Dr Kalam had rightly said once that India is facing the problem of unemployables not unemployment. The engineering graduates lack other skills beside the academic or technical skills. The top three most important general skills identified were integrity, reliability and teamwork, while the top three most important specific skills are entrepreneurship, communication in English and use of modern tools and technologies.
If colleges want to improve the employability of their graduates, they need to focus on reducing these important skill gaps through improvements in curriculum and teaching methods. The Universities are required to play a significant role for the same so that graduates are able to formulate, analyse, and solve a real life problem using standard engineering techniques.
Each institution should define the set of skills that a graduate is supposed to have after each semester. Further, colleges need to change pedagogical style from teacher-centric to student-centric, and include more assignments for students to independently analyse and apply tools on real life problems. Only through such changes in the teaching-learning process will the future engineers become more employable.
Employers, universities and professional bodies agree that we need to develop professionals who are highly skilled and ready to face the challenges of increased competition. More than ever we need professionals who are responsive to economic, social, cultural, technical and environmental change and can work flexibly and intelligently across business contexts. The industry requires new graduates who understand the part they play in building their organisations, and have the practical skills to work effectively in their roles. Unlike occupational or technical skills, employability skills are generic in nature rather than job specific and cut across all industry types, business sizes, and job levels from the entry-level worker to the senior-most position.
Educational curriculum needs to be examined from time to time in order to ensure that the education received by students is relevant and up to date. Industrial training received by students need to be looked into and revised in term of its effectiveness to ensure that students are clear with their job scopes later on. Besides that, instructors should practice employability skill during teaching and learning session so that it could assist students to understand ways of applying the skills by themselves.
Motivators and counsellors have to cooperate with institutions in the process of giving guidance and inspirations to students regarding the ways to increase employability skill from time to time in order to be excellent workers. Apart from that, apprentice programs are suggested to be carried out so that students will be able to understand employability skill better. This program will also serve the purpose to make students realized that employability skill is as important as technical skills.
The higher education sector is characterized by diversity; course and student profiles are different and universities aim to develop students with distinct characteristics or attributes. Universities are required to work in developing employability skills in their students by providing academic staff with relevant support and resources, integrating these skills into curriculum and course design, providing students with work placements and exposure to professional settings and providing advice and guidance through career services.
The following suggestions can prove to be effective:
1. An Employability Strategy Fund should be created;
2. The employability skills in all university curriculums are to be explicitly identified;
3. The teaching and assessment of employability skills are to be enhanced;
4. Provide funding for universities to systematically review their work on developing employability skills.