No Life For Fresh Grads!

The imbalance between our academic institutions and industry is growing stark with passing time. Much has been written and said about it; both sides claim to be vigorous and honest in taking measures to safeguard the young minds that leave their universities with ambitious plans and resolute determinations.

For some reasons, however, nothing substantial has risen to surface. In terms of number of graduate students, universities have long gone crossed the threshold that industry can accommodate. In any eco-system where entrepreneurship is alienated in talks (and behaviors) of high profile intellectuals, such a scenario only becomes embitter for the economic future of that country.

A high official from Aircom Pakistan comments on this matter “we do want to hire youngsters with no or little experience so that we can mould them our way. But for the past few years, we have been experiencing that those with 5 to 6 years of experience apply for low level jobs and because of the joblessness in the market, they accept packages that are not meant for their skillset. Such experiences have warmed us the wrong way. Management now seeks to fit veterans (at low cost) and save themselves from training and grooming freshers.”

Huawei’s Senior Account Manager said on behalf of the world’s second biggest vendor that Huawei is not hiring fresh graduates anywhere in Pakistan these days. There are vacancies, no doubt, but those are for middle level experienced people. (I hold my reservations on this comment as I know a few of my young fellows being accepted and embraced in the Chinese giant)

If you would swim across any local job portal, you would figure it out easily that there are openings for engineers with 2 to 3 years of experience on relevant equipment. Mobilink South currently has openings in Optimization department but they don’t want to hire youngsters too.

In an article I wrote last month, which was later removed from the website it was published at, I talked about how telecom companies try being at the forefront of all youth driven activities end up hiring relatives of Governors in place of potential and transparent fresh applicants. However, in such cases you cannot blame the internal administration too.

Note: Names of the respective officials of Aircom and Huawei have been blotted out on account of anonymity.


  • Shahid Saleem

    BEFORE they graduate, many (not all but many) last year students have this:

    1. a place to live that is paid for (home, hostel, )
    2. three meals a day, also paid for (home, hostel cafeteria, )
    3. access to friends who have some programming experience (maybe database, maybe php or asp or java)
    4. cheap internet (home, or uni)

    they can get together and work for a month or two during vacation times and BUILD A COMPANY.

    They don’t have to worry if their programming or web sites or services fail because (1) and (2) are PAID FOR AND SAME AS FREE. They can fail once. They can fail twice. So what. At least, they gain real world experience: dealing with idiot users (like me :):):) and marketing and sales issues and they will (hopefull)y solve REAL PROBLEMS THAT THEY NOW PEOPLE FACE HEREe.

    What do tyou think?

    • Rameez Kakakhel

      There is potential for CS & IT graduates but when it comes to Hardware… You are out of CASH!

      • Shahid Saleem

        You would be surprised at how cheap things are now. EG, these two devices are EXPENSIVE in compareison to devices for products:

        http://www.gumstix.com/
        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/SheevaPlug

        • Rameez Kakakhel

          Thanks for the list but these are still kinda expensive compared the ones I would use (if I were to – An Arduino works for me & is $20 or less).
          The point is this:
          – Design/Testing. (in your Hostel Room on a single product)
          – Acquiring them in bulk. (ordering from foreign dealers)
          – Manufacturing. (ask to some Chinese firm for the custom parts to be built)
          – Marketing. (I believe in Solid/Strong Marketing)
          .
          .
          You can use your Home as your office but a student doesn’t have resources to do all that & no one will provide the finances.
          .
          From The Article (The State of Entrepreneurship here):
          “… In any eco-system where entrepreneurship is alienated in talks (and behaviors) of high profile intellectuals, such a scenario only becomes embitter for the economic future of that country.”

          • Shahid Saleem

            — Thanks for the list but these are still kinda expensive compared the ones I would use

            That is EXACTLY my point! Micro-controllers and PICs and many other similar devices are VERY VERY CHEAP and have thousands of practical uses in local industry! I know I have read about $2 FPGA five years ago, so the main thing is EQUIPMENT IS CHEAP

            I ask you to read Steve Wozniak’s autobiogrphy iWoz where he wrote about building the Apple I computer on his own. At that time, things like pocket calculators cost over $300 and he had to SAVE money for that (he couldn’t easily afford it)

            BUT he did come up with the DESIGN and BIULT it on his own and demod it to people before Steve Jobs got a contract to make 100 machines for $500 each. No one provided finances before the order.

            Okay, not everyone is as smart as Wozniak, but all it takes is WILLPOWER. Money is not an objection.

            1. make a design
            2. make it work
            3. then worry about marketing and cost

            80% of all startups or more fail. So what? People LEARN stuff and that STAYS with them.

            If you are an employer, who do you hire?

            1. fresh graduate with only college projects
            2. fresh graduate with projects he & friends made on his own

            That is also the problem with many Computer Science students: they only work on college projects, not write code on their own time or learn things that are not in tbheir textbooks.

            What do you want to see on a resume? “Hobbies: cricket, browsing” or “Hobbies: building practical projects”??

            ATTITUDE: get it in you.

            • Rameez Kakakhel

              They look Good on paper my friend… His Biography, This biography, That biography, This book, that book… Lolz!
              .
              1. make a design
              2. make it work
              3. then worry about marketing and cost
              .
              – Had a Design.
              – Had it worked.
              – Ended up in the garage for the kids to play with.
              .
              .
              If you are an employer, who do you hire?
              1. fresh graduate with only college projects
              2. fresh graduate with projects he & friends made on his own.
              .
              I belong to category two, Never been called for an interview except once (that too was an employee reference).
              .
              “What do you want to see on a resume? “Hobbies: cricket, browsing” or “Hobbies: building practical projects”??”
              .
              – What if I say my CV has more than that?? It’s appreciated (both for design & content) and thats all.
              .
              .
              .
              Shahid when I was in university I had exactly the same thinking and Ideas as you are showing right now. I like the energy But when it comes to REAL WORLD (Pakistan) none of this works. University is a beautiful place the outside world is not.
              .
              Most of your suggestions still hold for CS & IT graduates, beyond that ________________________.
              .
              .
              .
              .
              .
              p.s am still going to be an entrepreneur some day. I know myself, that’s how I am.

              • Shahid Saleem

                Well, my friend,. I guess we’ll just have to agree to disagree, because I know EE people who CAN and DO work on projects on their own even if they don’t care about the money they make in the end. For them, its a hobby beacuse they have graduated and have real jobs.

                But students who have NOT YET GRADUATED…

                I know the risks – over 80% startups fail. But a startup that doesn’t exist is 100% failure.

              • Shahid Saleem

                By the way over ten years ago I read a newspaper article about a Pakistani boy in America (son of immigrants maybe) who came up with this simple design: make an open glove

                Five optic fiber cables for five fingers connected to an led and a battery on his wrist. Or maybe it was five leds on the fingers, but the battery and rest of the circuit was on the wrist.

                A simple toy design he made after watching cartoons on tv. His father helped make it.

                You know, he sold the idea to a toy company.

                Do you think kids here would buy something simple like that today??

  • Jawad Hussain

    @Shahid Saleem,
    Sir most of the telecom or electrical engineers don’t have that much good programming skills that they can do projects independently. ASP, DotNet and other tools are difficult to learn without any guidance. I myself tried this but in vain, I’ve good hold over MATLAB but don’t know Java and just a little about C,C++ or C#.
    The solution u gave is for Computer Science or IT graduates.

    • Shahid Saleem

      I don’t see a problem there. Don’t you have friends who can code? Even programmers don’t know EVERYTHING (html AND SQL and C# in depth). Some people know more than others.

      Your telecom/ee friends probably don’t know Javascript, and your web friends don’t know PNP junctions. Use the best resources each one has to offer.

  • BAQIR

    Impressed by article as well as Mr shahid’s comments.
    To be honest shahid you are absloutly right. Lets say mechanicle engineers. My friend is in final year of mechanicle engineering, he know about the parts of a bike and how they work but when we asked him can you put the parts to gether and make that bike work properly. He laughed and said i am an engineer who commands and technicians do that.
    What i want to say here is that pakistan’s education system needs change. If you compare our system with developed countries their is more precticle work then theoritical. And here is theoritical work even students don’t make projects in universities they make thesis as its easy to copy paste notes from internent.

  • Muhsin

    The most annoying thing is that the Telecom companies are hiring so many CS graduates but not a single Telecom graduate….

  • Truth teller

    Actually problem is in education system. Same education system is running all these years. For example In engineering you have to take so many courses and most of them is useless not related to practical world just burden to the students. Second they should set the rule like after 2 years all university should provide hands on practice on equipment full time and then give marks on their performance or take test at the end of years by solving different types of practical problems. This will give them experience + knowledge but what to say Now I can only say if you are no pass from well known university and you have done engineering trying seek other options as No life for engineers in pakistan