Overcome These Hurdles to Land Your First IT Job in 2019
By Saheli Roy Chowdhuri
2018 has passed by, and it has been a bitter-sweet year for the IT graduates of India. This is because India has a very particular problem when it comes to its engineering students, i.e. their supply is more than the demand. According to the National Employability Report published in 2016 (based on a study of more than 1,50,000 engineering students who graduated in 2013 from over 650 colleges), as many as 97% of graduating engineers want jobs either in software engineering or core engineering. Also, only 3% have suitable skills to be employed in software or product market, and only 7% can handle core engineering tasks. However, as the saying goes, every cloud has a silver lining, and if Indian graduates were to overcome certain hurdles which come between them and their employability standards, they can surely take up some amazing opportunities in the Indian IT sector, which is growing by leaps and bounds. If you’re an IT graduate, 2019 can be your time to shine!
So, before we understand the hurdles between graduates and jobs, let’s have a deeper look at what the term ‘employability’ constitutes of.
What are the employability hurdles?
According to STEMNET, following are the 10 key skills expected by employers, in other words, defines ‘employability’ loosely - 1.Communication and Interpersonal Skills 2.Problem Solving Skills 3.Initiative and Self-Motivation 4.Time Management and Stress Management 5.Organizational Skills 6.Team work 7.Ability to learn and adopt 8.Ability to use data and Mathematics to support information 9.Diversity and valuing differences 10.Negotiation Skills
Since we’ve now defined what is expected of the graduates, it’s now time to understand what prevents them from grabbing great IT opportunities.
Inability to ‘deep-dive’ into a language/technology platform
Basically, the industry out there is looking for two kinds of graduates, those who are domain knowledge specialists and those who are generalists. Also, most Indian graduates lack the practical skills to make the most of their theoretical coding skills.
Domain knowledge specialists will be prized for their deep skills and insights into areas of work. Their research skills, problem-solving abilities, design-thinking approach, ability to liaison with different departments and hands-on approach while leveraging skills of other team members are some skills they are prized for.
Inadequate knowledge of corporate culture
Technology specialists are required in companies, especially in startups where the environment is agile, and budgets are small to hire lots of people, therefore few in the team must manage getting a company off the ground. These companies are looking for people who can juggle software programming as well as knowing how to deal with clients, knowing the company’s business model, how the local economy will affect business policies and practices, marketing a product, hiring right talent etc.
Most tech graduates fail to understand the dynamics involved in the professional world, and fail to contribute to the companies requirements, even if they have the right knowledge.
Failure to understand their roles
When tech graduates, especially those armed with degrees in computer science approach interviews related to software development, they think of their role as being that of a programmer. However, a lot more is expected of them. These days companies expect graduates to understand how the entire software development cycle works, and how DevOps is integrated into this cycle as well. So, all in all, an in-depth understanding of professional roles is lacking.
How does one outjump these hurdles?
There are many ways the tech graduates of our country can add industry relevant skills to their arsenal and increase their employability factor.
IT bootcamp training courses and professional courses can help IT graduates pick up the most relevant skills which are used in the IT industry. Whether it’s writing effective code or even understanding the dynamics of software development, these courses can help graduates become truly job ready, and add some much need practical experience to their theoretical knowledge.
Also, building up a repertoire of people skills is necessary, and taking interest in social activities and sports that help build social skills, along with understanding the ability to negotiate, learning how to manage time and stress and becoming a creative problem solver. It also adds oodles of credit to the resume. Lastly, taking up internships outside of the campus network, working part time, becoming a part of networks like AFS and Cclub that will help make the right connections in the industry and finding a mentor who can be a professional guide while starting off and help climb the ladder.
All in all, despite the shortcomings students face in terms of large, impractical syllabi, lack of infrastructure as well direct industry interactions and alumni network, with the right attitude and dedication landing a job is not as difficult as it can be. This is precisely where Manipal ProLearn aims to step in and revolutionize the way the graduates of our country upskill. By arming the students with industry relevant skills and hands-on learning programs, we strive to make graduates truly ‘job-ready’ by the end of their course.
Right then, what are you waiting for? 2019 is upon you, and it brings a fresh chance to succeed. Go out there and land your first job for the win this year.