Tuesday, December 03, 2019

Where are the 'average engineer students' ?

I am pondering on this question for last 2 months. I will really like to hear from more people.

I work with Smart India Hackathon and was mentor to teams in Smart India Hackathon and Singapore India Hackathon. Here I work students who are enthusiastic and ready to learn. They are ready to experiment, they are confident, they are not afraid to fail initially to succeed later. Its a joy to work with them.

Obviously they are high in demand in job market and command premium for salaries. Recently I was recruiting for my startup and salaries of many of these students do not fit in our budget. Also lot of our work do not require high end talent. We are looking for students good in attitude and programming aptitude but may not be the best. We are also looking for interns.

For internship, we ask students for solve some small programming problems. I got 40+ responses from 2-3 colleges. 35+ students have copy/pasted the code from internet. Come on guys, I am using google since before your birth. I can find from where you copy/pasted your code in 5 mins. I still talked with 3-4 students and realized that they have not taken any efforts to understand the code. They don't want to take any efforts. I have similar experiences of interacting students with few colleges from Pune (not naming the colleges). These students are essentially at the bottom and practically unemployable.

Where did the average students disappear ??? Expected "normal" distribution will mean small set of students at both extremes and large number of average students in middle. However, now we have 'skewed' distribution with really large number of unemployable students at one end and small number of top notch students at another end and nothing in between. How did we land up in such a bad situation ??


Unknown said...

A part of the problem is also the system of education and the competition in India.

This begins in class 12 when students given up everything to "get a seat" in a decent college. Once they get in, Students have to get a certain CGPA for them to "Qualify" for placement tests, hence they "Focus" only on preparing for the exams and mugging up the answers for these exams.

Large companies, on the other hand, take in a large number of students based on a minimum CGPA and entrance test. They then retrain these freshers for 3 to 6 months and then place them in projects. The students need to be trained again, because the college education hasnt prepared them for working in Industry.

Colleges on the other hand get their fame through "placements" and they "help" students study to get the right marks and preparing them to "crack" the placement tests.

In this entire cycle, Enthusiasm to learn is lost and is replaced with mechanical " cracking" the exam...

Pushkar Kale said...

Hello Nitin,

Thanks for bringing this up. We are in the same boat.
Forget about solving a given problem, these students can't even explain their academic project! This is really an alarming situation.

Ashok Warriar said...

विद्या ददाति विनयं विनयाद्याति पात्रतम्
पात्रत्वाद् धनमाप्नोति धनाद्धर्म ततः सुखम्

vidhyA dhadhAthi vinayam vinayAdhyAthi pAthrathAm
pathrathvAdh DHanamApnOthi DHanAdhDHarma thathaha sukham

Meaning: Knowledge makes you humble; humility gives you character; good character attracts wealth; wealth can be used for doing good deeds. This in turn leads to happiness in the world.

Source -

The other side to this is "avidhya dhadhAthi moorkaam" - Ignorance makes you fool
The greatest power is using the ability to think. The spectrum seen in the youth of india is exactly that - children are not encouraged to think and those who can afford to provide such a mindset is 10%. This is not a problem from high school or college but right from kindergarten. Hopefully this will change and the change needs to be initiated by each one of us.
Your title says "Thinking Craftsman" which is exactly what each kid needs to be taught right from day one of school, to think and to craft.