In India, the new millennium began to fundamentally change every aspect of the country with much media frenzy around the prospect of information technology. As a result, most college-going student’s ‘well-meaning’ parents compelled their children to undertake computer science and related study fields, independent of their interest.
With technological advancement foraying into our economic, political and social lives, demand for such graduates is substantial around the world. An estimated half a million jobs will be developed in this field over the coming decade, and by 2024, nearly three-quarters of the science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) positions will be over computer-related occupations, predict reports. More than half of the world’s STEM graduates are produced by China, India, the United States and Russia and so most computer science students are coming from those countries.
There has also been a significant rise in student enrolment in computer science graduate programs in recent years, tripling in some of these countries. Do these growing numbers, however, also turn at the end of the program into quality graduates?
Talent shortages are extreme in India’s IT and data science environment with a survey reporting that 95 per cent of the country’s engineers are not qualified to take on software development jobs. According to a report by Aspiring Minds employability Survey Company, only 4.77 percent of applicants can write the required logic for a program — a minimum criteria for any programming work.
More than 36,000 engineering students from IT-related divisions of over 500 colleges took Automata — a software development skills examination focused on Machine Learning — as well as more than two-thirds could not even write a piece of code that compiles. The study further noted that while more than 60% of candidates can’t even write compiling code, only 1.4% can write technically correct and usable code.
The disparity in employability can be due to alternating learning-based methods rather than designing programs for different problems on a computer. There is also a shortage of good programming teachers, as most good programmers are getting jobs at good salaries in industry, the study reported.
Furthermore, programming skills for Tier III colleges are five times lower than those of Tier 1 colleges. According to a report, Sixty-nine per cent of the top 100 university candidates are able to write a compilable code versus the rest of the colleges where only 31 per cent can write a compilable code, the report said.
Debate about the standard of Indian student programmers is a never-ending one. Most developers worldwide are said to start coding at a shockingly young age. However, many will be surprised to know that in India only one in ten begins coding before age 15. Elsewhere the number is three out of ten.
When too many books are offered to a student to read but not enough time to engage in practical practice, then what will he learn?
In addition, students are often required to take assessments demonstrating only their memory skills and not their real skill or information. The amount of new technical data is said to be doubling every 2 years. But most educational institutions are still teaching Java, Turbo C++, and C++ pre-standardized. So, for students starting a 4-year engineering degree, their third year of college outdates half of what they learn in their first year.
What can be done to resolve the problem?
Social networking site LinkedIn recently said that in the coming years, skills such as web creation and user experience design will be highly in demand. It is therefore necessary to design an academic curriculum tailored to meet the needs of the generation to come and to make them IT fluent.
To this end, educators use different techniques to combine education with technology, and programming can be considered as one of the finest ways of doing this.
Early technology exposure has reshaped how children interact, socialize, develop, and know. Such digital natives think and process knowledge differently, due to increased engagement with technology. Today it is extremely important that every child transitions from engaging with technology to being an active co-creator.
Computational learning incorporates mathematics, logic, and algorithms, and introduces innovative solutions to problems for youngsters. Computational reasoning shows us how to deal with big problems by splitting us into a series of smaller, more manageable issues. This approach’s applications go beyond composing code and structured programming. The analytical method is used in areas as diverse as biology, archaeology and music.
Hence, it has become extremely crucial to instill knowledge about Computer Programming from a very young age in the children of our country. Because, only then we can dream of leaving the mark of our nation in renowned global competitions like The ACM-ICPC (International Collegiate Programming Contest).