Before we get up into the specifics of the skill gap in the IT industry, it is important to understand the shortcomings in the current education system in the country and how they are impacting skill development.
We tend to train our students from a young age that “Getting Good Grades” is all that matters. The current system focuses on bookish knowledge and not enough stress is laid on practical approach to learning. This impacts the upbringing of individuals in the long run and their ability to pick up new skills themselves to carve a successful career path for themselves.
The IT industry, which is set to see creation of more than four lakh jobs in the next 10 years, has now been hit by a severe crunch of manpower. The forecast says between 2012 and 2022 – 4,41,655 jobs would be created in the sector. As a part of the industry, we can point out that the gap is particularly acute in the skilled section.
Rapid changes in technology over the years have unfortunately not been reflected in the curriculum, which has now given rise to a skill gap. More than 50 per cent of the jobs would be in the skilled segment while demand for semi-skilled or minimally skilled jobs would be less. The industry would in fact be the second highest employment generator in the district after organized retail. Industry reports have indicated that highly skill oriented domains like data, communication and mobile would be the next drivers of the industry and the skill gap can result in the industry missing the next growth trajectory.
One of the major problems facing the fresh graduates is their insufficient understanding of basic concepts. The lack of in-depth understanding of hardware-related information, lack of client-handling skills and insufficient knowledge across domains are the major skill gaps in the area. While mobile computing is proving to be the next growth driver for the industry, the curriculum does not reflect it. Industry insiders say that in a strained economic condition, companies do not want to spend much on training and would prefer candidates with some skill sets who can be made billable soon. My concern is that curriculum should give idea to the students of basics of communication and other domain which will be the growth verticals of the industry. Hence we need to move in that direction which is our desired goal.
One of the approaches to tackle the problem of lacking job readiness in the Indian IT sector is partnerships between the industry and academia. Many IT companies are partnering with engineering colleges and universities. Many multinationals have also established alliances with academic institutions on specific initiatives covering faculty upgradation, internships, curriculum revision workshops, research incubation, etc. aggregating the architects of the new global economy.
IT & IMS space will form a backbone of initiatives such Digital India and Smart Cities and needs to keep pace with newer technologies with SMAC. There is also a need for innovative teaching methods, advanced courses and exceptional faculty to create globally competent IT professionals who will not only address the challenges of today but also of tomorrow.
India is today at a turning point and has the capability to become a World source bank for Human Resource in the future. But the country will require a skilled workforce for it take it to a global stage. India’s youth which forms a majority of the population is the advantage the country needs to leverage.
The vast diversity in India, does not allow “One strategy fits all approach” when it comes to leveraging talent.  A CII report on the Skill gap in India revealed that states such as Pondicherry, Rajasthan, Punjab, Tamil Nadu, Karnataka, Andhra Pradesh, Uttar Pradesh, Kerala, Harayana as compared to other states.  At a city level Pondicherry, Agra, New Delhi, Coimbatore, Madurai, Chennai, Salem, Bangalore, Ghaziabad etc. fared better as compared to other cities. Hence there is also need to factor in such information while planning activities so that they are effective.
It is equally important to ensure that skills imparted are not just restricted to address a particular job requirement but should also help in the overall development of an individual. This would not only help them to get employed but also enable them to work towards their employability.