How industry is helping to bridging India’s engineering skills gap


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Engineering is one of the most sought-after career paths in India, but according to Rajat Agrawal, associate dean for innovation and incubation at IIT Roorkee, only around 45 percent of today’s graduates have enough skills to get employment. “That skill gap is increasing,” says Agrawal.

But this is not due to lack of demand for what they have learned: India’s demand for digital talent jobs is 8x larger than the pool of fresh talent available, Nasscom reported in October 2020. By 2024, it expects this to increase to 20x.

The fact that graduates may be unemployable at a time of such high demand for educated workers is a matter of concern for educational institutes, and it’s of concern for some of the world’s biggest IT companies too. They’re stepping in to offer upskilling and reskilling programs in artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, cloud technologies, blockchain, and the internet of things, working together with the nation’s IITs, NITs and other big educational institutions.

One of the factors contributing to the skills shortage is that there has been a sudden shift in the world of work in recent years, driven by the arrival of disruptive new technologies. The result, says Agrawal, is that “Routine works are automated and new jobs are created in technology-driven activities.”

This means that organisations are seeking to bring new skills into their workforce, whether through training or hiring.

Learning to learn

“Most of the institutes in India are trying their level best to provide the latest IT skills to their students,” says Agrawal, but nevertheless, “Students are lacking in advanced analytics, blockchain, cyber security type of advanced topics.”

Copyright © 2021 IDG Communications, Inc.

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