Ready to be employed? Not Exactly!

Some time back I met few students in the middle of a coaching session on developing the skills for the job market. The 3-days program by an external coach was meant to make them employable and job ready, Uh!!

Employability, isn’t it the purpose of any professional degree program these students have been pursuing for last four years? Prior to that, some had spent few months of rigorous labor in attending some coaching classes to get admission. Senior secondary education should have imparted the necessary knowledge and skills. Then, why did one has to go through coaching to get admission into a degree college? Why did school or college not educate enough to be employable? Where is accountability of the education system? Even perfect scorers (having CGPA of 10) attended the coaching and college harbour the similar feeling.

This year about 1 million students will appear for engineering entrance exams across India. About 30% of them will attend some coaching classes. Intake in the prestigious IITs and NITs is about fifty thousand. A recent news article claimed that 50% of students admitted to professional institutes never had any coaching. The other half who were successful because of coaching could still have succeeded, had they not opted for it. In the 1980s, when there were no coaching institutes, students still cracked the entrance examinations. I have a conviction that students opting for coaching can still admission if they practiced themselves. The key is discipline in preparation.

During school days, students are told and reminded that only grades matter. So, they do not study anything but syllabi to get the maximum marks. When in college, seniors and teachers confide them to maintain CPGA as companies adopt CGPA as cutoff for campus hiring. So each student does its best to thrive on the criteria of success. But, on the contrary, my interaction with many recruiters reveal that 90% students are not industry ready and might not be successful in respective jobs without further training.

We always followed the benchmarks set by teachers and parents, but were never informed about other criteria of success i.e. employability skills. Currently, students have no choice but to pick newer skills elsewhere so as to enter job market, start earning and get settled. But the mute question is: how to evolve beyond grades, get employment ready, and stand out successful? Here is my piece of advice.

Set yourself a goal that is not based on someone else’s opinion but only yours. Foster your talents and align career. Research has shown that when we do what they love and relate studies to our presumptive career, we become more successful. Once you are aligned to your career goal, you may not need someone else to make you employment ready.

[Based on my interactions with a number of students who feel they do not get help and support they need. They do not have a clear understanding of the skills industry expects from them. 90% of their academic time is spent on studies, exams, practicals etc.]


Krishan Mittal is the founder and CEO of Unfurl Technologies.