Trust me most of the Engineering Colleges are struggling to live up to the expectations of the students or to fill up the number of seats they offer. There are almost 3393 Engineering Colleges in India offering 14.86 Lakh seats. In West Bengal the total number of degree level Engineering & Technology colleges is 90 with an intake capacity of approximately 28751. Our IT-BPO Industry is taking 1, 60,000 – 2, 00000 students. Have you ever thought of what will happen to the rest of the engineers (students) passing out every year after spending lakhs of rupees?
It is high time the colleges understand that they play a crucial part towards the development of the society. In this post I will prescribe some suggestions to the colleges to reach to a win-win situation.
Branding: First and one of the most important steps to be taken by colleges is BRANDING. This does not mean advertising their own brands. Rather they should be branding their own college students.
The following activities can be followed:
a) Showcasing the achievements of their students in news pages like education times, online student communities, and social media
b) Conduct symposiums on specific areas which are linked as per the industry needs
c) Organize workshops, events and invite speakers from the industry ( not typical tech fests )
d) Allowing students to participate in industry related events ( like NASSCOM IT Niketan )
e) Opening the gate to IT SMEs and IT Start-ups to come as mentors to students, allow then to work on live projects, and hire the interested students
Add-On Courses: The colleges must start “add-on courses” in the following areas:
a) Open Source Technologies: PHP, Python, PERL, Ruby on Rails, Word Press
b) Mark-up Languages: HTML5
c) Cascading Style Sheets (CSS)
e) LAMP Architecture & WAMP Architecture
f) Web Application Framework: CakePHP, Symfony, CodeIgniter, Yii Framework, and Zend Framework
g) Search Engine Optimization
h) Software Testing
( Note: Add Course structure can be edited/modified. These are just my thoughts)
Colleges should partner with individual companies working on specific areas for the skill development of students (IT SMEs and Startups can be easily approached with a proper value proposition).
Live projects: The engineering colleges should take an active part in organizing more than 1 live project for the students to work on.
Internships: The engineering colleges should inspire the students to start working as interns by the end of first year. They should be opting to work as interns in IT SMEs and Start-ups.
Lab work: The colleges should approach IT SMEs, collaborate with them and work on IT solutions in their laboratory.
I have been recommending this to the college promoters, principals, students & faculties. If one college follows it, others might follow suit. This mission will benefit the students hence the colleges and the industry at large.
Note: The figures are taken from sources like AICTE, Department of Higher Education. It may vary from time to time.