Skills Gap in India

Business owners I know have been telling me that India was going to surpass China as the source for employees. The arguments is that there is a supply of well educated people who speak English, and there’s no Communist government to deal with. The New York Times casts some doubt on this:

As its technology companies soar to the outsourcing skies, India is bumping up against an improbable challenge. In a country once regarded as a bottomless well of low-cost, ready-to-work, English-speaking engineers, a shortage looms.

India still produces plenty of engineers, nearly 400,000 a year at last count. But their competence has become the issue.

A study commissioned by a trade group, the National Association of Software and Service Companies, or Nasscom, found only one in four engineering graduates to be employable. The rest were deficient in the required technical skills, fluency in English or ability to work in a team or deliver basic oral presentations.

I’ll still expect to wind up speaking to India next time I have to call Dell tech support.

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3 Comments

  1. 1
    John says:

    I just spent a month in India. I am an American who works for one of the biggest IT firms in India. The young people that work for the company in India are bright, motivated and have realtively strong interpersonal skills. Training is, however, integral to our success. New employees go through an exhaustive six-month training program before they ever spend a moment on billable client work. It’s necessary to ensure they have the technical competence to succeed. On the other hand, they young Indians I’ve worked with have a tremendous work ethic. They routinely put in 10-12 hour days and normally work on Saturdays as well. I’m certainly placing my bet on their success.

  2. 2
    battlebob says:

    I worked for a company who outsourced to India – which turned around and outsourced to China; without us knowing about it.

  3. 3
    Ron Chusid says:

    Interesting. The favorable descriptions I’ve heard about outsourcing to India is based upon them becoming more like us (other than being willing to work for lower wages). It looks like they are also like the US in terms of doing outsourcing of their own.

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