Outcome Based Study to Quantify Employability

Aspiring Minds report finds 53% graduates unemployable for any job in the Indian knowledge economy.

Boston, MA, August 20, 2013 --(PR.com)-- The problem of unemployment and lack of employability are being discussed vigorously in both the developed and developing world. Around 8M young Europeans are without a job and the European Student Union has taken up a program called SAGE, Student Advancement on Graduate Employability, to develop policies to improve employability and higher education outcomes. Nearly a million young people are without jobs in the UK, Sri Lanka finds that only 31.5% of their art graduates have a job and Ethiopia reports 68,000 new graduates available to the market with corporation reporting only 40% satisfaction with skills imparted in higher education.

The creation of jobs is one important part of the employment puzzle, but another is employability. Often confused with "employment outcomes"; employability refers to set skills, knowledge and experience that make individuals successful in their chosen jobs. Industries globally complain about lack of job preparedness of students and the great difficulty in finding the right employees. Lack of employability is creating inefficiency in the job market hampering growth, leading to unemployment and social disillusionment. Despite the challenge of unemployment looming large and lack of employability being an important component of it, little systematic study of the same has been done.

Now, Aspiring Minds, an employability assessment firm, has done a systematic study of employability of graduates with arts, science and commerce degrees in India. The study is based on the results of AMCAT, a standardized assessment of employability, done for 60,000 senior students across India in a proctored environment. AMCAT is an adaptive test that assesses English skills, cognitive skills, functional skills, personality and practical intelligence to ascertain employability of students. Working with 400+ companies for the last 5 years has helped Aspiring Minds perfect the model of what skills make someone employable for a particular role in a particular industry. Using the predictive model, they quantify employability for student, for institutions, regions and Nations. One key differentiator of the study is that it is based on outcomes and not based on measuring higher education inputs or use of surveys which tend to be subjective.

The results of the study enshrined in a report called "National Employability Report for graduates, 2013" provide immediate interesting employability patterns and call for targeted intervention. It finds out that 53% of Indian graduates are not employable for any job in the Indian knowledge economy (See sector/role wise employability in table). It recommends improving employability by bringing accountability in higher education and having better assessments of learning, and also a stronger focus on vocational job training.

The report further uncovers that students from small towns lack most in English and computer skills, and the gap in computer skills doesn’t close even if students migrate to larger towns for higher education. It strongly recommends greater emphasis on both English and computer skills right in middle and high school, so that students can develop them early in their life-time. On the other hand, they recommend the higher education system to focus on functional skills. For instance, they find that 1 in 5 commerce graduates in India do not have basic accountancy skills needed for the industry. Interestingly, the report confirms some of the global trends such as lack of exposure of females to computers leading to low skills in the domain, which need immediate correction. However, it notes that males and females have similar employability in most job sectors.

Finally the report notes that 30-40% employable candidates are beyond the top 30% colleges in India. The authors talk about lack of opportunity to these students, who are not easily identifiable by companies. This leads to great social unrest since even the best students from certain regions and colleges do not get jobs, eroding the incentive to become employable. It suggests large scale standardized employability assessment as one way to address the problem.

“Employability assessments and outcome based studies of employability are the need of the hour. We are glad that India is showing the way in this regard and we hope other countries shall adopt the same. Employability assessment not only drives meritocracy in the job market, but brings useful feedback to various stake-holders which finally helps drive accountability. Students and colleges in India are benefitting from these assessments and studies, so are the companies. It is a win-win situation and we hope that such outcome based studies based on strongly validated tests will be adopted across the globe,” says Varun Aggarwal, an MIT-graduate who is the CTO of Aspiring Minds.

Employability assessment and studies can sure be one part of the unemployment puzzle. As various parts of the world grapple with the problem, greater focus on employability seems to be the way to go.

About Aspiring Minds:
Aspiring Minds is India’s leading employability solutions company, headquartered in Gurgaon. Aspiring Minds offers scientific assessments with an innovative large-scale sourcing model analogous to a GRE-for-job concept. The state-of-the-art assessment tools developed by Aspiring Minds have been used across industry verticals to help recruit the right people, develop profile-wise employability benchmarks and assess workforce health.

Aspiring Minds’ intelligent adaptive assessments span across Language, Cognitive skills, Domain knowledge and Personality. A strong in-house research and development team with alumni from IITs and MIT form the development back bone of the patent pending assessment tools.

AMCAT™ - the flagship product is India’s Largest Employability Test. Conducted across the country throughout the year, AMCAT has been taken by over 1,000,000 candidates in 2500+ campuses, spread across 25 states. Tens of thousands of candidates secure their dream jobs every year through AMCAT.

Powered by a highly dedicated management team drawn from the IITs and IIMs, over 225 full-time employees, and a pan-India operational presence, Aspiring Minds has helped leading brands across verticals to improve their recruitment process efficiency and the quality of talent they hire. Aspiring Minds products and solutions have been adopted by leading corporates across sectors.

For more information log on to www.aspiringminds.in

The National Employability Report, Graduates, Annual Report-2013 can be accessed at http://www.aspiringminds.in/researchcell/whitepapers.html

1National Employability Report-Graduates, Annual Report, 2013
Aspiring Minds Assessment Pvt. Ltd.
Amrita Purkayastha
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