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Not Every Indian Graduate's Lining Up To Take Your Tech Job

from the at-least-not-yet dept

A lot has been made about the enormous number of talented workers overseas, but a several stories have come out recently suggesting that this rosy view may be a bit overstated. The New York Times, which has explored this issue in the past, offers up an assessment of the Indian university system, and finds a general lack of preparedness among graduates. Instead of creative thinking, many students are simply taught to conform and be punctual, with little attention paid to desirable skills. This is obviously not the case with all students, as evidenced by the numerous successful Indian engineers. And yet, while workers in the US may feel some relief that there’s still relatively little competition for most good jobs, the news of weakness in India’s university system is not good news. Demand for labor in the tech industry is not fixed — and, indeed, many companies are having tremendous difficulty finding skilled engineers. Having more skilled talent available would help drive the industry forward.

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Comments on “Not Every Indian Graduate's Lining Up To Take Your Tech Job”

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Solo says:

“many students are simply taught to conform and be punctual”

Isn’t it what School/University does for you? Turn the great mass of overactive youth into the molded perfect office employee drone? Unquestionning, compliant, obediant, hard working.

Of course, the final crushing of any bit of personality or enthousiasm someone could have is done in the very first days of professional life …

Faz says:


my school did have a system with projects and real life scenario where no answer was right, but you made decision

also my company uses a lot of indian worker support and there are times you see where they can do algoroithimic tasks, but creative thinking comes late.

And i have seen that with customer support (my experiences with credit card customer support)

nothing against foriegn workers, but i do not think our jobs will go away, we need the cultural touch and as long as companies know the limit and do not tick off their customers, i think costs can be saved and a good experience for customers…

again no racism or hate.. i am touchy about that… so all respect

BiraRai (user link) says:

Code Coolies

Over the past 15 years I’ve managed many IT project over seas in India. I found that Indian employees make great coders aka “code coolies”. Their lack of creativity is very apparent in their graphics design ability relative to their counter parts in the United States.

This lack of creativity is very apparent when we look at the famous India car the Ambassador. For 30 years Indian factors pumped out the same model year after year. Never changed the assembly and production of the car. 30 years! No wonder foreign car manufactures like Honda and Toyota have done so well in the Indian car market.

Remember the time when India band the sale of Coke. Coke came into the Indian market and decimated “thumbs up” it’s closest competitor. The government had to step in and shut down Coca-Cola’s Indian operation. Scared of a little competition are we India.

India will do great in the years to come with their sheer man power over the United States and other countries in the IT industry. I have yet to see India produce a great company such as Microsoft, Google or Yahoo. The United States invented the airplane, the telephone, the light bulb, the automobile, the television to name a few. All these inventions stem for the ability to be creative.

Once the US companies find another countries to offer them 5% cheaper labour cost, these companies will move to greener pastures.


KeepABalancedHead says:

Re: Code Coolies

“No wonder foreign car manufactures like Honda and Toyota have done so well in the Indian car market.”

You are right. Things are so different very different in the American car market.

“I have yet to see India produce a great company such as Microsoft, Google or Yahoo.”
hmm… every heard of Infosys, Wipro, TCS (did you really work in India for 15 years without knowing that!! If so, you are certainly creative, creatively dumb!).

“The United States invented the airplane, the telephone, the light bulb, the automobile, the television to name a few. All these inventions stem for the ability to be creative.”
Yes, you are right. And the world has gained a lot from those advances. However, to say that only America has creative people and india (or some other country) doesn’t is arrogant ignorance at its best. What America does best is in cultivating a business atmosphere where such creative people can flourish. And that is something that all countries in the world should learn from US.

Furthermore, it amuses me how some people on this forum aggrandize themselves and actually believe that they are creative!! Its as if each and every student graduating from ANY American college is nothing but an Edison or an Einstein!! I have been a TA for four years in the US, and believe you me, there are many mediocre and below-average students (I would say 99%) in the great US of A!!

Jamie says:

“Instead of creative thinking, many students are simply taught to conform and be punctual”

Not to say that that isn’t a problem with many Indian graduates, but I think we(the US) have the opposite problem. In many of our universities, creativity is taught and stressed, but punctuality and reliability are ignored. Both aspects are needed in the working world.

If I had to choose between the two, I would much rather have a co-worker who was reliable and punctual, than one who was creatively brilliant but couldn’t be counted on to do things on time. Of course, that assumes that the reliable and punctual employee was at least minimally competent at his job.

PhysicsGuy says:


but I think we(the US) have the opposite problem.

in community college maybe. there they have to make up for the general lack of intelligence among the students and try to stress “creativity” by giving you choose-your-OWN-topic essays and not caring if Joe Lazy passes it in weeks late (granted, I’m plenty lazy myself, my professors can kiss my ass if i pass in a paper a little late… my lab reports are always in on time ;D). however, we’re talking about graduate students here, with specialized professors who have a superiority complex and if someone isn’t in class on time listening to their drivel and passing their work in on time then that student is an incompetent fool who doesn’t deserve to even be in the presence of the almighty professor. therefore you conform to that professors teaching methodologies, however absurd, and make damn sure you’re punctual about everything (yes, yes, some professors are a-ok but we’re generalizing here). this churns out students who are “taught” to conform and be punctual. be sure to note, that they’re not directly taught these things, it’s a mere case of learning by conditioning. but hey, it churns out those workers that shine in their boss’s eye because they kiss ass and are always, always on time with everything.

Tyshaun says:


Isn’t anyone the least bit surprised at how easy it is for us to slip into stereotypes?

Indians are punctual little robots that can code like made but can’t innovate versus Americans that are maverick creative types with little discipline and sloppy impulse control?

Come on, life, as this subject isn’t nearly that simple. I’ve known plenty of very creative Indians and plenty of 9-5 don’t rock the boat, conformist Americans.

Bri (profile) says:

Re: Stereotypes...

Actually I’m not at all surprised about the stereotyping since that is how the human brain is wired. We build, carry around, and defend our simplified models of the real world despite facts in evidence to the contrary. It takes quite a bit of effort to overcome that tendency and most people are not willing to make the continuous effort. However, this is just an aside.

I’ve spent much of my life both studying with and teaching Americans as well as those from numerous nations around the world, locally in their country, in other countries, and here in the US, from Japan through Asia, eastern and western Europe to the west coast of Arfica. I’ve noticed that overall people in and from other countries are uniformly better educated when they graduate from high school with only a few rare exceptions. A goodly part of that is that the other nations practice trackng, something anathema to our educational elite except when it applies to their munchkins in private schools. Therefore, all the graduates would have been selected for their liklihood to graduate. Everyone else ends up on a vocational track.

The coin flips though when you look at skill levels and educational achievement at the baccalaureate level and above. Once freed from the clutches of our primary and secondary school system, achievement for those that wish to achieve it seems to the order of the day. It was most certainly true in my case as they would not let me take university courses for credit until I was thirteen, after three years with no credit and forced me to continue in secondary (high) school where I wasted most, but thankfully not all, of half of each day. Foreigners are not the only ones with rigid minds I hope you will note. Even stranger, the professors granting me their time were all of foreign birth. [Weird universe.]

To get down to cases, what is more significant from a policy standpoint is that those students in our graduate programs here show far more mental agility than one would expect if you had been to their country. This should not be surprising since those that would be best suited for our system of higher education would naturally gravitate here. If we were smart, we would try our d*mnd*st to hang on to these individuals for our own nefarious economic gain. Such has been proposed in Congress but I have no expectation that it will pass no matter what party is in charge. It would make too much sense.

Lastly, whether they go to school here or in their home countries one thing you will rarely find, although I prize every such individual I do, is someone who is naturally multidisciplinary by nature. I think this is a side effect of the tracking approach used in their educational system which would seem reasonable given that it is reflected in such a wide range of disparate cultures.

My significant points are these: (1) hang onto every overachiever we can grab and keep them here as much as possible; (2) emphasize both in our educational system (that’ll be a cold day in …..) and for lifelong learning multidisciplinary learning. I can’t emphasize that point enough, especially for those in the IT field although it was happening in other heavily specialized fields in the ’70’s and 80’s before it hit this field. If you are only a factory worker, what do you do for a living when the factory goes away? Call-desk technician, the same. And on and on. I always made sure that my co-workers and juniors were learning outside the box. As a society and individuals, that’s something to keep in mind. India, China, Vietnam, be warned as well.

Sorry about posting an article where a comment should go ;-).

|333173|3|_||3 says:

Or not… The ‘phione was invendted by a Scot living in America, the Light bulb was invented by Swan, another Scot, the first recognisable working car was French (I think, the steam carrige was not unusual in Europe before any form of reliable IC engine), and the TV was English. You do get the first working *powered* plane, though. All edison did to the light bulb was tweak it (if you do some reseach, you will find thhis out, hence the Swan-Edison light bulb). I think you are thinking of the first production line car, but there had been plenty of cars before the Model T.

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