Despite our high gross enrolment ratio, and the size of our higher education sector, the employability quotient of Indian students is extremely low.

Aspiring Minds, which assesses employability for engineers, says not even 20% of graduating engineers are fit for software services. It must be worse for arts, science and commerce students, who form 70% of undergraduate enrolments.

A complex problem like this needs to be attacked on several fronts, each of which is a massive startup opportunity. Let me list three.

Last mile training solutions: Coding bootcamps such as Lambda School are the rage in the US with its innovative income-share programme, where you pay the tuition fee from your future salary. In India, we do have a few bootcamps but none operating at the scale that we need them to.

Continuous assessment: What if BA/BSc/BCom students could participate in an assessment programme that ranked them on multiple parameters widely accepted by employers? What if the assessment platform could suggest courses to improve their performance on these parameters or even help connect them to corporate internships?

Unbundling the transcript: How does an arts/commerce grad in a tier 2 college signal her abilities and learnings? Imagine if a startup could create an online dynamic transcript incorporating badges of workshops and external certifications, such as from massive open online courses (MOOCs). What if the startup could create a certifying exam for, say, the top 20-30 MOOC courses globally, thereby becoming a parallel credentialing platform for colleges?

A large, complex problem such as this has many big and micro opportunities that startups can go after. At Blume, we are excited by the canvas of opportunities in the employability space waiting to be cracked by passionate entrepreneurs.

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