'Bridging the Gap between the Campus and the Corporate: Increasing Employability' - Challenges, Opportunities and Methods

7th National Management Convention (NMC), 2014

25 Pages Posted: 19 Dec 2016

Date Written: February 21, 2014


India is the world’s second largest producer of engineering and technical graduates. Unfortunately, many of these graduates are not immediately ‘employable’. Sangeeta Gupta, Senior Vice President, NASSCOM said, “Our engineers are not unemployable, they just don’t have industry-ready talent. In other words, they lack the skills required for the jobs that are available to them.”

Technical educations and Degrees alone do not suffice to the expanding needs and requirements of Industries. Many employers today look for a set of skills that are often developed on cross-functional assignments. The need today is of those ‘workers’, be it at unskilled, semi-skilled or skilled level, who are adequately trained and equally confident.

Unfortunately, many of the technical degrees and educational programs do not have a comprehensive curriculum along with a skill development plan that will make all their students ‘industry-ready’.

Deemed unfit in communication skills, confidence, presentation, problem-solving capabilities and generic abilities, many young people are trapped in low-productivity, temporary or other types of work that don't pave the way for better jobs. In developed economies, youth are increasingly employed in temporary and part-time jobs while in the developing world many perform low underpaying or unpaid work supporting informal family businesses or organizations.

An alarming figure presenting hard reality had been brought to the notice of the teachers, planners, executors and administrators in the education system. This called for immediate action and a ruffling up of the education system. It brought a thought about the problem and what was the ‘gap’ that was causing the mismatch between the demand and the supply of qualified and ‘technically able professionals’ for the industry.

The gap was felt to be in between the education and practical application of technical methods. There was a discrepancy seen when the theory learnt in the top institutes was not practiced well and when the same students joined the industry in their specific area of expertise. They were unable to go beyond the book and think of new and novel concepts. Many intelligent students often lack the best presentation skills, are not confident conversing in languages other than their mother tongue, lack initiative, do not display leadership and cannot adapt easily to new surroundings.

The system came up with the practical method of training, as suitable to the students which has potential to be developed to a greater extent relative to the traditional pedagogical means of teaching.

For training to be effective it has to be a planned activity conducted after a thorough need analysis and target at certain competencies. Focusing solely on skills defined as transferable, many experts have and continue to examine the development of communication, leadership, team working, and adaptability skills in technical education programmes at the undergraduate level. In particular, the potential contribution of mentors in providing feedback to students to help them develop and assess more clearly their skill levels in these areas is very important of late. Developing effective student-mentor relationships and highlighting the vital need for management students’ transferable skills to be developed to a greater extent relative to traditional pedagogical education is the focus.The problem lies mainly in the thought, planning, customization or execution of educational means and the currently evolving methods of training.

The paper is primarily exploratory in nature. The paper gives a brief review of the professional educational system with analysis of a section of the technical institutions. Students’ views are briefly presented. It seeks to explore the industry’s needs and requirements from recruitment . It seeks to analyze challenges in the current educational system and how training aims to provide an able opportunity to bridge the ‘gap’ between the campus and the corporate.

Keywords: Demographic dividend, unemployability, skill gap, training measures

JEL Classification: P41, I25

Suggested Citation

Balakrishnan, Sumitra, 'Bridging the Gap between the Campus and the Corporate: Increasing Employability' - Challenges, Opportunities and Methods (February 21, 2014). 7th National Management Convention (NMC), 2014, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2887265 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2887265

Sumitra Balakrishnan (Contact Author)

XIMB,XUB ( email )

Bhubaneswar, Orissa

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