Prof. Ravindra Ojha
Director, School of Engineering and Technology
The NorthCap University, Gurgaon
With the service and industry sector contributing approximately 90% to GDP in India coupled with the aggressive initiatives being taken by the government in the form of Make-in-India, Skilling-India, Digital-India and increasing FDI, the job market is likely to accelerate for the youth in coming years. Therefore, industry would soon need students from Universities with industry-ready competencies: those of critical-thinking, structured problem solving, application orientation of technical tools/techniques, team work, and effective communication skills.
The University ought to take cognizance of the aspiring students and initiate their profile assessment in the 2nd year of study. Thereafter student grouping would fall mainly into four categories – industry related job seekers, research/(technical) higher-studies oriented, entrepreneurs/ family business preference. The successful students would envision their future career right from day one at the University. It is imperative that they identify faculty counselors/guides to support them. This step is moving from mass-production to mass-customization.
A significant majority there in is looking for jobs immediately after completing their professional programs. One of the key drivers in successful placements is industry engagement. This can easily be accelerated by involving industry experts in diverse fields to share their experiences through the teaching-learning process with students. This should facilitate an exposure to live case studies for our students and present a real understanding of issues and identification of solutions.
There is no substitute to live industry project handling during the summer internship followed by its continuation as a major project, for a good placement. This methodology is a win-win situation for the industry and the academia. To the industry it provides a budding resource and establishes an excellent exposure for the student. The internship also reveals the holistic competency of the students to prospective employersand subsequently aids in placement. The higher institutes for learning thus, need to catalyze partnerships with industry. A mandatory internship after the 3rd year of study completed in the industry with a defined problem would greatly benefit the students towards their placement.
One could crystallizeinitiativesin order to increase industry engagement as:
- Meaningful value-addition in curriculum modification using inputs from industry experts
- Facilitate getting industry based live-case studies
- Alumni engagement in project based learning
- Mentoring of selected faculty by industry leaders
- Industry driven conclaves in the university
An Internship provides valuable understanding of the industrial environment and develops skill sets for a kick start engagement there after.It impacts student confidence positively, in stills work habits, fosters motivation, builds networking and finally enriches their personality. In conclusion, let us progress towards an industry engagement process that is meaningful and one that culminates inmutually beneficial placements.