academics, Analytical abilities, Asian Indians, Code, coding, East Indians, education system, Employability, Employer Survey, energy, engineering, engineering skills, engineers, environment, environmental degradation, family, green card caps, green cards, Higher Education, higher-order thinking skills, India, India skills gap, Indian engineering education, infrastructure, IT, lower-order thinking skills, McKinsey, pedagogy, policy, Policy research, power and water, power sectors, problem solving, professional skills, Public policy, Satisfaction, skills, soft skills, South Asians, technology, water, World Bank, World Bank Study
In India, according to a World Bank Policy Research paper: “The higher education system has responded to the increased demand for engineers by massively expanding production of engineers. The number of students enrolled increased 800 percent from 1998 to 2008, (MHRD, 2009). This quantitative expansion is widely perceived to have led to an average decline in the quality of the students entering, the teaching and, consequently, the quality of the graduating engineers (Jha et al. 2009)” “IT, infrastructure and power sectors where engineers play a critical role are particularly in difficult situations… According to the widely quoted report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and McKinsey in 2005, only 25% of the engineering education graduates are employable by a multinational company. Many employers give concrete examples on the lack of skills of the newly graduated hires, which the employers link to shortcomings in the education system..” Excerpts from: Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi. 2011. “Employability and Skill Set of Newly Graduated Engineers in India“. Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5640. World Bank.
While this is somewhat dated, those Asian-Indians demanding that they be given green cards have been in the United States on temporary visas for some time. There is no reason to believe that this problem of poor quality education was or can be promptly solved. It’s a long term problem. It might be easy to pity them were it not for the destructive impacts of importing academics and workers upon the lives of generations of talented Americans. It has devalued American academic degrees, as well. Worse, after importing professors from India for generations, the US has started to import high school and other teachers from India, while most schools do not allow US college grads who specialize in a field, but not in education, to teach. American university students have complained for decades that they cannot understand their mostly foreign STEM teachers, and now they won’t be able to understand their high school STEM teachers, either. https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2019/07/25/urgent-oppose-us-senate-bills-removing-green-card-permanent-resident-country-caps-increasing-per-country-family-joining-caps-increasing-green-card-giveaway
Take a close look at what this actually says. And, how mind-blowing it is, in comparison to the decades of lies. Their better skill is English, and many Americans can’t understand people from India.
Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi. 2011. “Employability and Skill Set of Newly Graduated Engineers in India“. Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5640. World Bank.
India has far more people than the United States and so should have more smart people. India has 1.34 billion and the US has 327 million. However, contrary to what we are told, their universities are not well-ranked. Their best university is like a lower to mid tier US state university. While studying a few green card applications, we found one applicant from a university in India which is ranked 3000th in the world. Whether or not you believe in university rankings, the World Bank study, cited more extensively below, shows that India is putting out quantity of IT professionals and engineers to the detriment of quality. There is no reason to believe that India would send us their best, either. Due to corruption and the caste system, they may not be giving their best brains the chance that they deserve, either, despite reservations (affirmative action) for Dalits-untouchables and other oppressed groups. This is but one reason to oppose lifting the green card cap: https://miningawareness.wordpress.com/2018/07/30/the-iffy-foreign-engineers-responsible-for-holtec-spent-nuclear-fuel-storage-small-modular-reactors-holtec-abuse-of-h1b-visas-no-apparent-effort-to-find-recruit-talent/
Excerpted from Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi. 2011. “Employability and Skill Set of Newly Graduated Engineers in India. Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5640. World Bank:
“Insufficient supply of quality skills is one of the main impediments to further economic growth in India. The Indian economy grew more than 8% on average over the past 5 years, including the year of the unprecedented financial crisis in 2009. However, the skill shortage is still one of the major constraints in most industries in India (World Bank, 2009b).
IT, infrastructure and power sectors where engineers play a critical role are particularly in difficult situations when it comes to unmet demand for skills. For instance, the exporting IT sector reported lack of skills as the most serious obstacle for growth, and salaries rose 15% annually from 2003 to 2006 mainly due to the shortages of qualified workforce (World Bank, 2009). The road sector also faces severe shortages of qualified manpower. The sector needs to increase its hiring by at least 2-3 times of the 2008 level where 6,000 – 7,000 fresh engineers and diploma holders joined the road sector workforce (World Bank, 2008). In the power sector, the focus is also on shortages of qualified engineers. The sector needs more skills and knowledge at all levels of the workforce, particularly considering the growing concerns over environmental degradation and depletion of conventional energy sources (Ministry of Power, 2007).
According to the widely quoted report by the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) and McKinsey in 2005, only 25% of the engineering education graduates are employable by a multinational company. Many employers give concrete examples on the lack of skills of the newly graduated hires, which the employers link to shortcomings in the education system. Box 1 provides one such case from a large ITES company.
The higher education system has responded to the increased demand for engineers by massively expanding production of engineers. The number of students enrolled increased 800 percent from 1998 to 2008, (MHRD, 2009). This quantitative expansion is widely perceived to have led to an average decline in the quality of the students entering, the teaching and, consequently, the quality of the graduating engineers (Jha et al. 2009).
Despite the gravity of the situation, little research has been conducted to identify the kinds of skills demanded by employers and measure in which skills graduates meet employers‘ expectation. There is an increasing demand for such information from teachers, administrators, and policy makers. For example, Government of India is implementing a program with World Bank co-finance, to improve quality of engineering education and increase learning outcomes of engineering education graduates. For this program and for other initiatives, it is critical to identify specific bottlenecks in skills demanded by employers, and provide detailed information and practical suggestions to overcome the skill shortages.
With this aim, an Employer Satisfaction Survey was carried out from September to November 2009 as part of preparation of the Second Phase of Technical Education Quality Improvement Program (TEQIP-II) initiated by the Government of India and financially supported by the World Bank. The survey was implemented by a joint team of the National Project Implementation Unit (NPIU), the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI), and the World Bank in consultation with Ministry of Human Resource Development (MHRD), Government of India.
Box 1: A Typical Fresh Engineering Graduate Lacking Problem Solving Skill
Specifically, the survey seeks answers the following three questions:
(i) Which skills do employers consider important when hiring new engineering graduates? (ii) How satisfied are employers with the skills of engineering graduates? (iii) In which important skills are the engineers falling short?
To illustrate the typical skill gap we see in fresh engineers, let us take the case of Gopal, who after completing his Bachelor‘s degree in Computer Science and Engineering with a good academic track record has just joined an IT Services organization. Specifically, this group works on product engineering for a semiconductor vendor who is developing highly integrated silicon and supporting software for mobile devices. Gopal has undergone about 2 months of refresher training by the organization on software engineering before being assigned to the project.
The Project manager that he reports to is in charge of delivering the layer of platform software, which comprises of the Real Time Operating System and the Device Drivers for all the peripherals the mobile device will support, to the customer. The project manager assigns to Gopal the task of taking over the development of a device driver for one of the simpler peripherals on the device and points him to all the relevant information sources. The project manager expects Gopal to work quite independently on the same and complete it with minimal assistance given the fact that he has the necessary knowledge from his academic background, and the device driver is for the simplest peripheral on the chip.
On the job, however Gopal begins to flounder. He is first of all quite stymied by the amount of information he has to digest in a short span of time. He did not have the skill to filter out and read what was really required for the job. The second challenge was his unfamiliarity with handling a large volume of code. His academic projects had been quite small, a few hundred lines at most.
He did not have the skill to abstract out the entire system, and only focus on the interfaces for the device driver he had to develop. The next challenge was on the design of the module. He had to pick a design which was not only efficient in the time but also efficient in use of system resources as the design is for a mobile device with typically limited memory.
Last but not the least, the design had to be robust. When it was time to integrate and test the driver, he had to really grasp the complexities of debugging an embedded system. Though his own module was quite simple, he had to have the big picture of the system. He had to understand how to use the debugging tools and the features it provided, to probe the system at the appropriate level. He was once again felt wanting on the required problem solving skills to move ahead on the problems encountered.
If we reflect on this case, it is clear that the academic curriculum had the following lacunae:
Had not trained Gopal sufficiently on key design skills, especially handling conflicting criteria to be met, and problem solving skills, and creative exploration for the same, and
Had not trained him on handling complexity, and key abstraction skills required to handle it.
These problems can be traced to:
Lack of imagination in the construction of laboratory experiments in the academic setting and also probably in the evaluation patterns followed,
Few problem sets (examinations) for students to test design oriented problems which would have given students the chance to explore the design space and appreciate the challenges, and
Little exposure to joint projects with industries to experience complexities in the actual work place and prepare students better for a career in the relevant industries. General Manager, Project Delivery, in a large IT co….
it is the first empirically-based evidence that the Engineering education institutions and system does an inadequate job of developing analytical, evaluating and creative engineers. The above result highlights a crucial question for Indian engineering education; does the typical Indian engineering graduate sufficiently learn higher-order thinking skills? Or does the education model (curriculum, teaching-learning process and assessment) predominantly build lower-order thinking skills, such as remembering and understanding? Answering these questions require a larger employer survey and possibly a competence assessment of engineering graduates.
Summary Analysis of Skill Gaps:
The previous sections show that employers are likely to perceive Soft Skills more important than Professional Skills. However, engineering graduates with limited and weak Professional Skills are undesirable for employers.
The survey results, for instance, show a clear signal to the Problem Solving that is under Professional Skills. As shown earlier, Problem Solving has the largest gap in Professional Skills and the second least satisfying skill of all skills.
Wide gaps can be observed among almost all skills. This is more obvious for higher order skills, such as Problem Solving that falls in Professional Skills. Further, the mean scores of skill gaps in Professional Skills are higher than those in Soft Skills, which are 0.91 and 0.88 points, respectively. Therefore, the importance of Professional Skills should not be disparaged.
6. Summary Findings and Policy Implications
Educating engineers with a comprehensive and deep set of skills that are in demand would be of tremendous importance for the employability of individual engineers and for the country‘s development. Large economic sectors, such as IT, infrastructure, power and water, rely critically upon engineering skills and technologies. This employer survey provides important new insight on which specific skills are important for employers and where the graduates currently fall short. In what follows, we present the main findings and the policy implications that we draw from each finding. However, it is important to keep three caveats in mind: (i) the quality improvements in education lie squarely within the scope of pedagogy, education policy and education management, which is outside of the scope of this paper; (ii) the engineers evaluated by employers should be seen as the end product of the entire education system, not just engineering education. The engineering colleges receive graduates from the secondary education system with a set of skills upon which they add. In particular, the Soft Skills are influenced by a prior schooling and the family setting; and (iii) although the sample size is fairly large compared to similar surveys, it is relatively small compared to the large population of Indian firms. Further, the survey may be biased due to a small size of convenience sampling and a possible over-sampling of large firms. Keeping these important caveats in mind, we limit the recommendations to a set of broad actions within engineering education to improve the skill set of future engineers.
There is substantial dissatisfaction with the quality of graduates. 64% of employers are only somewhat satisfied or worse with the current engineering graduate skills. This confirms the finding of a number of other surveys showing that the skills set of fresh engineers is inadequate. Although, there are always caveats when comparing satisfaction surveys internationally, we find that Indian employers are less satisfied with their engineers compared to US employers. Obviously, the dissatisfaction suggests that renewed efforts are necessary to raise the skill set of engineering graduates in India through an improvement in the quality of engineering education. We particularly recommend that each engineering program explicitly states and measures the desired learning outcomes (the skill set of their graduate). The accreditation agency, NBA, in particular could have a tremendously important impact if it increased the weight of graduates‘ learning outcomes compared to other input-oriented accreditation criteria (such as classroom and curricula). Also, while the results may appear gloomy, reforms and quality improvements programs have successfully taken place at individual state and institutional level. There are several success stories, see Annex 4 for the Technical Education Quality Improvement Programme. What is required is a scale-up of the reforms and investments at the national level addressing the shortcomings in the skill set of engineers… Emphasis our own. See the entire document here: Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi. 2011. “Employability and Skill Set of Newly Graduated Engineers in India. Policy Research working paper” ; no. WPS 5640. World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/3404 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO Although it is not completely clear, it appears that the American employees that they are comparing to the Asian-Indian ones are American educated.
Since this is so contrary to what everyone’s been told for many decades, we are putting up screen shots of a few of the pages.:
Emphasis our own. Blom, Andreas; Saeki, Hiroshi. 2011. “Employability and Skill Set of Newly Graduated Engineers in India“. Policy Research working paper ; no. WPS 5640. World Bank. © World Bank. https://openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/3404 License: CC BY 3.0 IGO