How to bridge the skill gap? – Part 1

After looking at answers for  question “What is Skill Gap? – Part 1” and “What is Skill Gap? – Part 2“. I started to learn on how to bridge the skill gap.  Let us start with traditional model of  apprentice training or vocational training. The student are asked to attend a set of theory classes with a specified teacher and student is required to perform 3 to 4 days of practical work in the company itself under the supervision of a mandated instructor. They need to be in physical environment and it costs to set-up physical infrastructure and only fee apprentice centres got started.

Students joining graduate courses of the university did not feel the need to undergo  skill development. They studied well heir academic syllabus and college teachers have limited knowledge in corporate needs.  They grew with the assumption that skill gap can be filled after the completion of the course. Getting placed in company might result in the new employer sponsoring  the skill training. Or the new employer would provide them direction of the areas to get trained and training in these areas would ensure  job on successful completion. This thought got matured in the minds of the students by IT companies.

Selected candidates are asked to undergo training in their college campuses, attend classes and clear exams to be eligible for joining letter. The training process gets over and student wait for joining letter. The corporate gets benefited to get cheap resources and the student has got a way to earn money. What is happenning to the student  in this process?

  • The student fails to  learn their strengths and weakness.
  • The student assumes that skill training is extension of college and they primarily need to to get good at soft skills.
  • The student are taught by their trainers have never worked in corporate.
  • The student is not sure impact of skill development training  in his plan to go for higher studies, (more when student pays)
  • The student has lost opportunity to plan a long term career plan.  This is not to blame corporates.  when corporate pays for the training, there is no guarantee that the trained candidate will stay with the corporate. Today the corporate  focus to make student articulate and be productive to satisfy business. The student has  failed to focus to empower his self with a  long term career plan.

Let us look at computer degree student in college today. Is he aware of the possibility to develop skills being in the college?

The advent of cloud and personal devices has made it feasible to bridge the skill gap and some students are walking on the bridge without being aware. Let me explain what are they doing. More Students have computer at home. Most of them carry a mobile for sure and college students have trendy ones. They can deploy the program in   free cloud offering provided by cloud provider and personal devices of self and friends. OK, how does this create the feasibility?

  • When student can write their apps this, students apply their learning in practical manner. In the application process, they learn that some things work and some things do not work in real world.
  • The student learn how to apply the  knowledge  based on scenario and come across real world scenario where existing knowledge is not sufficient. In process, they become mature and get better grasp of the academic concepts.
  • With the arrival of github, Ant and other tools, student has the ability to learn software development process methods like code check-in and bug tracking.  They can also now deploy apps and this enable them to ask friends for feedback of the application.
  • With quick approach to sell the app working in personal devices, the student can learn what other perceive about his work resulting in to a powerful learning.

As student, I have learnt to apply my college knowledge, made some mistakes and learnt reason for the error and rectification steps  to fix the same and also became aware of the software development process and also have got a real feedback from the market on  my skills. All this happens at lower cost, no major expense from industry and also based on student’s interest.

Let us see in Part 2 and explore whether opportunities for similar skill development exists in other industries