For the last decade almost, we, the Indian citizens are coming across reports which state that the engineering graduates are not employable and sometimes not trainable!! Hardly any work has been done to analyze the problem by the authorities concerned and obviously no action is taken still so far. The number of engineering graduates in India is not less than 1.5 million a year which is pretty good to create job crisis. The Engineering colleges are mushroomed up to almost 3500 colleges throughout the country. Every parent has dream to see their children as engineers, while ignoring the quality of the Institution they choose. Indian parents are failing to cope up with the fact of engineering related to money, luxury, comfort and social prestige. The parents, as well as the society need to understand the designing of the engineering courses in India. How many colleges offer a course to develop more practical knowledge so that a a skillful engineer is born? Engineering is Industry related. Directly or indirectly, all the skillful engineers can boost up the industrialization of this country, but are they trained properly during their Engineering course? The construction, machinery, electrical, automation, chemical or IT, you bet on any one of these, we cannot survive without them!! Is it not the time to think about a new study structure for Engineering graduates to cope up with the needs of a modern and ever-changing world?
I feel pity when I come across various reports depicting the pathetic state of Engineering graduates. I would like to blame this situation on every policy maker. Let our education system is reshuffled to make skillful students, specifically developing the soft skills in school. The school timing must be spent on practical activities, building communicative skills, discipline, and scientific knowledge among students. The students having poor quality schooling cannot cope up the pressure that the after-school courses offer. One of the approaches to adopt could be to go for adult learning methods using active learning instead of the traditional teacher led approach which apparently hinders the growth of the recipient. It is time to make optimum use of the innovative tools of teaching and learning and make the whole process of imparting education seamless, flexible and interesting for the recipients. Also, another fact is that engineering is expanding while experiencing diversification as well. It seems that automation is speedily getting and eating up all the jobs of engineers which again adds up one more question- why we need automation? Are our engineers not enough skilful? Everything is getting digital and online, that is the scenario is changing fast, engineers need to be focussed to encounter the everyday changes that the IT industry brings in. In this context the organization or the company will always looks what added values the job aspirant has which a machine or a code snippet cannot do.
Engineering colleges have to take up the responsibility to bring out the skillful engineers. They need to organize more guest lectures, seminars and conferences to know about the recent trends in Engineering. The students come across various inspiring personalities during the conferences and they come to know about the importance of research. To face the new underlying challenges of engineering, students must be encouraged to do some research to bring out more comfortable equipments. The Industry –Institute partnership plays a very important role in building skillful engineers. The exposure to many industries will make the students know about the industry’s requirements and they can prepare themselves industry ready. The interdisciplinary activities also must be encouraged. Proving one’s worth is mandatory in this world. Engineers, engineering students and anyone connected to engineering industry cannot find an escape route. They must think and work hard to make this age old career lucrative once again.
Here are few suggestions from my side as I am connected to an engineering college for two decades:
- We should not be in hurry to produce engineers. If we compare the training time for a medical and engineering students, then it is obvious that we spent much less time to train an engineer.
- An engineering student must have the knowledge of Basic Sciences, management, social values, environment, professional ethics and norms of engineering practices.
- An engineering student need to polish the communicative skill, be able to write effective reports documentation and make effective presentations of his/her ideas.
- To develop a complete engineer and a responsible worker we need to introduce a pre-engineering course of two years where the student will learn all the above mentioned skills and the general ideas about different engineering branches.
- The current practice is that , a student chooses a particular branch not by passion but by compulsion. It is most of the time job opportunities connected to a particular branch which attracts students.
- Let us grow a system where the students get a clear idea about electrical, electronics, IT, civil or mechanical engineering and join a branch which he/she thinks is the best suited for him/her. Aptitude and passion matter the most to bring out the best of a person’s skill.
- After clearing the Pre-Engineering course, a student will be capable of deciding a career between engineering and management. He/She can choose a branch of engineering or a branch of management to sharpen that particular skill and join the best suitable industry. The post pre-engineering course( 2-2.5 or 3 years) must be more practical oriented, about research and innovative ideas, entrepreneurship skills.
- In a nutshell- the engineering course must be much more beyond “campus selection” and a “lucrative package”.
Hope I could reach to you all. It is time to think.