Employability Of Prospective Engineering Graduates
At present, not all prospective graduates, particularly engineering graduates, are able to find gainful employment on account of lack of desired skills as reported in various surveys.
However, these surveys do not mention which of the desired skills is lacking in the graduates. In grappling with this situation, it is appropriate here to point out that the students come into institutions with various levels of aptitudes owing to different factors. These aptitudes are further influenced by the way students respond to the conventional learning process applied to deliver prescribed curriculum. If we go by the dictum, ‘aptitude begets skills’, we have to consider the development of aptitude for acquiring requisite skills. Traditionally and quite broadly professional skills have been classified as hard (domain) skills and soft skills. This categorization is from the point of view of the industry and not from the point of view of an educational institution. Hence, there is a discord between the education sector that trains students and the industries that seek to employ them.
An alternative approach provides a new perspective and at once may suggest novel ways to kindle interest in trainers and students alike, while delivering advantage to the industry.
Every teacher in a classroom typically experiences three categories of students
(a) asks a lot of questions in the classroom to understand the subject
(b) hangs onto every word the teacher speaks and bonds well with the teacher
(c) does homework happily and seeks guidance from the teacher in correcting their mistakes
It may be every teacher’s observation that it is not necessary that these three groups of students behave in the same manner. This pattern suggests that an individual’s brain may have three functionalities:
Cognitive functionality relates to ‘set of all mental abilities and processes related to acquiring knowledge’, which is well understood by many and is commonly referred to as the IQ (Intelligence Quotient).
Affective functionality relates to ‘experience of feelings or emotions’, which is understood by a few and is in popular parlance also referred to as the EQ (Emotional Quotient).
Co-native functionality relates to ‘natural tendency, impulse, desire, volition, striving or directed effort’ which is less understood and may be referred to as the XQ (Execution Quotient)
Imagine three scenarios based on typical complaints from teachers and / or students.
These three scenarios suggest that a student may come to the class with varied degrees of devel-opment of the three functions of the brain. Thus, the challenging task for an educator is to cre-ate approaches that may address each of these facets and build students’ confidence in a holis-tic manner. All stakeholders in education may have to consider this approach to developing stu-dents’ necessary aptitude, required skills and the consequent attitude by designing relevant training programs. This, in some measure, will have addressed the lacunae that employers find in the new recruits.
Considering these aspects, an initiative is envisaged to bridge the expectation mis-match between the Academy-Industry. This training imparts aspects of soft-skills, tips on succeeding in inter-view, generic work-skills, professional skills and most significantly, acquiring specialized knowledge with application of these skills.