We are extremely delighted to announce our weekly column on the most widely circulated newspaper in the country- Dainik Bhaskar!
In our attempt to conduct continuous research to update our curriculum based on the industry’s needs, having a weekly column on Dainik Bhaskar has really helped us spread awareness about the concept of work-readiness among a wider audience!
Here’s our latest piece for Dainik Bhaskar where we talk about how things need to change in tier 2 & 3 cities in India and the Employability Research study in Andhra Pradesh we were invited for.
As of the 2011 census, there are 8 tier 1 cities in India and as many as 3,133 tier 2 & 3 cities (as well as 1,233 rural hubs). Ensuring access to good quality jobs and work-readiness training in small town India is of utmost importance if we want to ensure sustainable growth for the Indian economy.
This past week, as part of an Employability Research study in Andhra Pradesh, we travelled to several colleges around Vishakhapatnam and Vijayawada. The study was conducted in association with professors at Harvard University and Stanford University, as well as the Ministry of Education. We interacted with close to 1000 students who will soon be sitting for placement season. As expected, the colleges in smaller towns tend to be homogeneous and conservative, but extremely welcoming and hospitable of external researchers and trainers.
We sat down with several placement heads in these colleges to get their thoughts. For them, getting companies to visit colleges often involves traveling to their offices and convincing their HR heads to make the trip to recruit. The placement cells have put in significant effort (as compared to tier 1 colleges) to get the students placed.
Here are some trends that we observed:
Firstly, India was one of the big players in manufacturing when colleges in AP were set up. But now, most of the recruiters that visit colleges are IT Services companies who are looking to hire for software development jobs. Since the college curriculum trains students in core engineering, there’s a major gap between what the students are being taught and what companies are looking for. If we could revive Make In India and increase spending in the manufacturing and infrastructure space, more jobs could be created in these sectors.
As Mr. M. Lakshmi Deepak – Placement head, Sir CR Reddy College of Engineering (Eluru) shared, “If the government could increase emphasis on creating jobs for these core engineers, that would be a great solution to the current situation. Our curriculums also need to be constantly updated according to industry needs.”
Secondly, girls are doing better than boys when it comes to placements in these regions. The job offers rolled out to girls is much higher, and companies also want to increase their ratios so conduct additional events for recruiting women.
Thirdly, the students were fantastic academically, with extremely high grades and significant grit and hard-work. However, confidence and exposure are the main differentiators between students in larger cities. This can be overcome with effective training and mentorship. When asked their fears of placement season, students cited their key challenges as confidence, communication skills and English fluency. When asked what their vision and career objectives are, most of them are looking to be respected in society and are keen to work for any reputed company and have a good role.
In conclusion, the colleges were impressive and the students have significant potential and drive. They are sincere and very eager to be hired. While it might take some effort to travel to smaller towns, it is time that companies across industries started hiring from across India instead of only from the big brand colleges!