Monday, April 1, 2013

Fresh college graduates need to recalibrate their expectations

If you are in an engineering college ranked 30th or higher and in the final or penultimate year of your education then you are most likely worried or should be worried because the IT juggernaut has slowed down and the news for all of you is that this time this is not cyclic but for real. So what about those "easy" IT jobs, yes that is a good question and I have a good news and a bad news for you.

Let's go back to how life was in mid nineties till IT services changed everything around us. I completed my degree from NIT Kurukshetra in Computer Science with good grades but had to work really hard to get a start. Campus placements were few and most of us had to work our way out of campus. It wasn't easy and life taught us tough lessons during our initial 6-12 months of our careers.

I read in the newspaper recently about few graduates protesting the decision of a large IT company delaying their joining dates. My word of advice to these young professionals is that they must understand the realities of capitalism. Getting a job isn't their right, it's a privilege. They must come to terms with the realities of our economy in general and specifically changing landscape of the IT industry.

So if I am in an engineering college today, what should I do ?

1. Unlike 2 decades ago, we have a very strong domestic market today, implies that there are ample opportunities to be part of something innovative. So seriously consider starting something path-breaking or being part of a new setup. There are of course other considerations before you jump into something like this and this option isn't easy but at least worth considering.

2. Specialize in something cutting edge. Learn new technologies end to end. E.g. If you wish to learn mobility, then don't ignore UI design, key is for you to really know an area in its entirety rather than just focusing on programming. So practice and develop some serious projects, volunteer to help a new start-up etc.

3. Higher education can never go out of fashion as it does broaden your horizons and perspectives so keep that option open.

4. Consider alternate careers. Education & Retail are two areas witnessing exponential growth. In addition, Real Estate is set for a complete makeover with government aggressively pushing its agenda to make it an organized sector. Financial inclusion and applications around Aadhar is another area getting lot of focus from the government and the private sector. There are limitless opportunities here. There is never going to be a better time to think about a career in these fields.

5. Last but not the least, tone down your expectations. Don't put a number in your head. Rather spend enormous amount of time in figuring out your passion. Remember, everything else is a distraction. It usually takes some time to figure out what you are really looking for and that is OK.

Good Luck !

1 comment:

Wasim said...

Very well said Anurag