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Education System to reskill Indian IT professionals | PCMC news | news in pune

There is a lot of discussion on various forums regarding future of Indian IT industry. Most of the discussion is focused reskilling of IT professionals in the areas of artificial intelligence (AI), automation, cloud computing, machine learning, and virtual reality. Automation and AI are potentially going to kill almost 100,000 support jobs in the next 2-3 years. Coding and testing are the most inefficient functions in the IT industry. Given this, reskilling is most critical in the next 2-3 years. The big questions are, who will do this?, Is academia prepared to deliver this?, Can an apex body like NASSCOM take the initiative looping in industry and academia?, How much bandwidth companies have to start these programs internally? There are many more questions but these are the key ones.

The education system must play a key role in this massive exercise of reskilling 100,000 – 200,000 professionals in the span of next couple of years. Indian education system having 700+ universities and 35000+ colleges have miserably failed thus far in producing employable graduates. An apex body like NASSCOM has been saying that hardly 10% university graduates are employable on live projects. This is being said for the past 20+ years and not much has changed. As a matter of fact it has gotten worst in the past few years. Curriculum is out dated, faculty members are not qualified, education infrastructure has broken down, education is still not accessible and affordable to all, education is highly commercialized, corruption and politics dominates the system, and there is hardly any effort to establish strong industry academia interface.

Few colleges and universities have established interface with corporate but that is primarily to place graduating students so that excellent placement record could be advertised on college or university website to get more registrations for the next admissions season. So, the question is, are these colleges and universities doing everything to train professionals and also students so that they can target careers in new emerging domains? Just like Indian IT industry, education societies have adopted linear revenue model. Surplus generation is driven by increasing number of students and institutes under the system. Government regulatory agencies do have policies for monitoring quality but implementation on ground is highly flawed and corrupt. Few select institutes (autonomous) or colleges do not represent entire education system of this country. It is noticed that large percentage of graduates of these institutes leave for better prospects on the western shores. Even these institutes have not kept up with the latest changes in the industry or preparing for the future. Faculty members of most institutes except of few select institutes are primarily engaged in teaching and have non-existent connect with corporate.

It is high time that an internship in industry must be made mandatory to all faculty members. Since 200,000 professionals need to be trained in new domains in the next 2-3 years, hoping technologies will not drastically change over this period threatening more jobs and professionals due to lack of new skills, roughly 70,000 professionals need to be trained in a year. Others need to be reassigned while getting trained. This is a monumental task even for companies like Infosys who has a state of the art training center in Mysore. This center can train approximately 12,000 professionals. Not many companies have such kind of facilities. Hence the task of reskilling large base will haunt Indian IT industry and present education system definitely can’t be counted on. The education barons are too busy expanding their footprint, generating more surplus, and even expanding outside this country while they are given a mandate to produce high quality graduates and support industry.

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