Transforming Engineering Colleges: What are we trying to fix?

The number of engineering colleges across India is steadily increasing and the enrollment numbers are only going up. But the students getting hired upon graduation in top tech companies are vastly limited to a handful from tier I colleges in major metropolitan cities. To solve this crisis, some students are taking things upon their own hands by upskilling themselves on the side and the results can be seen in an equally booming edtech market in recent years.

Enrolling students in crash courses in their final years before campus interviews is a lot like crash dieting – seldom sustainable. Taking the example of health – Getting fit and staying fit would mean a complete overhaul of one’s lifestyle as it requires a change in one’s dietary habits, going to the gym and making better choices over a period of time. Similarly, producing top tech talent would mean working with colleges on a long-term basis and addressing their needs and deficiencies together. Just like how looking aesthetically pleasing or getting abs is a byproduct of getting fit and adopting a healthier lifestyle, placement would similarly be then, a byproduct of good learning outcomes.

What are some key issues that Colleges face?

There are three fundamental challenges that most engineering colleges face. That includes –

  • Acute Faculty Shortage – While the current tech industry has been rapidly growing for the 25 years, there has parallelly been a shortage of faculty in most engineering colleges. There are multiple reasons for this shortage including rapid pace of growth in tech and the subsequent lack of qualified teachers, limited resources to skill existing faculty and geographical displacement among others.
  • Outdated Course Curriculum – There is currently a 15-year gap between academia and the tech industry. Colleges with their set course curriculum find it difficult to keep up with the rapid advancement in technology and this is partly due to administrative rules that prevent them from updating their syllabus in regular intervals. Furthermore, there is not enough resources or funding to update curriculum regularly. With a curriculum focuses solely on textbook and theoretical knowledge, it is in direct conflict with what today’s tech hiring managers are increasingly looking for i.e., project work and practical experience.
  • Limited awareness – Majority of students and college faculty outside major metros are not kept up to date on the developments happening in the tech industry. College students and faculty thus need support to understand the depth of technology and imbibe certain industry ready life skills. Additionally, 74 percent of students are first generation engineers who get limited support from family or the ecosystem.

Thus when we partner with an institution, we look to transform them holistically by addressing the above-mentioned issues. This wouldn’t be possible without leveraging our three key resources – people, processes, and technology.

More on our solutions in Part II. Stay tuned!