In our earlier article, we have seen what industry reports and eminent personalities had to say about today’s graduates. Clearly, it is not the lack of jobs; it is the lack of employability.
In this article, we tried to figure out various reasons for unemployability of today’s graduates. One of the main reasons that left many graduates unemployable is the mismatch between the education system and the industry needs.
Education today has become a multi-billion industry; colleges are focused on awarding degrees and making money. Too many private colleges (mostly professional degree colleges) have come up in the last few years. The physical infrastructure is there (mostly for class rooms), but quality of teaching is not there.
Some of the issues with the current academic system are:
- Impractical syllabus – Today’s academic system is focusing more on theoretical knowledge, not on application of principles. A biology student even after passing intermediate, will not know how to put a tree in a pot, leave growing it. The syllabus is so impractical that it never helps students in being able to do real work.
- Competition in education business for ranks – Schools are focused on getting ranks, not on imparting quality education. Students are made to learn by rote. Even though they don’t know how to apply it practically, they memorize it thoroughly without understanding anything.
- Preparation of question papers from guides available in the market – Forget about text books and reference books, students can easily pass their exams by memorising some questions from guides available in the market. You check with any engineering student in AP, he will have a ‘All in One’ guide from one specific publisher. All questions come from this guide alone. The question will come as it is from the guide, they don’t even modify it! You can see how degraded the standards of our academics is.
- Lenient correction/liberal award of marks – To pass students, particularly in engineering colleges, the evaluators are very lenient while evaluating the answer paper. They do it to get a good overall percentage in passed students.
- It’s not only the policy makers who are to be blamed, it is also the graduates who are just focused on getting a degree, not bothered about gaining practical knowledge to do the job well.
- English language skills – Many of today’s graduates are struggling with English They are unable to write even a small paragraph without spelling and grammar errors. A recent survey by ‘Aspiring Minds’ says that around half of today’s engineers have grammar skills no better than 7th class students. Aware of the situation, IIT Mumbai has made it compulsory for aspiring students to pass English proficiency test before 1st semester classes.
- No computer skills – Nowadays, having basic computer skills is very important to get/do a job. Unlike earlier when computers and Internet were expensive, almost everybody has relatively easy access to a computer and Internet. Still, many of the students neglect to learn computer/Internet skills.
- Not interested in hard working – It is only through hard work, that one can achieve success in life. But, graduates do not realise the importance of hard work. Due to easy corrections and liberal awards of ranks, it was easy for them to get good percentages and degrees. It was easy for them while studying. They are expecting life at workplace also to be easy.
- Inability to apply subject knowledge in real life situations – Most of the graduates today have degrees, but no practical knowledge to apply in real life situations. All the concepts, subjects and formulae are memorised before exams without understanding. They can do work only when someone is continuously behind them to tell them what to do and how to do.
- Cannot work for 8 hours a day – Management gurus say that it takes around 10k working hours to be a master any field and freshers should cover 3k working hours in the first year itself. Forget about working 3k working hours, today’s graduates are struggling to finish the minimum working hours. They often come up with reasons not to work full time. Even if they work for 8 hours, they do it passively; they think they are doing a great favour to the employer. The zeal to ‘finish the work today’ is missing in them.
- Lack of big picture mind-set – Many graduates don’t think in a broader way, their focus is too narrow and expect everything to be explained in detail; they expect everything to be spoon feed. They are interested to do more of low end jobs that involve repetitive things and hourly follow up by bosses. They are neither capable nor are interested in critical thinking.
- Pro-actively take ownership of the given assignments – Many of the young graduates are reluctant to work from their heart. They don’t want to take ownership and give their 100% effort, time and commitment to the assignment. The energy/enthusiasm to do good work independently is missing.
- Inability to work without or less supervision – They require constant guidance or supervision to complete the given task or work. They find it difficult to work without any supervision. They expect their team leader/manager to tell how to do each and every task. They are focussed on chit chatting/gossiping, when the boss is not there.
- Focus on earning, not on learning/span> – When they get a job, they don’t want to put an extra effort in brushing up their skills and neither are they eager to learn something practical from the work environment. All they focus on is how much they are earning. They don’t compare their job role with their friends’, they compare their pay package.
- No fair system – Most of our graduates/new job holders do not think from the employers point of view or the customers point of view. They think the employer is trying to ‘extract’ something from them. They don’t do the math and see how much economic value addition they are doing to the company. They don’t even think it is important to add value to employers.
In addition, to all these, they have unreasonable expectations – they want a good salary, more privileges, quick promotion, etc. They want all these without doing any service to the customer or their employer.
For many, these points may look surprising, but almost every young graduate today has these things in common. One thing we need to understand is many MNCs come to India assuming there is a huge talent pool. Once they are aware of these unemployable attributes, they will surely look for another country where they can get good, talented and hardworking people.
Note: It’s not that we trying to be harsh on students and repeatedly saying they are unemployable. We want our graduates to face the reality and prepare themselves properly to do well in their career. In our next article, we will come up on some insightful information that will help graduates know how to become employable.
You may also like to read: