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Back yor degree with soft skills

Students of different engineering and management schools of the state are not good communicators. As a result, they do not fair well in job interviews

kolkata Updated: Aug 28, 2012 12:59 IST
HT Correspondent

It’s not only about acquiring textbook-based knowledge and cracking the toughest exams if you want to have a sound career after passing out from a tech institute. If you in soft skills and fail to communicate effectively with your colleagues then making the cut in terms of getting recruited after graduation may defeat the very purpose of landing a job.

This is what has come out of “Futuready”— a debate organised by Future Institute of Engineering and Management as a part of their 10th anniversary celebrations. “Technical education should focus only on academics and not on industry grooming,”, was the motion of the debate that took place in G.D. Birla Sabhaghar on Wednesday.

Soft skills, comprising of your sense of dressing, communication dexterity, table manners, inculcating the right gestures etc, are much in demand and fresh graduates from different engineering and management institutes of the state lack interpersonal and communication expertise in spite of having sufficient theoretical knowledge. And this is why students of West Bengal often fail to present themselves effectively at job interviews.

Joyashree Roy, professor of Economics, Jadavpur University, was the first speaker. Prof Roy, a “believer” in the significance of academics and its regular discussion in tech institutes, pointed out the importance of “jargon loaded language”, as she spoke for the motion. Prof Roy, a supporter of “transformation” and not “mere change” voted for formation of interactive course design, and expansion of mass education.

Atri Bhattacharya, secretary, National Jute Board, criticised Prof Roy for her “blind trust” in “jargons” as a means to brighten the prospects of engineering students in the state. Bhattacharya, a firm believer in “doing” and not “teaching” was of the opinion that “generating economic resources by teaching is not possible”. He stressed on practical application of knowledge. Bhattacharya also criticised Biswadip Gupta, CEO and MD, JSW Steel Bengal Ltd, who spoke in favour of improving academic performance for getting a good job after graduation.

Bhattacharya claimed that education was an industry and said, “results are the reflections of competitiveness, not performance. What’s the point of writing a PhD thesis if it doesn’t have any practical relevance for our society.”

However, Kunal Basu, professor of Business, Oxford University, who spoke for the motion, came up with some interesting data on recruitment of Oxford and Cambridge University students. “Investment banks, hire the under graduates pursuing classical languages like Greek, Latin and Sanskrit more, instead of the post graduates specialising in financial analysis, economic policy and so on.” Basu spoke on the importance of “on- the-job training” and civilised education that goes from the specific to the general.

According to Anup Kumar Sinha, professor of Economics, IIM Calcutta, inability of the new recruits in transforming pedantic knowledge to practical solutions in IT companies in the state is a major problem.

“Transparency in education system must be maintained; the domain of higher education will be enriched if different educational reforms are carried out. Creation of better job opportunities should be consistent,” said Bratya Basu, higher education minister of West Bengal who was chief guest at the event.