our course, walk out with a job offer” etc. How much truth is there in such job placement advertisements? Let us have a look.
Profile of an engineer
Here is how we see a typical profile of engineer who is looking for a job placement:
- Graduated from a tier-2 or tier-3 engineering college from a town / city
- Has no clue about problem solving. Somehow got into or pushed into engineering because of societial / parental pressure etc.
- Can hardly communicate his views to others
- Has very high expectation job placement with a plush IT company with six digit salary. He strongly believes that he deserves that, even though he has not written more than 10 lines of program in any programming language on his own
With such a backgound when they walk out of college the 100% job placement creates a wave in their minds. This is mainly because such messages makes them believe that all it takes to hand in a high paying job is just a 2-3 months affair. The story goes further where they get cheated by such institutes without any job placement. They forget the fact that if 4 years of engineering can’t get them a job, how come a institute with a 3 month training program can do that?
Job placements – top colleges no different!
Cut to premium institutes. We have been working with some of the top notch engineering colleges where big names like Google and Facebook go campus job placement for their US offices. Media does its job by multiplying their US salary by 65 INR and projecting big numbers. This makes most of them believe that engineers in the top engineering colleges are destiny’s kids and their career sky rockets after that job. The reality is different there also. Even in premium engineering colleges more than 30% of the students pass out of the campus without having a job placement. It is not a institute’s mistake, but an individual failed to meet expectation of the company in some form or other. If a engineer from top notch engineering college can’t get into campus job placement how come anybody can get into a job directly.
So the bottom line is – If an individual doesn’t meet entry criteria for a job placement, he doesn’t get selected, irrespective of the type of engineering college. Rather we can go ahead and say nobody can give a job guarantee to anybody. In such occasions the finishing schools (called as training institutes) play a vital role in bridging the gap. However bridging the gap is not very easy given the so much of limitations with engineering students as mentioned above. It requires a very systematic and step-by-step and careful approach to make an individual employable.
Its been a very interesting journey for us in Emertxe by going through this cycle. However we have a clear view about how we are going to approach this challenge. In alignment with our training philosophy of ‘coach’ and ‘applied learning’ we take the training approach as follows:
- Engineers should solve problems – IT is not very different. To start with we build a strong base by making individuals to convert a given problem statement into working program. In such approach more than 80% of the time is spent time with analysing the solving the problem on paper before jumping into writing code. Following diagram depicts this approach, which we also call as 360 degree view.
- Once the base is built, the next step is to apply into various scenarios. For example, in case of Embedded systems itslike doing programming in a Embedded Linux based board for solving a real time use-case. Say in case of Java, its about using it for writing a web based application that runs out of a server etc
- Shaping up behavioural skills is a parallel activity. Be it in terms of discipline, communication, openness etc.. by taking a long term view of the career. This requires constant monitoring of individuals and providing them with timely feedback on how they can work on these individual skills. Apparently putting them across working professionals (via our DISHA series), we are able to see significant changes in shaping up behaviour
- During the process not everybody is equal. Some might do well and some might not. In such cases taking continuous improvement approach helps. In case an individual lacks in a specific area, providing additional coaching and support in that area has helped them to come out of it by building lot of self confidence
We are not recommending above mentioned steps is a sure short receipe for making an individual job ready. However we have seen very positive results in terms of job enablement by successfully converting college students into working professionals. Based on our experience we can say that it takes time (atleast 6 months) to transform individuals during which they need to be co-operative and working hard. Thats the only simple and sure shot way to achieve job guarentee rather than taking any short cut steps.
In the mean time watch out if anybody says 100% job placement guarantee, because we clearly know what it takes to get there!