Friday, January 24, 2014

3 Things that are wrong with our engineering education

It is hardly a secret that India is staring at a mega crisis in engineering education. The problem is two fold:

1. The number of students graduating every year far outnumbers the industry requirements. Supply far exceeds the demand
2. Out of this huge supply, <1% is equipped to work in the industry.

By reliable estimates, India produces over 15 lakh engineers a year. Most students look for a break in IT sector since that has been the mother ship for all engineers for many many years. Bad news is that mother ship does not have enough space.

IT sector is creating roughly 3 lakh entry level jobs a year.

Putting two and two together 70%-80% students graduating in 2014 would be either unemployed or underemployed. And I have not yet considered students who graduated between 2010-2013 and are still competing for the same jobs.

Think about it, roughly 4 out of 5 engineering graduates will be unemployed.

To make matters worse, engineering education has not equipped them with skills that would enable them to earn on their own.

Technological advancements have made it feasible for an individual with programming skills to make a living by many ways other than a job - build apps, become a freelancer, become part of a virtual team such as gTeam. However, all of these roles require real world programming skills which our engineering education does not focus on.

So what is it that is wrong with the engineering education system? 3 things:

1. Curriculum - Very very abysmal focus on programming. Student graduates after copying like 500 lines of procedural code in 4 years. How will the student survive in 10 million+ lines of code and over 5000 classes. If you haven't done it, you don't know it.

2. Teachers - Absence of practitioners from education system. Most teachers are pure academicians who have never written code in professional capacity. It is unreasonable to expect that they would be able to give practical programming education. As I said, If you haven't done it, you don't know it.

3. Exposure - Student's world is limited to a batch of 100-200 for 4 years. That becomes his/her benchmark for being competitive. In reality, student is competing with 1,50,00,00 other students. He/she does not realize his/her true ranking until they have graduated but by then it is already too late - education is over and they are under pressure to find a job!

All of these factors together are working against the student and leave him/her stranded after 4 years of hard work and investment of several lakhs rupees. The big question is for students for whom the boat has already sailed, what should they do?

Good news is that there are still options to learn. You should learn programming. That is really the only thing that industry cares about - can you program? If you love it and are committed to it, you can learn and easily get 1 of those 30,00,00 jobs.

To help students truly learn programming, we at TRISECT offer a very hands on and very intensive 3 months training course that requires writing over 12,000 lines of code. Unique course structure, pedagogy, and guidance from professionals ensures rapid learning and awesome results. We even provide placements and charge fee only after student gets a job. You can explore program details on our website. [Disclaimer: TRISECT is my venture]

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