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Increasing Employability of Indian Engineering Graduates through Experiential Learning Programs and Competitive Programming: Case Study

Publication Type : Conference Proceedings

Publisher : Procedia Computer Science

Source : Procedia Computer Science, Volume 172, p.831 - 837 (2020)

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Keywords : Competitive Programming, Employability, Experiential learning, International Collegiate Programming Contest, Live-in-Labs®

Campus : Coimbatore

School : Department of Computer Science and Engineering, School of Engineering

Center :  Internal Quality Assurance Cell (IQAC)

Department : Computer Science

Year : 2020

Abstract : Background, Motivation and Objective With regard to engineering, there have been serious concerns about the employability of Indian graduates. There are alarming statistics in a NASSCOM report, which estimates that, of the 3 million joining the IT workforce, only twenty five percent of graduates with engineering background are employable. The figures are grave in the context of graduates from sciences and humanities, which is less than fifteen percent. Aspiring Minds has been administering a computer-based test called AMCAT to lakhs of students in 650+ engineering institutions measure employability of technical graduates. This considers parameters like Business Communication & English, Logical & Numerical skills, analytical & problem-resolution skills and coding. The results are a revelation, 47% of graduates cannot be employed in any domain or sector of the knowledge economy. 17.91%, 3.67% and 40.57% are the employability figures for software services, software products and BPO. Only 3.84% graduates are start-up ready and 6.56% are design job ready and the same trend for other core engineering jobs. There is an urgent need to improve employability of our engineering graduates. This calls for lateral thinking and out-of-the-box initiatives such as experiential learning programs and competitive programming; implementations of which we explore in a top-ranking private university as a case study. Statement of Contribution/Methods The case study of implementation of initiatives in experiential learning programs and competitive programming in a private university is highlighted. An Experiential learning program titled Live-in-Labs as part of the curriculum is explored. This program is student-centric, learner-centric, participatory and hands-on and they provide students an avenue to apply their acquired engineering knowledge, concepts and skills and deploy on a real-time basis in India’s villages. It’s Course Outcomes (CO) such as human-centered design concepts to document observations and user experiences, user-needs assessment and prioritization are enlisted. A very strong mapping to several Program Outcomes (PO) is observed unlike various regular courses in curriculum. Structured competitive programming initiative in which students compete with others in a contest environment in parameters such as program correctness, execution time, and development time is yet another effort towards student-centered learning. Platforms such as CodeChef, HackerRank and contests such International Collegiate Programming Contest (ICPC), which is considered as the Olympics of Collegiate Programming with annual participation of 50,000 students in 2000+ universities in 100+ countries are efforts in this direction. Competitive Programming initiative’s learning objectives also spans several POs. Results, Discussion and Conclusions. Strong mapping of COs to POs inherent in the experiential learning programs improves the employability as also the progression and prospects of the students. Live-in-Labs® program exposes students to pressing issues confronted by village communities in India, through experiential learning opportunities, in order to apply theoretical concepts into application & deployment, by the devising of innovative technology remedies, and facilitation of crucial and collaborative problem-resolution capabilities of the students participating in the program. The participation of several students from foreign universities also enriches learning, collaboration and diversity. Every Live-in-Labs project results in a student paper published in reputed journals and conferences. It also improves student progression in terms of higher studies and high-paying jobs. Competitive programming dramatically improves student skills and capabilities in problem solving, coding, team work, innovation and creativity. It is also observed that code geeks from competitive programming initiatives are invariably the ones to secure the highest paying jobs in dream companies like Google, Amazon and Facebook.

Cite this Research Publication : Prashant R. Nair, “Increasing Employability of Indian Engineering Graduates through Experiential Learning Programs and Competitive Programming: Case Study”, Procedia Computer Science, vol. 172. pp. 831 - 837, 2020.

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