"People need to develop Soft Skills to compete with AI" ~ Jack Ma, Alibaba
CP Gurnani, CEO & MD of Tech Mahindra had recently said that 94% of engineering graduated were not fit for hire. "The top 10 IT companies take only 6% of the engineering graduates. What happens to the remaining 94%?" he said in an interview with TOI. Due to the widening skill gap, now the industry has to retrain even those who get hired. "If you come to Tech Mahindra, I have created a five-acre tech & learning center. Other top companies have also created similar facilities to up-skill employees. For learn-ability, skill development, and becoming ready for the market, the onus is now shifting onto the industry," he said.
Commenting on the poor quality of engineering graduates, Gurnani said, "Let me give you an example from a city like Delhi. A student scoring 60% marks cannot pursue BA-English today but can definitely go in for engineering. My point is simple — are we not creating people for unemployment? The Indian IT industry wants skills. For example, Nasscom says 6 million people are required in cybersecurity by 2022. But we have a skills shortage. The point is if I am looking for a robotics person and instead I get a mainframe person, then it creates a skill gap. This comes as a big challenge."
Last year an Aspiring Minds report said that around 95 percent of engineers cannot code. It listed low-quality education and outdated syllabus without any practical knowledge as main roadblocks. Earlier, McKinsey’s report had said that only 25 percent of engineers in India were actually employable.
What does this mean for the lacs of undergraduates who will be looking for jobs in the coming years?
It simply means to go the extra mile (Read: Learning is key for Growth and Success). No college education will ever be perfect to make a student 100% job-ready, and no company will ever be satisfied with the kind of people who come out of colleges. University curriculum will need to be constantly updated, and companies will have training once people join.
What each aspirant needs to do is find out the most relevant skills in the current industry scenario and fill that skill gap through self-learning. In the technology and knowledge era of today, learning is easier than ever. We have heard or read many stories of people learning to code in a new language on their own just by learning online.
And learning should not just be limited to technical skills, it must also include substitute skills like communication, etiquette, client interaction, and stakeholder management. These are some skills that later become criteria for growth in an organization.
So rather than worry or be anxious, or add political overtones to this, one must get on the track of learning and make himself/herself job-ready.
Read why learning every day is an important habit to survive any change.