Employability in India: A Global Workforce With a Mediocre Skill Set

India offers one of the most preferred global work environments because of the huge pool of talent and qualified human resources available in the country. India has the second largest number of working human resources in the world after China. India promises exquisite talent availability for different industries.

Despite of the overwhelming availability of talent, only 25 percent of the India graduates possess the required employability skills as mentioned by the Minister of State for HRD and External Affairs, E Ahmed, in 2012. The figures are equally disturbing for engineering graduates where only 30 percent of the engineering graduates have the required skill set for different industries. According to the former president of India, Dr. Kalam, India suffers with unemployibility instead of the unemployment itself.

Important key findings in National Employability Report for Graduates 2013

Nearly 47 percent graduates are not employable under any sector of the knowledge industry: According to the report, 47 percent of India graduates are not employable for any knowledge processing roles because of the lack of cognitive and communication skills. The employability among graduates vary one industry to another including 21.37 percent in BPO, 15.88 percent in sales, and 2.59 percent in other functional positions.

50 percent graduates lack basic computer literacy: Another major problem among the sub-urban graduates is the lack of basic computer and English skills. This group of graduates is unable to perform the basic computer operations and communicate in fluent English.

Only 25 percent graduates can solve real-world problems: The report reveals the lack of implementation of theoretical knowledge for real-world problems. Only 25 percent of the accounting graduates are capable of solving real-world problems based upon theoretical concepts. On the contrary, 50 percent graduates were able to answer theoretical questions depending upon their course.

Employability by Industries

• Business Development and Sales: 15.88%

• Customer Support/Operations: 14.23%

• Clerical Roles: 35.95%

• Content Development/Corporate Communications: 2.20%

• IT Services: 12.97%

• IT Operations: 15.66%

• Teaching: 15.23%

These percentages and statistics indicate a weak education system in our country. The graduates in India lack real-world skills for employability in different industries. The current demand is to reduce the skill gap with the help of improved curriculum and teaching practices. A teaching model that can equip graduates with the skills to solve real-life problems is the demand of the hour.

India needs a new teaching-learning strategy with a student-centric approach. Every institution is required to define the set of skills a graduate should possess after every semester. Students should be able to analyse and solve real-life problems with the help of modern tools and technologies. It is important to produce responsive professionals who can evolve according to the economical, technical, social, and environmental change in the organization.

Important suggestions to improve employability in Indian Graduates

• Explicit identification of employability skills within the university curriculum

• Regular assessment of employability skills

• Universities need to review employability skill development programs

These strategies are paramount for creating an intelligent and skill India workforce. It is only with these skills that we can ever realize the dream of being a developed country.

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