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Testing India’s Graduates: The Engineering Gap

Posted By William Woodthorpe, Tuesday, February 22, 2011
Updated: Monday, January 28, 2013

Jan 28th 2010 | DELHI | From The Economist print edition

Each year India produces about twice as many engineering and computing experts as the United States (counting those with bachelor’s degrees or a Master’s in Computer Applications), but there is growing concern that India’s tech workers are not as good as the country hopes. In a recent study, Aspiring Minds, a testing company that seeks to gauge students’ and recent graduates’ performance capabilities, demonstrated that only 4.2% of India’s engineers are fit to work in a software product firm. Furthermore, just 17.8% are employable by an IT services company, even with up to six months’ training. These figures are even more alarming when one considers the 25% figure for employability that has been bandied about since 2005, when McKinsey released the results of a survey of international companies.

Himanshu and Varun Aggarwal, the founders of Aspiring Minds, are attempting to combat this growing issue. Their new test, the AMCAT, is an affordable substitute to traditional standardized tests such as the Graduate Record Examination (GRE) required by American universities. It provides qualified applicants a method to catch employers’ attention, while allowing the country’s IT firms a means to successfully recruit new employees. Even so, India will need to overhaul many of its colleges if it is to make more of their graduates employable.


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