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Why Indian Engineering students require stringent internship? Part 1

Engineers are Professionals

Engineers are called professionals. Other than Engineers in Idian context we regularly see Doctors, Lawyers and Accountants as professionals.

Unfortunately Engineering Graduates are missing the most important aspect of professional training called practical internship. Let us examine other professionals famous in Indian context like Doctors, Lawyer and Chartered Accountants from the perspective of Internship. All the three professions by design needs to do internship before they are officially allowed to practice their profession.

Even lawyers need to work under a senior lawyer before even he can approach for his own practice.

Medical Profession and Internship

The Medical Professionals are only educated by institutions that have corresponding practicing industry called a Hospital.

1. In India you can start a Medical College only
2. if you have a Medical Hospital that serves patients or
you have firm plan to start a Hospital before the College starts.
Hospital is a pre requisite to ensure the Medical College can give education and a medical degree to students.

When a Doctor is learning he will in parallel do the internship as duty doctors which is the pain they take to become practical professionals. In this they experience the pain of working late night and they gain accordingly.

But most of the Indian Engineering Colleges are started without any affiliated industry where the students can get practical training. Anyone can start an Engineering college and award an engineering degree as long as they have land and money.

Accounting Professionals and Internship / Articleship

As part of the Charter Accountant profession, every student must do a 3 year compulsory internship called “articleship” before his degree is even awarded or deemed to be valid. If you are not able to do this internship your degree becomes invalid.

Similarly when a Chartered Accounting (CA) student does 3 year internship in the name of “articleship” it is the practical learning they gain. Because it is linked to the award of the Degree, students are forced to take it seriously. If the company which is putting them under articleship does not pass them they wont get the degree. That is the reason the CAs during their articleship work longer than the employees and learn much more than what they can learn in 3 years in any company. There is no volunteerism in this long hours as it is un officially expected by the industry that the students have to work long to learn faster and do the work. Companies are not educational institutes to teach them practical work, instead the student is to put in long hours to learn the practical things and do and gain practical exposure.

For sure the aricleship for chartered accounting students is tedious and intense. But students gain knowledge and practical exposure that is helpful for their long term career prospects.

The chartered accountant industry gets benefitted by these trained fresh professionals when they come out of the college with a degree.With the articleship the industry also inculcates the latest in the industry into the students. The beneficiaries are the students first and then subsequently the industry when the join with career options.

Since the student has to do this compulsorily even small companies put their effort to take them and train them practically. The guarantee that the student is locked also gives the company to put firm discipline in the students thus bringing them professionalism.

But these internship narratives are completely missing in Engineering Students.

Success Factors of Internship

For many of the internships across the world there are two things that are making them successful. One is Necessity and another Compulsion.

1. Necessity of Internship
In the developed world the students must live on their own once they finish their graduation. This is the reason some of the articles below on Economist mention the hardships these people experience as an intern in the developed world.

https://www.economist.com/node/21559945

https://www.economist.com/news/international/21615612-temporary-unregulated-and-often-unpaid-internship-has-become-route

The two articles gives a gist of the tough challenges the graduates face outside India. None of the Indian Engineers are aware of these hardships and also they are not willing to undergo similar hardships. In fact to learn a skill is more difficult than to remember a subject and pass the exam.

2. Compulsion for Internship
Like the Chartered Accountants we need to make internship of 3 years mandatory for every graduate. When small and medium businesses that can give tremendous skills, graduates are taking them as free/ paid training ground. The moment the company wants them to stretch to learn they think it is difficult. Instead of realising they need to work hard to learn a skills they are moving off to other companies or other opportunities without any benefit to the company.

So when small and medium business are not giving the internship / opportunity the whole group of engineers are left without any opportunities.

The stepping stone for their career has been destroyed in the last 2 decades by the short term thinking of the engineering graduates who joined small companies. Today large companies are not taking Engineers and small companies are not bringing them into their fold as there is no guarantee that they will benefit out of their effort.

SimpleSkills Internships
SimpleSkills facilitates intensive internship for engineering graduates for a fee that replicates an industry environment as we come from industrial background. We do not have Education or Training background but comes with intensive exposure on moulding fresh graduates who joined in our organisation.

And we know what industry wants and not what Engineering Colleges / Students think what they want.

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