Recently I had faced many such questions… the answers are totally based on my observations.
Fate of Engineers
Q) Will our IT industry will need engineers?
YES, we will need engineers.
Q) How many engineers?
It depends as long as they are affordable and coming at low cost.
Q) Does our Industry only need engineers?
NO, As far as IT software sector is concerned it rightly said Industry will need only 20% engineers and it will go down.
Most of the software companies take engineers for the following reasons:
- It is a client requirement
- For H1-B visa purposes
- Billing for engineers are higher compared to non-engineers
90% of the engineers are utilized just as programmers (persons who can code) in software companies. And to learn programming skills one need not be an engineer. Institutes teaching programming languages like C, C++, Java, .net etc can easily substitute engineering colleges.
Software companies are looking for resources in the following fields:
- Software Testing – Not taught in engineering college
- Designing – Web Designing, Graphic Designing – not taught in engineering college
- SEO professionals – not taught in engineering college
- Specific Programming knowledge – Upcoming programming skills are not taught in engineering college
- Software architecture – just basics are taught in engineering colleges.
- Software analytics –not taught in engineering college
And the list can go on…
The trend which has already started is that BCAs and BSCs are getting into IT sector. They will be preferred over engineers because of low cost.
40% of the work force will come from institutes like NIIT who are teaching and enhancing mainly programming skills.
Remaining 60% will come from two areas a) Engineering colleges (20% – 30%) b) Normal Graduates – BCA, BSC (30% – 40%)
Note: Figures mentioned above are based on assumptions and mostly my prediction
As more institutes are offering courses on Software Testing, Analytics, Data warehousing, Web Designing etc, the percentage of intake of engineers will fall.
In no point of time there will be a situation when the IT-Software industry will not take engineers unless and until the other geographies from where the work is getting outsourced makes some.
Policy changes or work which is being outsourced does not require such qualification ( e.g. work related to animation, gaming, content, digital marketing etc does not require any an engineering degree)
Another trend which has already started and it will increase – Core Engineers like Mechanical, Civil etc will be hired by IT software companies since the companies are moving up the value chain. But again the percentage will not be HIGH.
Since our industry is mainly service oriented, soft skills will be very much important and vital both in IT and BPO sectors.
So what immediate steps need to be taken?
1. Number of skilling institutes should start offering a) courses on programming in areas like PHP, Ruby, Python, PERL b) web designing c) SEO d) Mobile Phone application development e) Testing
2. For Engineering colleges to survive, they must start partnering with such training institutes and offer such “add on” courses to the students
3. IT SMEs should invest more on training and development and they should partner with such training institutes.
4. Proper credit facility needs to be in place so that engineers who are not getting jobs can join such institutes and learn a particular skill set.
5. There needs to be Policy changes – a) AICTE (or the board concerned) syllabus needs to be upgraded frequently which will help a lot of engineering colleges to survive and it will help the engineering students.