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Home >Industry >Infotech >Over 70% Indian youth have a tech knowledge-gap: Infosys

Bengaluru: Although over 70% of Indian youth are confident that they have the necessary skills for a successful career, over 70% have a technical knowledge gap, a report by Infosys Ltd showed on Monday.

The research report titled Amplifying Human Potential: Education and Skills for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, was commissioned by Infosys and conducted by independent research agency Future Foundation. It polled 8,700 people between the ages 16 and 25 in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Germany, India, South Africa, the UK and the US.

Overall, while young people understood the role that technology will play in their careers and the need to advance their skills, there is a clear disparity in technical confidence among developed and emerging economies, according to the report.

When it came to recognising the importance of technology in their careers, over 70% of Indians and Chinese acknowledged the role of technological skills in securing good career opportunities, while 60% in France and 59% in the UK stated that subjects related to computer science were key education tools.

Not just that, about 78% of those surveyed in Brazil and India are confident that they have the necessary skills for a successful future career.

But the technical confidence does not translate to technical knowledge as there is a large gap between emerging and developed economies in technical know-how.

About 81% of young Indian men were found to have a technical knowledge gap compared with 51% in the US and 62% in the UK.

Among women, 70% of Indian women surveyed had a knowledge gap compared with 42% in the US and 33% in the UK.

The reason for this disparity in knowledge gap is reflected in how the young feel about the education system.

As much as 66% of Indians surveyed felt they had to learn new skills on their own to do their jobs because their school or university education had not prepared them for the workplace. This sentiment exists in other countries as well.

In the UK and Australia, 77% had to learn new skills themselves and 45% of those polled in the US considered their academic education to be old-fashioned.

The Chinese have more faith in their education system as only 37% of those surveyed thought their education system failed to support career goals.

“Indian curricula has not been updated for over 50 years. And even when they do introduce new courses, it is often a poor introduction of the subject. Also there is more focus on acquiring skills than applying them, leading to the gap in technical knowledge," says Sid Pai, an IT industry expert.

While this is true even of Western universities, but given their focus on research, they are better off when compared to Indian universities in keeping up with industry, Pai said.

Even though many countries like India and China are working to fuel the start-up economy, the study showed that globally, 44% prefer employment with established large and mid-size companies while only 8% wanted to work for start-ups.

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