In today’s dynamically changing world of technology, skilled people are very much in demand and engineers are one of them. India is native to some of the best engineering talent in the world and has positioned itself as a leader in global IT outsourcing space. With innovations in technology, various branches of engineering have evolved very recently. As a matter of fact, over the past few decades, the career opportunities for engineers have increased and diversified. India’s ability to generate a large pool of engineering talent every year has resulted in Indian product firms with global aspirations, establishing product engineering centres in India.
India is a populous young country with a huge middle class that has great purchasing power. At the same time, India is an extremely price-sensitive market, which is forcing localisation of products to suit Indian buyer preferences as well as achieve the lower price points. This is automatically creating a need for engineering talent to craft products that meet local needs.
Right on the heels of the Information Technology (IT) outsourcing phenomenon, which has put Indian engineering talent on the world map, there is a next wave emerging. This one is about real engineering where you design, test and build things that can be touched, felt and experienced. Today, the country has generated ample capability and expertise in several areas of engineering, which has backed the growth of private enterprises offering engineering services to overseas customers. Engineers have the power to directly impact the day-to-day lives of people – be it beneficially through their laudable work or adversely owing to their lack of understanding of their responsibility. How can organizations identify and mould talent when they are young and develop them into responsible socially conscientious engineers? Here are 5 popular methods that technology corporates resort to nurture engineering talent.
STEM Education as a CSR agenda
Most organizations have STEM (Science, Technology, and Engineering & Mathematics) Education as part of or entirely their agenda for corporate social responsibility. Towards this they conduct various camps/contests such as robotic workshops, aero modelling sessions, simulation classes, expert talks, to mention a few, encouraging students to become technology aficionados even when they are at school.
Contests to Identify & Absorb Top Engineering Talent
Certain other organizations conduct engineering contests that have world’s current sustainability challenges as themes or the organization’s business needs as contest themes. Students are required to work on projects based on these themes and demonstrate their technology/engineering acumen. The toppers of such contests are usually absorbed by organizations that conduct the contest. QuEST Ingenium is one of the popular examples in this context.
Corporates reach out to select partner academic institutions where they hire talent from and take special steps to nurture engineering talent. Lab infrastructure, expert talks, faculty development program, special soft skill or other training programs to make the students industry ready are some of the outreach programs that organizations associate with their partner universities on a regular basis.
It’s a very well-known practice for organizations to conduct regular domain and technical training for their fresh hires as well as seasoned employees who move from one domain to another. Besides formal training, organizations hire domain experts who have retired from service to mentor and coach young engineers to work for specific industries and customers.
Most organizations make it a habit to create conducive environment and policies for employees to practice engineering innovation and idea generation. Such engineering ideas called big ideas or by any other similar name then go through an evaluation and short selection process. Shortlisted ideas are then assigned mentors and the engineers are guided and funded to work on these ideas to take them through the formal patent and commercialization processes.
Today, considering the fact that technology companies are facing intense competition and chasing opportunities in digital, mobile and cloud, the race for superior talent is only getting grander. Technology and business models are progressing at a sweeping pace driving demand for engineering professionals who could support next generation projects.
Smart companies are recognizing that the quest for superior talent based purely on educational qualification, background and credentials will not help in the long run. It is very important to incorporate an organizational culture that identifies and recognizes engineers with potential, invests in talent development, provides learning and growth opportunities and allows opportunity for creativity and innovation.