Now let us shift our focus from laments and comments to the way out.
What can make engineers employable?
A lot of talk has gone into “the need of soft skills”. English is worshiped in India with fervor. Masses believe that English and computers are two cows whose tail you need to grab to cross Vaitarini.
The life isn’t so simple!
I have interviewed all the four types of candidates based on presence and absence of soft and hard skills. The most irritable candidates are the ones who have soft skills but have abysmally low hard, technical skills. Their attitude sucks because they think just by the gift of gab, they can bypass other deserving candidates in getting a plum engineering job. Once again, massive hiring from service industry also has a part of blame here. When nobody knows or expects a dang technically, the smoothest speaker wins out.
So, let us delete public speaking, group discussions and 120 wpm English from the list for now and focus on the real stuff.
(In Indian context) Why should a fresh engineer get paid? For a few reasons:
- [Google like hiring] The fresh engineer should be a fountain of new ideas – New, original ideas are generally discouraged by Indian academia – so forget about this point
- If that doesn’t work, [Most product start-up hiring] the fresh engineer must have excellent awareness of what is going around and offer very current skills – and UGC and universities fail terribly at this
- If that doesn’t work, [Most MNC captive unit hiring] the fresh engineer must offer very sound understanding of fundamental concepts of their field and must be eager to learn fast, deep and wide – this is where the youth fails
- If that doesn’t work, [Most small service company hiring] the fresh engineer must make a strong, objectively verifiable case of hard work. The fast talkers fail even this category
Any solution must then work backwards: demonstration of hard work, basic skills, advanced skills, awareness and ideas.