When we talk about IT and data science skills, there’s an acute talent shortage. A survey conducted a few months back brought to the forefront of disturbing news – more than 95% of engineers in India are not employable in software development jobs. The least requirement for any programming job is the candidate’s ability to write the correct logic for a program but the study found only 4.77% of candidates doing it successfully. It was further noted that over 60% of candidates failed to write a compilable code, while a mere 1.4% could write functionally accurate and efficient code.

Data Science learners unemployment rate in India
Image Courtesy – Towards Data Science

Over 36,000 engineering students from IT-related branches of over 500 colleges took Automata – a machine learning-based assessment of software development skills – and over two-thirds could not even write code that compiles.

A key reason for such a skill gap is due to an education system based on rote learning rather than making the students learn how to write actual programs on a computer to address various problems or scenarios. Apart from a dated curriculum, lack of adept teachers is a significant attribute to this problem since most good programmers get top jobs in reputed companies and are seldom interested in taking up teaching jobs at a fraction of the pay packet that top MNCs are ready to give them.

Online platforms to the rescue

In India, the employment gap for engineers is driven by several aspects, the key ones being:

  • Lack of technical skills
  • Lack of soft skills to work with others and in a team
  • Lack of awareness and clarity about the market requirements and job market

Online platforms can offer effective and useful solutions to close these gaps and help engineers find suitable jobs. Rather than keeping the students confined to a classroom and imparting time-bound lessons, online platforms would let interested candidates access the lessons anytime, from anywhere, and on any device according to their convenience, thus making learning a continuous, self-paced process. In addition, it will lure many adept professionals with online tutoring jobs, where they can spend a few hours to teach and earn money from home. Since these professionals can teach online and earn money without disturbing their day jobs, they can prove to be extremely useful to bridge the gap between the IT industry and academia by letting the students know about recent developments in the discipline of their choice, new tools, and techniques in use, market trends as well as the existing and future job vacancies. In brief, online teaching websites can bring adept industry professionals and would-be engineers (as well as even those who are already employed but want to hone their skills and learn newer ones) together to close the wide skill gap that exists today.

Designing online courses to teach data science skills online in India

To teach online and get paid, you have to craft your course module carefully. Depending on how much time you can invest in teaching, you can design a course with group mentorship or one-to-one mentorship. Ideally, you should design a closed-loop instructional system to address the skill gaps that trouble engineers. You can do it by segregating your course this way to ensure it has/offers –

  • Clearly laid learning objectives
  • Chapters and instructional strategies matching the objectives
  • Easy access and delivery of the learning materials
  • Embedded ongoing assignments and ways to track regular student progress
  • Appropriate interventions for students, as and when necessary, to answer their queries, doubts, or provide additional instructions

For teachers, the chance to earn money by teaching online is a lucrative proposition as they can maximize their time by teaching a lot of students simultaneously instead of delivering the same courses again and again to a handful of students under a traditional set-up. Having the control to schedule classes at their convenience is a big boon for employed professionals who can get motivated to teach and thus share their real-world experience of working on client projects and overcoming obstacles that crop up. This close connection with the IT industry will make such online courses just the right ingredient that engineers need today to improve their employability.

Apart from specific IT skills, online platforms are useful to teach soft skills to job seekers as well. Since the soft skills gap is one of the crucial elements for the non-employability of many engineers, teaching them how to express their ideas, talk about their education and experience, and even collaborate with others from diverse backgrounds would make them better prepared to handle new job roles in today’s fast-growing IT marketplace.

Since online learning websites often have message boards, instant messengers, and forums that encourage students to join activities and projects related to their courses, share ideas, and talk to other students taking the same or similar courses to brainstorm ideas and solve problems, they bring a bigger, better perspective to the entire learning experience and make the students job-ready. No wonder that online teaching jobs in the IT realm are an efficient way to help bridge the skills gap of today’s engineers.


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