Job Readiness of fresh engineering graduates is a hot topic among IT recruiters, institutions and public arena today. But the term “job readiness” lacks a proper definition and makes it difficult for academia, enterprise learning & development, and public policy to work together to bridge skill gaps.
IIHT with its 26 years of close association with academia and the IT industry, has developed a definition for job readiness. The definition is based on our interaction with 2 million of our trained professionals and 250+ Fortune 500 recruiting enterprises. We have also identified eight different competencies that lead to job readiness.
IT Job Readiness and Proficiencies
“IT Job Readiness is acquiring and the application of preconditioned proficiencies, both soft and technical, that primarily prepare students for a productive transition into the IT workplace”.
These proficiencies are:
Hands-on experience in technologies: Graduates, during their time at the campus are using existing learning technologies that help them solve industry-sized problems, take real-life projects, and accomplish desired outcomes from them. This has led students to demonstrate the ability to learn newer technologies and demonstrate learned skills on actual use cases.
Learning Agility: A student’s ability to identify and improve one’s skills and experiences in accordance with the profile and role desired is one of the proficiencies enterprises seek among fresh graduates. With more organizations transforming into “learning organizations” see workforce agility necessary for their professional growth within the organization. Student’s ability to explore development opportunities and take necessary actions to ensure their employability at all points in time is one of the most important qualities enterprises need.
Critical Thinking and Problem Solving: Students who practice reasoning problems to understand issues, make decisions, and solve problems are preferred when comes to fresher recruiting. The individuals able to interpret data this process, and may demonstrate originality and inventiveness.
Teamwork: Students good at working with diverse teams, can negotiate and manage conflicts are highly desired as employees.
Communications Skills: Articulate thoughts and ideas clearly and effectively in written and oral forms to persons inside and outside of the organization. The individual has public speaking skills; is able to express ideas to others; and can write/edit memos, letters, and complex technical reports clearly and effectively.
Leadership: Leverage the strengths of others to achieve common goals, and use interpersonal skills to coach and develop others. The individual is able to assess and manage his/her emotions and those of others; use empathetic skills to guide and motivate; and organize, prioritize, and delegate work.
Professionalism and Work Ethic: Demonstrate personal accountability and effective work habits, e.g., punctuality, working productively with others, and time workload management, and understand the impact of non-verbal communication on professional work image. The individual demonstrates integrity and ethical behavior, acts responsibly with the interests of the larger community in mind and is able to learn from his/her mistakes.
Bringing in Job Readiness among Freshers
To figure out if engineering graduates are job-ready, academia needs to work on providing necessary skills that will help students become a part of an agile workforce. The learning and development strategies at campuses to bridges the gap between the campus and corporate lay the foundation for job readiness for the graduates. Students, on the other hand, need to follow practices that IT professionals use to address and cement their career competencies.
This also requires the academia, enterprises and the public policy to reach to conscience about job readiness metrics necessary. Stakeholders need to define guidelines for the instruction of skill development modules and guidelines for identification and assessments used to shortlist students. As the Job Readiness Initiatives will take a better shape IIHT will continue to conduct research and collect resources that help bridge the gap between academia and the industry.