India's substantial growth in recent years has resulted in a significant increase in demand for engineers. Information technology companies, now a major part of the Indian private sector, have been prominent in such recruitment, but the competences they seek in engineering students appear to be different in terms of priorities from those sought by engineering firms. Against this background, and Indian employers' general dissatisfaction with graduates' skills, the present study aims to investigate the importance of technical and non-technical education, respectively, in the employability of undergraduate engineering students. Employability was determined according to students' success in campus recruitment drives by information technology companies, that is, whether they received an offer of employment. The study used a sample of two cohorts consisting of more than 500 undergraduate engineers in total, drawn from one of the leading engineering colleges in South India. Independent variables consisted of marks scored at the higher education admission stage, grades in engineering at graduation and performance in non-technical education. The last named comprised verbal reasoning, logical reasoning and soft skills. The dependent variable was whether or not they were offered employment. The results, obtained through correlation and ordinal regression, revealed that the performance of students in non-technical education was a stronger predictor of employability than was grade obtained in technical education. The findings will be of relevance to engineering colleges because they can be used in the formulation of a strategy to improve the employability of their students. The context is a concern in many countries that those leaving higher education are not properly equipped for the world of work. © 2010 Blackwell Publishing Ltd.
cited By (since 1996)0
V. K. Gokuladas, “Technical and non-technical education and the employability of engineering graduates: an Indian case study”, International Journal of Training and Development, vol. 14, pp. 130-143, 2010.