Anil Kumar, training and placement officer at Vignana Bharathi Institute of Technology (VBIT), Hyderabad, says the current education system is failing to fill the gap between academics and skills. The academic performance of a student does matter in the recruitment process but industry gives more importance to a candidate’s communication skills and practical knowledge in their chosen field. In a chat with Express, he advises professional colleges to make skill development a part of the curriculum to overcome this problem. Here are excerpts of the interview.
Engineering graduates’ placements have been declining for the past year. As a placement officer, how do you see this change?
Industry did not stop recruiting. There are still many opportunities for talented engineering graduates. But many students fail to meet the requirements of industry. Companies do not expect the candidates to be skilled but what they need is someone who has basic knowledge of his or her field and good communication skills. Multi-national corporations (MNCs) do not risk by recruiting someone who can not express his or her thoughts clearly.
Why do professional colleges fail to impart the necessary skills to graduating students?
The academic-skill gap exists when students study without understanding the concepts. More efforts should be made to apply what they learn from books. Practical knowledge is what every company expects. Both the institutes and students should be blamed for this lacuna. Currently, different states have different curricula for technical education. There should be a uniform syllabus for each course and it should be updated regularly. New developments in the field should be included in the curriculum every year.
What are the qualities recruiters look for in students?
They always look for basic technical knowledge and good communication skills. If a student is good at his subject, the company can improve his soft skills by training him. But no company wants to spoon-feed their employees from the beginning. If the recruiter thinks that a candidate can improve his skills by receiving training for a few months, there are more chances that he will be selected. It is always important for students to have command over their subject and have communication skills.