The workplaces have changed. Companies are aggressively hiring ‘T-shaped’ engineering professionals, who can provide solutions in both technical as well as managerial fields
1.5 million. This is the number of engineers that India alone produces every year. However, the employability of Indian engineers in the knowledge economy has not changed on an aggregate level since 2010, according to the National Employability Report Engineers (2019) by talent evaluation company Aspiring Minds.
A deeper dive into the report reveals that this ‘Stubborn Unemployability’ is because the dynamics of recruitment have changed; corporates are now looking for engineering professionals with business wisdom along with new-age skills in areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), mobile, cloud and web.
What led to this paradigm shift?
There have been surprising findings of the factors that companies look for in their potential employees. Thriving organisations describe planning and business management as a skill that deals with one’s ability to design, plan, organize, and implement projects and tasks within an allotted timeframe. Employers want to select those students who exhibit managerial and leadership skills so that they can work in a team and can also motivate and lead by setting a good example.
For companies aspiring to take things to the next level, the power to visualize what the consumer needs and understand the market is important. Otherwise, the idea would be tough to scale and not have that perceived value.
One way to conceptualise what makes a good product is not just sound engineering and a great design but the strategy that maximises the probability of people buying and using that product. And this conceptualisation requires certain business acumen.
As per the American Society of Mechanical Engineers (ASME), corporates demand a variety of managerial skills and expertise from their engineering professionals. This led to the conception of the term ‘T-shaped’ professionals i.e. people with a thorough understanding of one discipline (engineering, the vertical bar) along with a basic brush of knowledge about how it interacts with other disciplines (business, the horizontal bar). It further states that many companies such as the International Business Machines Corporation (IBM) seek to recruit T-shaped engineering students because they expect them to solve problems not only of the technical field but also within the context of the entire organisation and the market.
The need to upskill
In the current scenario, engineers need to show expertise beyond their regular technical field. This shift calls for systematic long-term changes in higher education in India. Precisely why, UPES offers a Business Diploma in collaboration with the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF), Singapore. This course provides basic management skills and can be undertaken by the interested students along with their B. Tech. program.
The key deliverables of this collaboration include:
- LSBF will teach three modules in the optional Business Diploma offered by UPES for the undergraduate students of the School of Engineering and the School of Computer Science at level 3. This will be offered to existing students and will be launched in the August-December semester.
- Students will receive a diploma from UPES in this program. In addition to this, the students will receive a certificate for completing the three modules embedded in the diploma by LSBF.
- LSBF will provide 100% of the content and 30% of each module will be taught LSBF faculty on online or face-to-face mode, as agreed by both the institutes.
Given the volatile and competitive world that we live in, an engineering professional must acquire additional skills to not only survive but also make his/her mark in the industry. Under the UPES School of Engineering, B. Tech. students can also pursue additional specialisations in latest technologies such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, IoT, data analytics and blockchain.
Getting an engineering degree may not guarantee success; skills that keep you relevant can be the panacea for a flourishing career.