Report argues more improvement needed for programming skills in Indian colleges

A new report from Aspiring Minds argues less than half of engineers in India are able to write ‘compliable’ code, with a ‘worryingly low’ percentage of 2.4% observed to be employable in an IT product company.

The study polled more than 36,800 students from more than 500 colleges across India as well as utilising an automated tool called Automata, which measures programming skills across industries. Given two problems to solve, only 14% of respondents could write compliable codes for both, and 22% could write compliable codes for one.

At the highest rubric, A4 – ‘candidate is able to write functionally and logically correct code’ – with only 2.2% of students, the highest level of that – ‘functionally-logically correct, efficient and maintainable code’ – aligned with 63.8% of those respondents. The next rubric, ‘functionally correct code with few anomalies’, aligned with 2.56%, while A2 (‘not able to write functionally correct code’) and A1 (‘not able to write compliable code’) saw 31% and 64% of respondents fall into those buckets respectively.

When it came to assessing programming skill by college tier, students in tier 1 engineering colleges – such as IIT Roorkee, IIT BHU, IIIT Hyderabad and IIT Guwahati – performed noticeably better, although still not at the designated level Aspiring Minds argues for employability. 40.8% of students from tier 1 categories were in the lowest A1 level, compared with 76.9% and 84% for tier 2 and 3 respectively. For the higher A4 and A3 levels, tier 1 colleges saw more than 5% representation, compared with less than 1% for tier 2 and 3 colleges.

This gives some indication as to the importance to Indian students of studying at a more prestigious establishment. A look on Quora finds many questions related to this, with users asking why there is such a divide between tier 1 and tier 2 colleges, what the differences are, and so on.

“IT product companies require substantial competence in programming algorithms,” the report noted. “The key reason behind such paltry employability percentages is deficient skills to apply basic programming and algorithm principles.

“These concepts and principles are there in [the] college curriculum, which indicates that there is a gap in implementation. Hence, these industries shall have a very hard time in hiring students for their organisation who are able to fit in the criteria and yield required results,” the report added.

You can read the full report (no registration required) here.

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