The Great Skill Gap in Indian Tech Freshers
“Finding the right skills is a real problem in the tech industry, especially on the software side.” - Keri Gilder, CEO, Colt Technology Services
The tech industry in India is one of the finest examples of resilience and growth in the face of a pandemic. As the industry looks with optimism toward FY2023, it also silently wrestles with a major crisis.
According to NASSCOM, 2022 was a landmark year for India’s tech landscape. Not only did it record its highest ever growth at $227 billion in revenue, but the industry’s direct total workforce clocked in at a whopping 50 lakh.
However, even as we see a huge influx of tech talent from colleges all around the country, a recent report by Nasscom-Zinnov suggests that India is going to face a shortage of 14-19 lakh tech professionals by 2026.
The country is projected to have 75-78 lakh tech professionals by 2026, whereas the need may be of up to 93-96 lakh techies. But why is there such a disparity?
Why does the skill gap exist?
At first glance, it may seem like a matter of sheer numbers. As interest in the industry explodes, it’s only natural for more youth to be interested in joining the tech workforce.
According to industry estimates, while approximately 15 lakh engineers graduate in India each year, only a small minority is actually job-ready. And that is the skill gap, the bane of employers and candidates alike.
If a report by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds is to be believed, as many as 80% Indian engineers are completely unemployable in the growing knowledge economy. The average employability being merely 1.7% in new age jobs.
“...only 3.84 percent of engineers in the country have the technical, cognitive, and linguistic skills required for software-related jobs in start-ups.”
Such is the state of Indian tech talent despite having 5860 institutions in 2022-23 offering engineering courses across the country, as per AICTE. The main causes can be attributed to the overreliance on theoretical knowledge and an outdated curriculum in higher education throughout the nation.
“The syllabus is about 10 or 15 years old, and there has been no attempt made to upgrade the syllabus, and there has been a lot of resistance to change” - Stanley George, VP-HR, Hexaware Technologies
As a result, Engineering graduates are not equipped with the necessary knowledge and skills to apply their college education to a practical industry setting. Up to 60% of faculty do not focus on application of concepts, and a mere 47% of engineers participate in any industry talk.
“We find that a low proportion of engineers take up projects beyond curriculum and do internships. Further, there is a lack of faculty talking about industry application of concepts in class or students getting exposure through industry talks” - Varun Aggarwal, CTO and Co-founder, Aspiring Minds
It’s no wonder that despite programming, web, and app development being some of the most in-demand digital skills at the moment, only 5.5% of Indian engineers are equipped with basic programming abilities.
Furthermore, companies do not want to spend time on “on-the-job-training” or “shadow working” as they want customised job profiles to match their demands. Now, the expectation is not just limited to knowing various tech stacks and platforms, but also soft skills like communication, presentation, and attention to detail, as stated by India education forum 2021.
"India's tech skill gap is a major challenge that we need to overcome if we want to continue to grow and innovate as a nation. It is crucial that we invest in education and training to ensure that we have a workforce that is equipped with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in the 21st century." - Anand Mahindra, Chairman, Mahindra Group
The way forward…
So, attracting and retaining talent suited to the job is the number one priority for India, the 3rd largest tech start-up hub in the world. And to ensure the same, an increasing number of top companies like JP Morgan, Uber, Dream11, and Goldman Sachs are turning to skilling institutes like Masai.
“We have tried 2-3 skilling schools, but Masai is the top one. The one we think of when we have to hire. Directors who work with Masai alumni frequently say that they need more people like them. Masai students are focused, hard-working, disciplined, and task-aware. They do not require instructions on what to do and what not to do because they are familiar with (industry) standards.” - Deekshant Jain, Director of Engineering, NoBroker
Masai is a leading career institute bridging the gap between industry demand and India’s untapped talent pool, with over 2000 hiring partners. Every Masai student goes through 1200+ hours of practical training across an expansive curriculum which makes them industry ready.
In addition to extensive technical training, Masai focuses on holistic development of its graduates via soft skills training and industry mentors, ensuring they can perform on par with industry demands, and contribute tangibly to an organisation’s growth.
The school boasts of an expert faculty who are themselves industry veterans, drawing from their years of experience and Masai’s dynamic curriculum to prepare the next generation of Indian tech wizards. Providing a level of excellence and practical mastery that traditional institutes can’t replicate.
“I would not place my bets on the existing education infrastructure to train people. I think we need more platforms like Masai that really takes the accountability of uplifting students and giving them relevant knowledge in the tech domain. This is really needed to unlock India’s tech potential.” -Ankush Sachdeva, Co-founder and CEO, ShareChat
Masai is helping startups like ShareChat and No Broker scale up their operations quickly in a scenario where hiring the right tech talent typically takes an average of 24 days, whereas Masai can help organisations get the right talent in just 3 days with a high retention rate.
With FY2023 projected to be another year of significant growth for the tech industry, hiring and retaining a skilled workforce remains the foremost challenge for hiring managers nationwide.
But with over 2500+ students placed in top companies, Masai is determined to bridge the gap between industry demand and India’s emerging talent pool.
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