Featured Article: “Industry Expectations from an Engineer” by Rajagopalan P, Infosys, Mysore.
The “industry-academia gap” is a widely discussed topic. This gap can be minimized by understanding what the industry expects from a fresh engineer. This article is an attempt to list out the top 8 expectations industries have from an engineer.
Learnability: The fluid industry trends in today’s world force engineers to be life-long learners! Learnability is the ability to generalize a specific knowledge and apply in various contexts. Industries expect engineers to have the zest and zeal along with the ability to learn new tools and techniques.
Ability to work in teams: Individualism is out and collaboration is in. Considering the options we have in today’s global village, it is impossible for one to master all the skills that are needed for an industry. One should have the ability to identify one’s core skills, team up with members with complementary skills, collaborate and contribute.
Communication Skills: An organization expects all the employees to communicate effectively. Engineers should have good verbal and written communication skills. This is a skill that is absolutely necessary when working in teams where inappropriate communication could be disastrous. Most of the industries in India have adopted English as the language of communication considering the diverse nature of their clients and workforce.
Positive Attitude: The importance of positive attitude for a successful career cannot be overemphasized. When something goes wrong, one can either blame one’s circumstances or look at ways of making the situation better. Industry wants the latter category who considers such a situation as an opportunity to learn.
Flexibility: Many organizations, especially those in the software industry, give a lot of flexibility to the employees. At the same time those industries expect the employees also to be flexible in terms of working location, nature of projects or in some cases, working hours.
Adaptability: An engineer should have the ability to adapt to any situation. 100% of the tasks assigned to an engineer may not be in alignment with his or her interest. If 70% of the tasks are interesting, an engineer should be able to adapt to the rest 30%. If one could not find interest even in 70% of the tasks allocated, chances are that one has chosen a wrong career!
Self-Motivation: Even though a fresh engineer is at the beginning of the career, the industry expects the engineer to be clear about his or her short-term and long-term career plans. One can make a remarkable difference by chalking out one’s career plans. Having a clear idea of what one wants keeps one motivated.
Ownership: An engineer should own a task that is assigned to him or her. An engineer should leave his or her mark in every product delivered by him or her. The sense of ownership results in completion of tasks with maximum quality.