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Old 13th August 2013, 18:23   #556
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Over the years, I found that most companies don't want to spend on training, despite the complaints from managers that graduates have little real world knowledge/skill
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They want people who are already experts (be they fresh out of college or experienced pros) who won't make mistakes, ready-made solutions, rather than create an environment where one may join knowing nothing but emerge years later with more complete perspective. Today sysadmins are trained to so x things - take backups, configure networks, create users etc. but know little beyond the regular tasks; whereas sysadmins used to be the last word on any question related to their OS.
You're absolutely spot-on with this observation and in fact I wanted to say the same too. I wouldn't say only training, sitting in a classroom listening/doing hands-on labs can only be partially effective. The followup to the training is the important part as in
- Ensuring that the trainees put their newly learnt skills to the job before enough time has passed for them to forget it. I've noticed there's usually a large time gap between training and the trainees getting to work on those skills during which time that learning gets eroded due to lack of use and at times the need for that skill read project demand dries up.

- Having correct expectations as you mentioned. I believe this has to do not just with HR & recruiting, but also managers who want new people on their team. I've been in a team earlier where the manager had some completely unrealistic expectations from freshers who had just come on it. Being a TL at the time, I asked the Manager whether he would like to be driven 1000 miles on Indian highways by a teenager who's just got his driving license the previous day - which thankfully settled the argument.

- Mentoring - This applies to anyone new in an industry, company, team, be it a fresher or an experienced hand. People who are new to a situation should be given a little leeway and guidance to learn the processes, work culture etc before expecting great results. The only distinction i'll make is in the amount of time & guidance needed based on the kind of experience a person bring to the team.

So while graduates do have a relevant skill gap, I'll also put out a thought here that the way in which skills are developed and utilized (or not) at large scale IT firms are also a part of the problem.

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Things which I feel we can do:
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Please add more. Hope to see more solutions from this thread.
I fully agree with you - on taking up a job you love. Unlike most techies, i'm not a technical graduate, but I got into this field because I loved creating software programs which I discovered during a part-time job I'd held during my B'Com.

A trend I've noticed is that a lot of new graduates who've joined my organization are in it just for getting work experience to show on a post-graduate course application, usually abroad. I don't blame them for aiming for higher, and while there are those with an excellent learning approach to work, a many have a dismissive attitude to their work with the thinking that they are here only for a short while.

A very valid point is the thing about starting in a small firm. I think it'll be applicable not just for IT, but in all fields. Small firms cannot afford 1 person for 1 task kind of mentality, so people learn a lot quicker. The trick is to get this kind of startup mentality in teams within large organisations where a lot of the creativity gets buried under standardization and process and urgency relates to filing status reports, metrics etc on time.
That requires a bit of a leap of faith by senior management which at times folks do not want to do, for many reasons.
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Old 14th August 2013, 17:27   #557
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Unlike most techies, i'm not a technical graduate, but I got into this field because I loved creating software programs which I discovered during a part-time job I'd held during my B'Com.
Now, that's really rare. for following your heart.

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A trend I've noticed is that a lot of new graduates who've joined my organization are in it just for getting work experience to show on a post-graduate course application, usually abroad ... many have a dismissive attitude to their work with the thinking that they are here only for a short while.
True, there are few of this type. But, I fail to understand what makes them less committed to the job just because they are there only for a short time. I'm sure these are the type who don't wear helmets (or seat belts) because the destination is close-by.

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A very valid point is the thing about starting in a small firm. I think it'll be applicable not just for IT, but in all fields...The trick is to get this kind of startup mentality in teams within large organisations...

...That requires a bit of a leap of faith by senior management which at times folks do not want to do, for many reasons.
Yes, they might loose their job if they revamp - that might be the biggest reason
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Old 17th August 2013, 18:50   #558
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Compulsory internships for engineering students planned.
http://m.thehindu.com/news/national/...in%2F#comments
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Old 17th August 2013, 19:46   #559
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Compulsory internships for engineering students planned.
http://m.thehindu.com/news/national/...in%2F#comments
Good but industry needs to be forced to intake interns else it will just incentivise the shops which provide fake projects and experience certificates
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Old 17th August 2013, 20:28   #560
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

How can you force the industry? Will the industry be paid to provide the internship?

This will definitely lead to shops that will provide fake projects and certificates, but in a much larger scale than now.

I feel this is a stupid idea. Unleashing the raw students on industry for training won't work. If they are not going to work me eventually, I have no incentive to train them. I sometimes provide internship for students and most of them have no interest in learning and just want certificate.

Clever scheme by the government to put the onus on the industry and none on the colleges. First ensure that the colleges have teachers with industry experience, make that a rule. Hire 10+ years experienced engineers as professors and 20+ years engineers as senior professors. Pay them like engineers. The current professors with M.tech and Ph.D have no clue about industry.
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Old 19th August 2013, 09:29   #561
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Good but industry needs to be forced to intake interns else it will just incentivise the shops which provide fake projects and experience certificates
I agree with Samurai 100%. Even IITs have problems placing students for summer training.

Are our colleges producing graduates of reasonable quality? In fact many have the last semester for projects , which can easily be done in industry, and colleges are willing to help students in this.
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Old 19th August 2013, 10:20   #562
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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How can you force the industry? Will the industry be paid to provide the internship? ...... The current professors with M.tech and Ph.D have no clue about industry.
Sir i completely am with your thoughts on this. Let me give you an instance on what happened to me once i got placed but before that, i'll just give you a brief idea on how things haven't changed at all.

Throughout my four years of college, we were told that we will get placed in IT industry only, inspite of us being from the EEE discipline of engineering, which is strongly towards the electrical engineering side of things [Let me say it is a core discipline]. Why did i choose IT? It was due to my preference but what about the others who paid to try and get into an Electrical or Electronics engineering job? One more reason why colleges should have specialized training courses and try and do their best to bring in Industries for all their departments.

Lecturers, for one, (this obviously has a lot of exceptions) are not aware or rather, not given an incentive to keep abreast of things going on in the Industry. I would say the onus should be on the Institution rather than the lecturer themselves. The result is that educational institutions these days are nothing but glorified tutions for which one must pay pretty penny just for the badge value and certificate, much like one has to pay for the badge and value of a high end car.

During our placements, we were given a lot of lectures on how IT industry is more or less, better than many Industries with engineering (akin to BHEL etc) which i would call as failed brainwashing and to my amazement, many of them decided to go towards IT. Needless to say, the country has begun culling its own engineers which leads to an acute shortage of skilled engineers in various technical departments. This is one other reason why "India Shining" will happen a lot later than usual.

I feel ashamed when people ask me why i did EEE instead of CSE (I was too proud for my own good to pay capitation...). If i told them this, obviously i would be given a lot of gyaan on how things could have been, while i know it would have been more or less the same.

With regards to 4th year projects, the lesser said, the better. It was more of pool in cash and buy the project which even a lot of our lecturers encouraged. Needless to say it, but this is how things are even now.

Last edited by Arch-Angel : 19th August 2013 at 10:25. Reason: grammar
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Old 19th August 2013, 10:37   #563
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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How can you force the industry? Will the industry be paid to provide the internship?
If there is a will then there can be incentives like tax breaks / subsidy etc , I feel it will be much more useful then MNREGA.

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I agree with Samurai 100%. Even IITs have problems placing students for summer training.

Are our colleges producing graduates of reasonable quality? In fact many have the last semester for projects , which can easily be done in industry, and colleges are willing to help students in this.
Well in my company the idea was kind of forced by our previous MD in 2010
with a rider of only IIT and IT-BHU students, AFAIK they are paid a handsome stipend as well. Last year I went to Roorkee for selecting interns out of 3ed year batch. After selection these students are distributed to various groups as per group strength

Prior to this though the demand for interns used to come from rank and file of organization but was shot down at several other levels.


My experience with interns is mostly positive , I took care to give project work to them from open source and something which they can take back and present as paper / thesis in the colleges.

Last year I got 3 students one guy from IT BHU was not even familiar much with compilation and tools , I gave a very small job of porting CUPS library on Android and enable IPP based printing on Android phone and he completed job in 45 days which included his learning of tools etc. It looks trivial but it was not for someone who is doing his first assignment as it included porting using bionic lib instead of standard C lib and removing system V IPC calls among other things.

The other two students were much more advanced when they got in so they developed another more complex prototype and also got PPO.

Last edited by amitk26 : 19th August 2013 at 10:39.
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Old 19th August 2013, 11:36   #564
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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If there is a will then there can be incentives like tax breaks / subsidy etc , I feel it will be much more useful then MNREGA.
This will only benefit large companies who have whole departments dealing with government bureaucracy, bribes, etc., to get the files moving. Small companies like mine generally have one person who is in-charge of dealing with Government. That person generally has his hands full with defending against various harassment like surprise audits, notices, filing, etc. I never apply for any tax breaks or subsidies that need much documentation. It ain't worth the effort unless done in large scale.

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Well in my company the idea was kind of forced by our previous MD in 2010
with a rider of only IIT and IT-BHU students, AFAIK they are paid a handsome stipend as well. Last year I went to Roorkee for selecting interns out of 3ed year batch.
.
.
My experience with interns is mostly positive
Well, by sticking to IIT under-grads you ensuring you get the cream of the country's youth. What about the rest of us who have to deal with 3rd-4th and 5th tier colleges? I often deal with students who are doing BE to increase their chance in marriage market.
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Old 19th August 2013, 11:49   #565
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Well, by sticking to IIT under-grads you ensuring you get the cream of the country's youth. What about the rest of us who have to deal with 3rd-4th and 5th tier colleges? I often deal with students who are doing BE to increase their chance in marriage market.
Well sticking to them is not my decision , If given a choice I would prefer tier 2 college students selected by my own discretion in interview process.

I have always maintained in this thread that In my experience students from tier 2 colleges with fire in belly and interest in the field are always better.
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Old 19th August 2013, 12:16   #566
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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Well sticking to them is not my decision , If given a choice I would prefer tier 2 college students selected by my own discretion in interview process.
What I mean is you have the chance to pick from tier 1-2 colleges. Your company probably is reputed enough to attract them.

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I have always maintained in this thread that In my experience students from tier 2 colleges with fire in belly and interest in the field are always better.
And I find such people 3-4-5 tier colleges. Yes, lot harder, but not impossible. When I am hiring employees, I have the incentive to make that effort. But I don't want to spend that much effort with interns only to see them join TCS/Infosys and waste the knowledge.
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Old 19th August 2013, 13:09   #567
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

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How can you force the industry? Will the industry be paid to provide the internship? ...
This is actually reverting to the old practice.

I passed out 34 years back. We had a 5 years course, with 3 months (end of 6th Sem) and then 6 months (entire 8th Sem) as internship in the industry - compulsory. There were a couple of guys who 'bought' their way out of it, but then we knew they would be running the family cloth, construction or grocery business anyhow. The internship got lopped off completely when Engineering became a 4 year course, and got converted to an 'industry project'.

Even there I have seen enough guys with 'fire in the belly' who would approach for a practical project - and complete it with their own hands using our guidance. Of course, for the last 10-15 years I only see people who would want some name inserted against "Guided by ...". The rest of the report one can get on Avenue Road in Bangalore (or the market in any other town that caters to the students' needs) - customized, printed and bound for a consideration. The worst was when I heard our HR recommending some names on the basis of "son / daughter of someone influential from the company's p-o-v" (and rejecting others who weren't, even if employees endorsed them).

This actually separates the students with 'fire in the belly' (as many here prefer) from the ones that won't pursue Engineering after passing out. Private Sector, OK the large ones, does welcome interns like that - they get free labour in return. We never had problems in getting into private sector organizations for internship.

*Could be* a problem in today's IT sector though - even the managers don't know what to make them do, as much as they don't know what they themselves should be doing. There are many clients in the IT sector (from other countries) who actually understand and support such internship initiatives. Of course, the companies should be in a position to support interns in terms of infrastructure and systems. And not have 'corrupt' HR who filter based on 'influence' or not.

For students with 'fire in the belly', there is nothing better than that internship to give them direction that they themselves can drive towards. It *should* be compulsory, even if the useless ones 'buy' their internship. One will be able to differentiate the employable ones from others who don't utilize the head start.
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Old 19th August 2013, 13:55   #568
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Default re: IT Industry and Employability of Technical Graduates

Then how important does this project / internship become for placement interviews ?

Samu san : A candidate does not know what a century is, when the last millennium started and does not know which century he lives in etc; but has done a fantastic project. Does he become more eligible for your kind of engg roles ?
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Old 19th August 2013, 14:07   #569
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Then how important does this project / internship become for placement interviews ?
Let me put my PoV even though it is directed it to Samurai

IMHO very important.
If a student has written something as final year project in CV it becomes starting point of conversation. Usually for a fresher interview revolves around these achievements. If a candidate is able to explain the objectives and how he realized in sufficient details including both theory and his realization then he/she should be selected.

Many students fill resume with their skills on organising college fests or participating in n number of activities. I don't know about others but till date I have never asked anyone anything about their managerial capabilities
May be engineering students should not write MBA style resume.
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Old 19th August 2013, 14:42   #570
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I think company internship also depends on stream of graduation. I am a computer science graduate by qualification, so all my comments are with respect to that stream. I did my final year project/internship under a highly qualified professor from my college (who was with Mech Engg department). A few of my friends had internships from reputed companies, but the actual work done was laughable. I think it is more important to find a subject that one is interested in and pursue that work. Whether its in the industry or your own personal work under guidance of a prof should not matter. I dont know what a person who has passion for systems side programming like say compiler design would do with summer internships in reputed companies. Also, it is very difficult task to find right companies that offer you the work where you would learn what you are interested in. Even after you find such a company, how much responsibility would the company put on the shoulders of a to be engg grad? I think for comp sci guys, its better to find a good professor and do a project that will actually let them learn something in detail.
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