At my company, Mindtree, we are hiring over 100 software engineers, testers, UI/UX designers, and business analysts per year from U.S. universities and we have become successful at tapping into this talent market. We are seeing approximately a 10% annual increase in engineering enrollment across the country and that is great news for our industry.
There is a great deal of talent emerging in the market, but as a potential employer, you have to understand the nuances of the universities, the students, and the entire playing field in order to attract graduates to your company and make them successful. To complicate things further, universities vary in their teaching methods and course curriculum, so a cookie-cutter approach to recruitment and training won't work.
The first step to being successful in recruiting Generation Y software engineers is understanding the university landscape. The great debate in engineering schools is whether to teach a theoretical or practical curriculum. The best schools do both, but this is not the case at every university and it can even vary from professor to professor within universities.
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Some universities are way ahead of others in developing disciplines, changing curriculum, and evolving their programs. Here are some great examples of how universities and colleges are progressing:
-- A large university in the Southeast now offers computer science as a minor to liberal arts majors. These folks make great developers.
-- A large university in the upper Midwest now offers data analytics as a minor and also has established a master's in human-computer interaction.
-- A mid-size university in the South now offers a minor in business intelligence.
-- A specialty university in the Southeast has a tremendous digital arts program where great UI/UX talent can be found.
-- A large Midwestern university boasts a "Women in Engineering" community because it now has 600 women enrolled in its engineering school.
-- Community colleges are on the rise and are aggressively changing their curricula. One large community college in Florida now offers classes in QA and agile.