Infosys trains uni professors to bridge India's education gap

Faced with the reality that fifty percent of India's hundreds of thousands of tertiary graduates are unemployable, Infosys is addressing the imbalance by training professors at poorly regarded universities.

MYSORE, INDIA: To address the growing issue of unemployable graduates, Infosys is directly working with lower ranked universities to ensure that new recruits hit the ground running.

Education and research principal S. K. Iyer told ZDNet at the Indian outsourcer's 340-acre purpose-built campus that the Campus Connect program trains university and college professors how to produce talent attractive to employers.
A recent study by consultancy firm Knowledgefaber found that 50 percent of school-leavers, predominantly from lower-tier 2 and tier 3 colleges, are unemployable .
Infosys, which employs thousands of "freshers" every semester, has increasingly targeted these overlooked institutions to address the imbalance, Iyer said.
"We invite the professors to stay for a month or so, provide them all the training facilities, and show them how to teach from the industry's perspective," according to Iyer, who teaches several subjects at the Mysore campus.
"The tiers today may not be so relevant. I do get very bright students from tier 3 colleges and they shouldn't be ignored or left without the opportunities, or prestige, that are afforded to tier 1 and 2 students," said Iyer who previously taught at an Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIT) institute, part of the country's top group of universities.
If a particular college alumnus has performed well in training, retention, and as an overall contributor, Infosys will return to the institution and professor to recruit more students.
The main focus is on practical experience rather than theoretical knowledge, and when it comes to identifying talent Infosys has one rule: consistency and performance.
Students must demonstrate steady marks--minimum 75 percent--throughout middle school, high school, and senior college. This is because the outsourcer trains "generalists, not specialists."
"We don't want a situation where we have someone trained in a particular skill but there's no job for them. We need to use our resources effectively," Iyer said.