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Talking to engineers of today and tomorrow- from seasoned professionals to future experts in major institutions of India- we discuss the changes that the engineering curriculum has undergone over the years and what it truly takes to become better equipped engineers of the future.
Let’s walk through how the engineering curriculum of India has changed in the last couple of decades. Chandra Sekhar Viswanathan, SVP, Technology & IT, Pine Labs, reminiscences, “Some 20 years back, the curriculum was very theoretical, and there were few opportunities to see some of the studied principles applied in practice. The only way to get close to seeing and working on certain aspects of computer engineering was on-the-job training and experiential learning while working with international MNCs.”
In the same essence, Rams Parameswaran, Vice President – IT, Global Services, Fiserv gives context on the predominantly theory-based curriculum- “This made sense at the time because the IT industry was just beginning to take shape. We were exposed to the foundational elements of computer science, rather than concentrating on specific programming languages.”
“I think with the flexibility, I had an advantage in picking up additional skills in RPA and AI/ML while pursuing my course.”
Further developments have been seen in the curriculum in terms of flexibility. As stated by another aspiring engineer from VIT Vellore, “The technical institutions today have become more adaptive when it comes to curriculum.
Recently, many colleges that I know have adopted a Fully Flexible Credit System (FFCS) that allows us students to tailor their course in a way they wish.” Which is a great step ahead for the future generation of engineers!
Sekhar Viswanathan argues, “With the advent of 6-month internships and early engagement with tech companies, the curriculum in engineering colleges has evolved to an extent that for some students, only minor tweaks are required for the person to be career-ready.”
The verdict stands with each passing batch, the engineers of tomorrow are getting better equipped and with enough support from businesses to thrive in whatever field they pursue. Which brings us to what advice can be given to these students and what offerings these companies are providing for their development.
When it comes down to grooming future engineers, Archana Soni, of Lowe’s India, is of the clear opinion that technologists need to make a regular, conscious effort to focus on fundamentals and work towards the same.
“Organisations that keep engineers at the core, should invest in upskilling the upcoming and existing talent pool”
Advising the next future graduates, Parameswaran of Fiserv emphasises the importance of gaining a good understanding of various domains and emerging technologies and taking advantage of the opportunity to network with industry experts and learn as much as possible before they enter a corporate environment.”
The students have high expectations from organisations, as Hari G of IIT Kharagpur rightfully states, “While organisations provide sufficient opportunities for managerial skills development, it is becoming harder for students to meet the requirements of the niche skills in the corporate world that’s undergoing rapid technological transformations across the globe.
Aspiring engineers often face limitations with exposure to technical training, and 3rd year engineering aspirant at IIT Bhubaneshwar strongly believes, “The trick to bridging the skill gap effectively begins with more academic-industry co-operation at various levels of the study program where students should get the chance to work with industry and try to solve the challenging and real problems and keep students up to date with new technologies.”
Organisations today play a crucial role in an individual’s growth journey; students look up to organisations that offer an environment of constant learning and innovation and act as mentors to the upskilling journey of new talent.
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