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80 percent engineers are unemployed: How can we prepare engineers for the jobs of tomorrow

March 04, 2019

One of the biggest apocalyptic cries in the global economy today is the loss or obsolescence of existing jobs due to automation and rapid changes in technology. But every change also brings with it a unique opportunity one that we must grasp with both hands and understand fully to exploit.

 

Technological progress, while making a few profiles irrelevant, has also introduced a diverse array of new roles and responsibilities which require a greater application of human creativity, analytical knowledge and intuition.

 

Gartner’s latest widely quoted report, which says that AI will create more jobs than it eliminates by 2020, has further underlined the positive aspects of automation in global employment. However, constructive impact needs to be made in tech-space employability through a holistic vision in training to cause a significant disruption.

Skill gap and requirement gap

Forbes has listed AI, ML and Cloud in the top 10 digital skills to possess as part of the emerging tech portfolio of skills. 25 million to 50 million jobs are going to be created in emerging tech worldwide and India alone will require 6 million to 12 million jobs in this space in the next decade according to a McKinsey study. However, the engineers of today are not being skilled right.

 

A study by the analytics firm Aspiring Minds found that only 4.8% of candidates could write correct logic and less than 1.4% could write correct code.

 

We need to remember that these are students who have already been in a classroom kind of learning environment for their entire life till date. However, the certificates that they currently have from their engineering and other online courses does not guarantee them a job.

 

Adding to this list are the growing numbers of experienced engineers already in the workforce whose skills are quickly becoming obsolete! It is estimated that more than half of the 4 million engineers in tech will need to be re-skilled to relevant to the industry!

 

What is the problem with India’s engineers?

If we were to pin down the reason for this skill gap it would be simply the absence of experience in the relevant skills that are required for emerging tech jobs.

 

According to the Developer Skills report of an online learning platform, there is a strong mismatch between the frameworks/ skills required by the corporate world and the ones being learned by students.

 

The only feasible and effective solution

 

Every professional program out there has an inbuilt deep experiential learning component without which the program is incomplete.

 

In Medicine, every doctor has to undergo a compulsory extended duration of hands-on’ learning where the young doctor learns under the guidance and mentorship of the experienced doctors- this is called Residency’.

 

What can we learn from these models of learning? We learn that in order to develop a truly professional and deep impact tech talent, he/she has to be skilled using the following elements:

 

a) Deep experiential learning on live or live simulated environments with real deliverables which matter.

b) Hands-on and Do-it-Yourself approach.

c) Industry experts as mentors.

 

It is important that for the technology space we learn and evolve a solution in a similar manner.

Also, engineers may be in non-computational fields to start with hence their projects may not be relevant to a coding job.

 

The second problem of variable and mixed requirements can therefore be solved by having a program which has the above 3 elements and is further based on the exact requirements of the specific industry or corporate or product.

 

How to impact the employability pool

 

Using the 3 elements of a) live or live simulated environments with real deliverables which matter

b) Hands on and do it yourself approach

c) Industry experts as mentors in addition to making each program specific to the job requirements will ensure that we are able to increase an employable base of engineers and also maximise job opportunities.

 

This kind of customization has been seen in many similar fields where big data and AI/ ML have made it a possibility with minimum effort..

 

The simplicity of this solution is easily evident when we apply this to re-skilling of experienced engineers -- the same four elements as mentioned above can further allow these engineers to have strong and long careers in their respective domains.

 

 

Courtesy: India Today

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