Colleges can help the industry by providing a well-planned framework that would encompass what the corporates need and accordingly train the engineers to be industry-ready. Panicker opines, “They could also partner with leading companies, to frame the finishing school concept, to give the right mix and exposure that is necessary and prepare them for challenges in the VLSI and semiconductor industry. The finishing school concept has always been used in the short run, but I think it would be good if we really focus hard and have a finishing school with a long-term vision.”
What role do finishing schools play?
While this is not a mass generalisation, a fair majority of engineering or management graduates are not adequately exposed to the outside world. The basis of summer internships and longer-duration industrial training programmes that were incorporated in the Indian education framework was to facilitate this. However, very few get to undergo these programmes in the industry due to the growing number of engineering graduates from colleges all over India.
Numerous smaller training organisations that claim to provide such training have sprung up in all corners of the country, but there are very few which can provide the much needed real-life job experience to candidates. As a result, they are not well aware of the specific skills that they require to land a job once they step out of their colleges.
The curriculum of finishing schools is designed to ensure better adaptability by engineering students from different streams. The main focus of the finishing schools is:
1. Increase the industry-readiness of the fresh engineering graduates so that they are productive from day one
2. Bridge the industry and education sector gap by catering to the needs of VLSI and semiconductor industry
3. Create a path where the industry and educational sector can synergise efforts to train better manpower
4. Develop the requisite industry know-how for students to facilitate better employability
5. Ensure more number of industry-ready engineers are available for the industry to recruit
Be smart while selecting a finishing school
If you look at the yellow pages of your city, you may find a long list of finishing schools for engineers. Make sure that you make the right choice. Kabra says, “There are a number of schools that provide personality development programmes, which is the softer aspect required for any graduate. There are also vocational training companies that offer programmes for job readiness in different sectors. The core issue is about how many such schools are making the necessary investments to deliver high-quality education in terms of producing and updating content to be in line with the present and future needs, having trainers that have relevant industry experience and providing the infrastructure that can support hands-on experience (for technical trainings). There are no officially published numbers for such focussed training houses. But a random sample of training schools in any city will perhaps be enough to bring this issue to light.”
So you need to check the credibility of an institute before joining it. In fact, the industry is also taking a step forward for guiding candidates in this direction.
Panicker adds, “The Indian VLSI and semiconductor industry is focusing in the right direction by trying to develop finishing schools for better adaptability by fresh engineering graduates. We have partnered with Sandeepani School of VLSI Design, VEDA IIT, C-DAC centres, ECIL and RV-VLSI design centre to provide a finishing school kind of platform to enable fresh electronics engineering graduates to acquire skills that are needed by the industry.
“The concept of finishing school is definitely on the growth path and we will see more number of finishing schools mushrooming in the next five years. The finishing school concept would be more successful if there is a strong synergetic partnership with universities, industry and industry associations. These partnerships should cater to different aspects and needs of the industry. The finishing school should strongly focus on providing industry-ready training in technical areas like VLSI and semiconductor industry. This should be supplemented by enough exposure to soft skills.”
The author is an assistant editor at EFY