Employability Is Continuous Effort And Not An Overnight Strategy
Neither the students nor the educational institutions stress on understanding the need for effective communication
It comes as a shocker that in India, students spend two years or more just to write an entrance exam. These very same students spend probably not more than a week preparing for an interview. Students give more importance to where they study than where they shall work. The education system and societal pressures have conditioned young aspirants to believe the same. The system has never been able to question a candidate’s passion to succeed and excel in a given profession.
The alarming number of only 20 percent of the graduates being employable is mind-boggling. A constant question 80 percent of these graduates have is, what is it that we lack? They all have the similar depth of same knowledge, but what sets them apart is their employability quotient. Unfortunately, until a week before the interview, no one spends the time to understand what their key skills are, or how to communicate it effectively. Neither the students nor the educational institutions stress on understanding the need for effective communication.
Technological advancements have made the world move at a rapid pace. Corporates don’t want to heavily invest in training freshers on skills which should ideally have been taught by the educational institutions, hence making technical knowledge a parameter for hiring. They are more interested in knowing how well a candidate will blend into the organizational culture. They spend time understanding an aspirant’s cognitive abilities, how much of a team player he/she is. One of the problems recruiters face is that they find such key soft skills missing in graduates.
The academic course is designed such that it only tests for a student’s technical knowledge. A student is never prepared during the academic years to face an interview. English isn’t a mandatory subject and thus it gives no scope for students to refine their communication skills, while languages are only taught for a year, and are not given much importance.
The syllabi in these institutions don’t consider the soft skills needed to enhance the student’s career. Team-building, ethical behaviour, cognitive thinking are all key factors that promote the growth of a career. The curriculum that is set in place isn’t student-centric and still needs to be revamped to accommodate the changes in the technological advancement as well as professional needs.
Things can change and we are seeing gradual changes; slowly, but surely. Colleges need to adopt programmes that enhance the employability quotient of their students. These programmes identify key areas and areas that need improvement, through assessments. They constantly work with each student and understand the uniqueness of each candidate. This not only improves the probability of securing a job but also boosts the candidate’s self-confidence. Such programmes constantly monitor the growth trajectory of each student’s employability.
Educational institutions must be able to identify key areas of interest of each candidate and guide them in that direction. They must teach the students to stop thinking of the short-term on the job, but aim for a career by thinking long-term. Their goals should be set such that they see a growth potential in the next five years, and not just a year from now. The role they take now should be something that excites them to take on bigger roles to enhance their career.
The curriculum must incorporate mandatory internships in the academic course. These internships help a student understand the intricacies of the work environment in industry. The corporate atmosphere will also help students understand professional behavior and have ‘hands-on’ experience.
The recruitment process is designed in a way such that it understands every aspect of a candidate’s employability. If a student can spend 2-3 years preparing to make it to a college, educational institutions need to prepare students for the next big challenge in their life. Many a time, the corporate recruitment is the first time a student appears for an employability test and faces an interview.
More practice in the form of mock tests and mock interviews would help the student perform better in their recruitment test. Only practice makes one perfect, and is possibly the best solution for a student too.
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