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No joyride to a job

Soon after I completed my 12th, my father said, “Get admission in some good engineering college through AKTU (Abdul Kalam Technical University) and JEE (Joint Engineering Exam). Once you have a BTech degree, you will easily get a job.” Since I was not one of those diligent students who managed school and IIT coaching simultaneously, I should have dropped a year to prepare for the entrance exams. But like a lot of youngsters in India, I did not have clarity about my career, so I had no other option than to take his advice. I got admission in a private technical institute in Noida through the management quota, since I obviously failed to score good marks in any of the entrance exams.

My father was proved wrong when almost 70% students in my batch (including me) couldn’t get a job through campus placements. Even though skills required by the product-based IT companies at the entry level are part of the curriculum of engineering colleges, but according to the National Employability Report (Aspiring Minds), 91% of engineering students do not have the desired programming and algorithm skills.

Coming to the engineering IT services, where a candidate is not expected to pre-possess the software skills but is imparted expertise during the training period of 3-6 months, 52% engineers are rejected because they lack the ability to develop soft skills. Apart from electronics and communication, 80% students of the remaining streams (clubbing electrical, mechanical and civil together) either take the GATE exam or prepare for government and bank exams. Focusing more on opening courses and less on academic excellence, AKTU announced closure of 27 engineering colleges.

I didn’t score well in the beginning, after which my seniors advised me to just mug up a 60-page Quantum series (guide) a night before the exam and wait for the magic. I was awestruck when I saw the results, I double-checked it to make sure the roll number was entered correctly. Later that year, I realised even the teachers preferred teaching from the local books, skipping the foreign authors. I will definitely blame the computer science faculty of my college for not making us understand the basic concepts of coding at the entry level. The situation was so pathetic that in the second year I had to go for additional coding classes outside college, in order to learn computer programming. The standard of engineering colleges in India has degraded to such an extent that in 2018-19 NIT’s had to add a thousand seats.