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Turning students into digital-ready professionals the TCS way

K V Kurmanath Hyderabad | Updated on October 23, 2020 Published on October 23, 2020

Remote Internship programme helps train students even as they are in college

The process of induction of freshly hired talent is a tough challenge for IT firms. The process, which generally takes 3-6 months, involves time, effort and money as the not-so-industry-ready fresh graduates are taught the basic skills of the trade.

Getting them ready while in college could, well, be a solution.

TCS, the biggest Indian IT firm and the largest employer among the IT firms, has successfully experimented with a Remote Internship Programme that solved the problem of skill gaps. Internships have now been made an integral part of the new education policy.

The one year that the students spend on the campuses after getting offer letters from the IT firms will be utilised to equip them with various skills.

“The idea is to create industry-ready graduates at scale by a multi-pronged approach. Besides bringing in changes in curriculum and conducting student development workshops, the programme focuses on faculty development initiatives,” V Rajanna, Senior Vice-President and Global Head (Technology Business Unit) of TCS, told BusinessLine.

‘Two-in-a-box’ approach

As it drastically cuts time-to-induct recruitees, the Remote Internship Programme will also be useful in the post-Covid-19 scenario.

“We hire thousands of engineering graduates towards the end of their third year. When they finish their degrees and come to the IT campuses for work, they need a few months of training to make them ready for the job,” Rajanna, who is also the former president of the IT and ITES Industry Association of combined Andhra Pradesh (ITsAP), said.

The students who have undergone the programme are routed through a customised, shorter, advanced induction plan.

The Remote Internship Programme is monitored and guided by the two-in-a-box approach. Both academicians on the campus and industry experts would jointly monitor the implementation of the programme.

“The programme provides contextual and application-oriented training with a vision to be productive right from Day 1 of their joining. Students typically spend almost a year in college post campus hiring by corporates. This time can be effectively used to help them build the necessary skills to be future-ready,” he said.

For one, tweaking the curriculum and adding an IoT (Internet of Things) module in an elective in the third year for the Electronics and Computer Engineering stream, help students understand and implement end-to-end IoT stack.

“We focus on training of the faculty, who are going to be the key drivers in the implementation of the programme, and this will also boost academic excellence. Also, we focus on open source technologies so that colleges don’t have to spend much on the programme,” he said.

Problem statements

The industry experts help the college in formulating realistic problem statements for final year projects.

“We conduct workshops on IoT, cloud computing, computer vision and several other deep tech areas wherein experts from the industry provide empirical knowledge to students,” Rajanna said.

“Projects guided by academicians and industry experts ensure that students not only get a thorough understanding of the technology concepts but also get an exposure to real-world problems,” he said.

“While working on the projects, students also hone essential soft skills such as critical thinking, time management, conflict resolution and interpersonal skills,” he said.

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Published on October 23, 2020
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