HomeInterviewsHow can engineers upskill themselves in 2023

    How can engineers upskill themselves in 2023


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    By Nancy Jaiswal

    Skills development is essential for a strong foundation for any student at every level. This not only helps in building self-esteem, confidence, collaboration and leadership skills but also assists students in thinking independently. The Telegraph Online Edugraph recently spoke to Mr. Manish Agarwal, the Co-founder and CMO of PrepInsta, to know more about skill gaps, the importance of upskilling and the role it plays in driving recruitments across sectors.

    Q. What according to you are a few of the major skill gaps existing in students who have graduated with an engineering degree? How can these issues be addressed?

    MA: Employability, competence and employment prospects are extensively under-taught or nonexistent in college and university curricula, making it cumbersome to brace students for professional job roles. According to a 2019 NASSCOM analysis on graduate engineer employment, India yields 15 lakh engineering degree holders each year, but only 2.5 lakh are hired in the core engineering industry. When it comes to unaddressed skill demand, the IT, infrastructure, and power sectors, all of which rely heavily on engineers, are severely compromised.

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    To illustrate the typical skill gap, new engineers have no knowledge of in-demand market technologies such as AI, ML, Cyber Security, C++, Python, and so on. They also lack the ability to identify, formulate, and solve engineering problems, as well as the fundamentals of hard sciences and engineering science, digital twins, economics and business acumen, systems integration and systems thinking, model-based systems engineering, data analytics-interpretation, visualisation, and simulation.

    Interestingly, employers also seek employees who excel in a variety of other areas and skills, such as communication, emotional intelligence, teamwork and multidisciplinary work, curiosity and a persistent willingness for lifelong learning, project management (supervising, planning, scheduling, budgeting), critical reasoning, self-drive and motivation, cultural sensitivity in a broad sense (nationality, ethnicity, linguistic, sexual orientation), and high ethical values. I think these are the areas that young engineers need to pay attention to for upskilling themselves.

    Q. What are the major areas where engineering colleges are lagging behind in making students industry-ready?

    MA: Based on the most recent HRD ministry data, India has 6,214 engineering and technology institutions enrolling 2.9 million students, but, unfortunately, India’s engineering colleges are in a recession. Everything in learning and the academic industry is obligated to be student-centric, but academic institutions in India are more concerned with increasing admission rates than providing students with technical-oriented knowledge and specialised skill sets.

    Academics face additional challenges in maintaining a predetermined and systematic programme, course administration, and an outdated curriculum and exam system. Addressing the communication barrier between teaching staff and students is also a major obstacle. Furthermore, many colleges lack the high-tech machinery needed for proper investigation, practicals, and in-depth understanding of the underlying engineering concepts. Only theoretical knowledge can’t satisfy these students’ insatiable curiosity.

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    Q. At PrepInsta, what are some of the things you do to help students level up and close the existing skills gap?

    MA: The OTT model designed by PrepInsta empowers students to access skills and resources from anywhere in the world, allowing them to learn at their own pace. Students can also plan their learning journey as we provide subscription-based offerings ranging from 3 months to 4 years. This benefits students who want to learn new skills without having to pay for a new course. A student with a Prime subscription has access to over 200 courses, including Placement Preparation Courses, AI/ Machine Learning, Cyber Security, Coding Courses in C/C++, Competitive Coding, Ethical Hacking, Cyber Security, Python, DSA, and other upskilling courses. We recently revealed the addition of new courses to our Prime module in response to market advancements. FAANG placement preparation, service-based company placement, web development, data analytics, Power BI, and Salesforce are among the new courses that broaden candidates’ job prospects.

    As part of our unique placement policy, we also offer students internship opportunities across multiple sectors. We have collaborated with TCS to offer students TCS iON RIO remote internships. Through such internship programs, students have been able to secure much-needed industry knowledge and experience, putting them one mile ahead in their disciplines. Google, Paytm, Flipkart, Adobe, Cisco, Infosys, Cognizant, Accenture, and other industry titans have successfully hired our students. Moreover, we offer the courses at reasonable prices, allowing students from Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities to benefit. Our policy is to make knowledge available to all, regardless of privilege.

    Q. Recently, there has been a big drop in students enrolling in even the top engineering colleges. With lots of seats lying vacant, do you think that skill gap and lack of opportunities happen to be the only reasons why students tend to back out? What according to you are some of the other reasons behind this?

    MA: Throughout the nation, the leading engineering institutes arose when the IT economy was booming. These establishments, however, now lack up-to-date teaching methods, place an emphasis on non-existent industrial relationships, and have a low student-to-faculty proportion. A field’s scope, on the other hand, can never be increased or decreased. It is simply how educators and learners maximise their educational training programme.

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    In today’s job market, you don’t need a good degree from a top university; instead, you need specialisation in a relevant technical field, which is now delivered hassle-free by many upskilling Ed-tech platforms. Many students are interested in short-term upskilling courses rather than attending full-fledged courses. Recognising the trend, many engineering institutions have partnered with Ed-tech brands to stay relevant and add value to the degrees they offer students. In short, if you are passionate about engineering and savvy in your field, the opportunities are limitless.

    Q. Anything else you would like to add?

    MA: India’s population is expected to surpass 1.61 billion by 2047, growing at an astronomical rate. The predicament is not only the shortage of resources; rather, India will have the world’s largest population of young people, and our readiness to supply them with modern academic excellence will determine our nation’s future. To strengthen our vision of making India an academic hub, we must think about adapting what is currently working well in the Indian education framework, which is web-based learning domains.

    Skills-based learning is the acquisition of knowledge by doing different things. In the long run, it focuses on planning to make students think intelligently and logically via knowledge-based learning. Hence, if you are someone who is encouraged to find your strength in education then be a part of skill-based learning today.

    About Manish Agarwal: Mr Manish Agarwal is the Co-founder and CMO of PrepInsta, one the fastest growing placement enhancement skill companies in India. Manish has secured a BTech (ECE) from Vellore Institute of Technology with an exceptional grade of 8.5. He started his professional career with Accenture as an ASE, working as MainFrames Developer for a reputed Insurance Client, before eventually moving on to PrepInsta. source

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