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August - 2016 - issue > CXO INSIGHT

Reduce Skill - Gap with Industry - Academia Coordination

Amberin Memon, Chief People Officer, Hexaware Technologies
Monday, December 19, 2016
Amberin Memon, Chief People Officer, Hexaware Technologies
Our current education system focuses more on rote learning of subjects as opposed to a professional work environment that requires freshers to be hands on and application oriented. This requirement gap is usually built by employers by passing freshers through a foundation training program for a few months before they come on-the-job. However, a long term sustainable solution to this would be a revamp of the current Indian education system to be more application oriented. There is need to align the syllabus as per industry needs. We can abate this by having industry participation in syllabus formation, frequent industry interaction by way of guest lecturers.

In most of the campuses except for cities such as Mumbai and Bangalore, there is heavy regional language influence. Students need to speak in English to improve communication skills. While evaluating the colleges, apart from the institute rankings that are published on a yearly basis - the curriculum, methods of teaching, medium of entrance, approach to diversity and inclusion of candidates regardless of diversity, are a few parameters that are additionally important. Over a period there is experience built up and we also check performance of past students hired from these colleges.

From the industry we also try to help close the skill gap through several initiatives such as during graduation we organize seminars, conferences and we also participate in guest lectures, industrial visits and provide the students with paid internships. After graduation we initiate foundation programs for technical, behavioral and functional competency development of the students from several institutions.

The IT industry offers employment to fresh graduates in the fields of engineering, business process outsourcing and management. Opportunities begin with entry level trainees, who based on performance and aptitude will be moved to future roles such as Technical leads, Business analyst and Test Analysts.

The IT industry is changing rapidly due to technological advances every few month, it is hence imperative for institutes to handle such frequent changes by focusing their curriculum towards service orientation and periodical updating, which can be driven through active dialogues with the industry. My personal advice to the various higher educational institutions is focus on employment oriented education and reward creativity, innovation and original thinking among professors and students as well as improve their communication and soft skills so that students can hit the ground running in the shortest possible time frame.

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