It is not enough to acquire theoretical knowledge; you must also know how to put it to use in the real word. India has one of the largest workforce in the world. Indians have strong theoretical knowledge and have good command over English. Despite these advantages employability in India of engineers is low. According to the National Employability Report (NER) 2011, while India produces more than 500,000 engineers annually, only a miniscule 3.51 per cent are appropriately trained to be directly deployed on projects. The interviewers usually look for three things- theoretical knowledge, practical experience and soft skills and though most of the newly graduates have good theoretical knowledge they lack in practical experience and soft skills.
The solution for success in industry is integration of theoretical learning with practical experience. Studies conducted by various research groups have shown that practical training increased students’ understanding of theoretical knowledge, retention and their motivation to study. Practical training can provide valuable work experience by sharpening and adding to the skills you are learning in school. Labs sessions have been introduced as a part of the core curriculum; but most of the lab equipments are expensive and complicated to fix, hence several students work with one lab equipment to experiment and learn. Therefore a single student doesn’t get sufficient time and opportunity to explore all the aspects of the experiment. Many colleges like BITS PILANI and IIT Bombay are working towards providing their students industry training/internship as a part of their curriculum. In Colleges like Perdue and Cornell have students build products with every subject they learn on an individual basis, in addition to industrial training. The World Economic Forum estimates that 81% of U.S. engineering graduates are immediately “employable,” while only 25% of Indian graduates and 10% of Chinese graduates are equally well prepared for jobs. The difference is the quality of education provided. The graph below shows the number of students and money spent on education.
Practical training aims to elevate the students’ knowledge and skills in a specific profession of their respective fields and at the same time produce graduates who are credible, creative and proficient thus increasing their employability. Here we list some of the main benefits of practical training:
Helps the student to adapt to the changing industry culture: New products, services, industrial laws and regulations are introduced every day. Practical training helps the student to better adapt to these changes by exposing them to such changing environment early in their career.
It improves the soft skills of the student: Since the students usually need to work in a team, give presentations and make report during the training period it helps to improve their communication skills, management skills, written, oral and presentation skills. It also promotes team spirit in the student.
Increases the opportunity to get a good job: Most of the employers would prefer someone who has a good practical exposure and experience in the industry over someone who has a good academic record. A good hands on training with internship adds a lot of value to the resume.
Helps students apply their theoretical knowledge and hence retain better.
Teaches them how to use theoretical knowledge to resolve practical problems.
Enforces good work ethics in the students
The experience gained helps the students to know which areas they need to focus on academically.
Helps them understand the use of theory to build real life applications.
If your educational institute does not provide adequate training, look for private independent institutes and/or products that will help you get the exposure. There are many vocational courses, internship as well as practical training programs available in the market.