Written by
Karun Tadepalli
Published on
August 27, 2021

Impact of the pandemic on Academia and the IT industry

IT & Software

Most schools and universities have suspended classroom teaching worldwide due to the pandemic. With nearly 1.6 billion students across 200 countries impacted by the Corona Virus, social distancing and digital learning have become the new normal today.  While this is the accurate solution today, parents, teachers, students, and academia should not ignore the repercussions of the same. 

Anything that impacts the education of the students comes with far-reaching implications on every facet of our lives. Analysts have predicted that the actual unemployment rate will be between 13-15%. This is not because of the lack of graduates, but because of their inability to live up to the job requirements. While the pandemic is still raging, it is bound to have more pronounced effects on the online education space in the aftermath of the pandemic, perhaps for a five year to a decade.

Effects on IT industry and academia nexus

Traditional teaching brings a two-way conversation where teachers can gauge the understanding of the students and get a better quality of education to the table. With face-to-face education ruled out, teachers are under increasing pressure to bring individual attention to each and every student. This is of no fault to them as there are over 50 students in each class. With the basic theory touched upon and practical lessons being given a miss, the IT skills of the graduating students cannot be relied upon unconditionally. Degrees in advanced courses are received without acquiring the proper learning outcomes from the introductory courses. 

On the other hand, students who could learn advanced courses are left pursuing basic education and are thus denied the opportunity to enhance their learning and build a lucrative career track. Current teaching methodologies overlook the aspects of team collaboration, building a massive codebase, leveraging multiple technologies, debugging skills and applied technology skills.



Impact of Government decisions on Academic Outcomes

The government’s decision to postpone year-end exams and internal tests may have reduced the pressure on the students today. The downside is that the determination and initial enthusiasm of the student wanes in time resulting in lower performance and lack of interest. Thus, the long-term impact on their skill, career, and even confidence levels to be job-ready has taken a big hit. Automatic class promotions across the spectrum of learning (from school to graduation) are like stapling a wound instead of surgical treatment. It is more than likely to cause irreparable damage if something is not done immediately.

IT industry needs and the gap that has to be filled up

90% of graduating engineers from India lack the required programming and algorithm skills needed to work in IT product companies

Cognizant-like-companies aren't able to sign up new projects due to a lack of a talent pool of IT programmers. While there's no shortage of IT projects, the untrained talent pool that's not job-ready is proving to be the bottleneck for India's IT sector growth, as opined by multiple IT industry experts. As can be inferred, there's a more than ever need to bridge the gap and make our students and IT enthusiasts skilled enough to make them part of India's IT growth story.

According to NASSCOM, every year, over 3 million people (graduates and postgraduates) are added to the workforce in India. Of these, only 25 percent of technical graduates and 10-15 percent of other graduates are considered employable by the growing IT and ITES sectors. Even after employing these graduates, most companies have to spend a considerable amount of time and resources on their training to develop the skills required by the industry. Indian IT majors like Infosys, TCS and Wipro, and even global entities like IBM and Cognizant have invested heavily in training recruits.

Only 1.2% - 5.3% of Indian engineers are employable in new-age skills such as Artificial Intelligence, mobile and web development.

With a huge demand for specialized skills and a low supply of the same due to inadequate training and the subsequent increasing salaries and high attrition rates, it is believed that India could lose its competitive edge in the IT sector. The consequences could be catastrophic as MNCs might resort to looking for their requirements outside of India.

Advantage of platforms like byteXL

The time has come for schools, colleges and universities to take things into their own hands. The mental, emotional and psychological health of the children should be taken care of to ensure not just a solid future for them and their career but the economy and GDP as well. This is where platforms like byteXL will be in huge demand. The solution is not in a quick-fix but a thought-through approach by educational institutions as they collaborate with tech experts committed to making learning more personalized and accessible to today's youth.

The digitally-enhanced bridge to a technically sound future

byteXL ensures that students have a solid start with foundational IT courses and then enhances the learning curve via career shipping specialized education. With multi-year informal training through the years in college, the upskilled students are now ready to compete with the world’s best tech talent. 

The pandemic has made us truly understand what is indeed valuable to the job market and what needs to be done to ensure efficient grooming of the students today. Platforms like byteXL are the much-needed solution to provide the unparalleled combination of self-learning coursework and guided training.

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