Engineers are known as professionals
Engineers are meant to be professionals. Other than engineers in the Indian context, we regularly see doctors, lawyers, and accountants as known to be professionals. Unfortunately, engineering graduates still need the most crucial aspect of professional training: The practical internship. Let us examine other professionals famous in the Indian context like doctors, lawyers, and chartered accountants from the perspective of an internship. All three professions by design, require an internship before they are officially allowed to practice. Even lawyers must first work for a senior lawyer before starting their own practice.
Medical profession and internship
Medical professionals are only educated by institutions that have a corresponding practice industry called a hospital. In India, you can start a medical college only if you own a medical facility that provides services to patients and have a firm plan to open a hospital before the college starts. The hospital is a prerequisite to ensure the medical college can give education and a medical degree to students. A doctor will do his internship as a duty doctor while learning, which is the pain they go through to become practicing professionals. In this way, they experience the pain of working late at night and gain accordingly.
However, the majority of Indian engineering colleges are founded without an affiliated industry where students can receive practical training. Anyone can start an engineering college and award an engineering degree as long as they have land and money.
Accounting specialists and Internships/Articleships
As part of the chartered accountant profession, every student must do a 3-year compulsory internship called an “articleship” before his degree is even awarded or deemed valid. If you cannot do this internship, your degree becomes invalid. Similarly, when a Chartered Accountant (CA) student does a 3-year “internship” in the name of an “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 that is putting them under articleship does not pass them, they won’t get the degree. That is why, during their internship, CAs work longer hours than employees and learn far more than they could in any company in three years. There is no volunteerism in these long hours, as it is unofficially expected by the industry that students have to work long hours to learn faster and do the work. Companies are not educational institutions that teach students how to do practical work; rather students must put in long hours to learn how to do practical things and gain practical experience.
For sure, the articleship for chartered accounting students is tedious and intense. But students gain knowledge and practical exposure that are helpful for their long-term career prospects.
When these trained, fresh professionals graduate from college, they benefit the chartered accountant industry. With the articleship the industry also inculcates the latest in the industry into the students. The students benefit first, and then the industry benefits when they join with career options. Because the student is required to do this, even small businesses make an effort to take them and train them practically. The assurance that the student is locked up also allows the company to instill strict discipline in the students, giving them professionalism. But these internship narratives are completely missing among engineering students.
Internship success factors
For many internships across the world, two things make them successful. The first is a necessity, and the second is a compulsion.
1.Necessity of an Internship
In the developed world, students must live on their own once they finish their graduation. This is the reason some of the articles given below on The Economist mention the hardships these people experience as interns in the developed world.
Article 1 – https://www.economist.com/node/21559945
The two articles give a gist of the tough challenges the graduates face outside India. None of the Indian engineers are aware of these hardships and they are also not willing to undergo similar hardships. Learning a skill is more difficult than remembering a subject and passing an exam.
2.Compulsion for an Internship
We need to make a three-year internship mandatory for all graduates, just like it is for chartered accountants. When small and medium-sized businesses can provide enormous skills, graduates use them as free or paid training grounds. The moment the company wants them to stretch to learn, they think it is difficult. Instead of realizing they need to work hard to learn a skill, they are moving on to other companies or other opportunities without any benefit to the company. So when small and medium businesses are not offering internships or other opportunities, the whole group of engineers is left without any opportunities.
The stepping stone for their career has been destroyed in the last two decades by the short-term thinking of engineering graduates who have 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 from their efforts.
SimpleSkills facilitates an intensive internship for engineering graduates for a fee that replicates an industry environment, as we come from an industrial background. We do not have an education or training background, but we have intensive exposure to fresh graduates who have joined our organization. We know what the industry wants, not what engineering colleges or students think they want to know what the industry wants.