Rama Krishnamurthy is a fresh graduate engineer, who after several attempts has finally got an interview call from a midsized software company. Sitting in the lobby and filling up the HR form a question almost confiscated his thoughts.
“Why Do You Wish To Join Our Firm”, the question asks.
“Because I am the eldest son, and was supposed to become an engineer”, mumbles Rama.
Rama’s state of mind is not only his own, but is rather shared by several others like him. In fact there are many Mechanical and Chemical engineers who are sitting and coding for the companies they work in today.
India’s problem of substandard engineering education is no more veiled. Except the IITs and a few other prestigious institutions, most others are rendering theoretical knowledge, while we all know that Engineering involves more of practical based education.
Then there is also competition from the other countries. Like a recent study suggested that Indian engineering students lag in decision making and other higher-order thinking skills compared to their abroad counterparts, such as students of Russia and China.
Vikas Thakur (name changed) a computer engineering student of the 2015 batch, after having had a couple of stints in other sectors like NGOs, BPOs and KPOs finally made it to a decent software firm. He is struggling to unlearn today whatever skills he had learned and honed during his college days.
“I am made to sit and watch videos, some I understand, some I don’t. I need to do it to learn it”. He says.
During Vikas’s student days, all the learning happened through boards or copy notes, but none practically. Even his final assignment was bought from a research based firm.
Who do we hold responsible for it all, Vikas’s parents who steered his ambition, him for not being able to make a decision, the educational institution that rendered him with the degree, or the current firm which is unable to provide him with a value based training.
Vikas even though had to struggle for two years, did finally get a job in his field of expertise. On the other hand there are fresh engineers who are pushed towards marketing, either because of their low scores or because of continuous rejections.
What is the point of taking up a course that burdens you with excessive investment and in comparison generates low returns, asks today’s engineers.
Is it not about time we start thinking of alternates, explore fields that have been lying almost dormant all this while, like the degree courses and plan to build a career accordingly?
Do post your thoughts and comments on this.