Skill gap in the IT services industry is an extensively covered topic. However, there has been very little focus towards building an ecosystem for fresh talent to thrive and metamorphose into professionals with deep knowledge of technology, domains, and project management.
How do we create such professionals out of the raw talent that the academia produces? The attainment of this objective requires a series of focused steps which extend way beyond classroom training. These steps are the building blocks that help to create a robust ecosystem for freshers to thrive:
1. Teaching: The pedagogy should comprise a judicious mix of classroom training, group discussions and agile projects. In the “teaching” phase, it is important to simulate the real-world of IT projects to the extent possible. This helps students to learn about not only the technology, but also enables them to apply it in situations. The application of the knowledge is what serves them well when they deal with customers and execute business critical projects.
2. Infrastructure: Many a times, fresh talent from college does not come with the requisite practice or exposure to handle applications and programming languages. The infrastructure, which includes the software, laboratory, and underlying hardware, is critical. It forms a very integral part of the ecosystem that is built to get freshers up to speed.
3. Mentorship: The connect with the industry is important for freshers to stay updated on the current technology trends, the use of various technologies in enhancing business and operational efficiency, and the opportunities resulting from the training and learning acquired by them. A rendezvous with mentors from the industry and the academia can give a fillip to the growth prospects of fresh talent groomed by companies.
4. Engagement: The knowledge gained in class-room trainings needs to be tested. However, quizzes and gamification make it more exciting, participative and engaging. The learnings are enhanced and with it, team work, camaraderie, leadership and communication skills. All these are essential traits to enable the freshers to work in multi-faceted teams and focus on achieving results, together.
5. Collaboration: Classroom training is just the first step. Working on the job with experienced professionals and learning under their tutelage is an important step towards transforming fresh talent into industry-ready professionals. How about getting them to transform their ideas into disruptive products? It is important to give them exclusive “lab” hours to work on their pet projects (if any) and implement the same successfully. Collaboration opportunities is essential for them to work across project life cycles and leverage peer expertise.
These above-mentioned stages should be an integral part of the Fresher’s induction and training program. It will help to create a more structured learning and training method and accelerate the prospects of creating well-rounded technology professionals with expertise across domain, technology, project management and general management, as well as leadership skills.
These stages, or steps, will create an ecosystem for fresh talent to learn, practice, and grow. The impetus that this ecosystem can provide to fresh talent is similar to the acceleration that an incubation center would provide to early stage start-ups.