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Skills Gap or Knowledge Gap?

Skills Gap or Knowledge Gap?

We’re seeing lots of evidence (PFA industry articles) that suggests that there is a growing gap between what universities are producing and what industry needs in terms of engineering graduates, and not just in India, but worldwide.

What is interesting is it is often described as a “skills gap”, and not a “knowledge gap”.  Are people just being sloppy with their words… we’re beginning to think not.

Much of our engineering education has become focused on knowledge acquisition at the expense of the development of skills.

 Knowledge acquisition fits nicely with the testing-based assessment models that are so popular in educational institutions in so many countries, whereas skills require productivity and behavior assessments that few in education are able to design and deliver in the way that business wants and needs.

Skills are a different kind of knowledge.  A bright person can look at a complex thing and come to understand and “know it” very quickly.  Developing the skills to apply the knowledge effectively and wisely is something else all together.  Much of the difficulty we are facing with education is that we aren’t recognizing the productivity and behavior aspects of both engineering as a discipline, and business in general.

To give one example from software development, universities say they teach programming in BTech CS programs, but most students in those programs only develop small to very small amounts of code, and usually across multiple programming languages, making it difficult for students to grasp the complexities of even small products and systems.  It is unusual for students in college to be responsible for more than a few thousand lines of code.  How much code are truly skilled professional software developers responsible for developing and maintaining in industry?  The number is 10 to 20 times that size, and more.  The complexity in 2,000 lines of code is nothing compared to 50,000 lines of code.

Where are students supposed to develop the skills they need to be job-ready?
MMU Martin
Martin Radley
Director, Software Development B.Tech Programme
MMU lyn
Dr. Lynn Robert Carter
Software Development Program Architect.



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