A high attrition rate and rising demand for training employees in soft skills are making technology companies hire candidates from non-technical backgrounds. English graduates are getting job roles in content writing, soft-skill training, digital marketing and customer relations executives.
The ever-evolving English course curriculum has given students exposure to diverse cultures and improved their language skills, through application-based courses which enable them to get job opportunities from technology companies looking to improve communication with the end user. The English programmes at Christ University’s Department of English Studies, Bengaluru, include a Technical Writing component and mandatory internships. These two factors have made the programme application-oriented and enhanced the students’ skills which are valued by technology companies.
IT giants such as Accenture, Dell, TCS and CISCO have been recruiting graduates from the university’s English programme. “When the MA (English) programme was launched at the university, it was titled MA English with Communication Studies and included papers on Journalism, Linguistics, and Technical Writing that were taught by the industry practitioners, which was well-received by the industry.
This ensured that students got diverse experiences and mandatory internships allowed them to make better career choices,” says Anil Pinto, registrar, Christ university, the average salary package of students has been in the range of 4-10 lakhs. The PG in English with Communication Studies will also offer one value-added course per semester at the postgraduate level for the first three semesters providing students with an opportunity to develop discipline-specific and interdisciplinary skills.
Exposure to diverse cultures and increased internet usage among students is also facilitating the expansion of career avenues for English programme students. “Tech companies need employees with good content writing and English-speaking skills, interpersonal skills, who can handle data. Those who study English are exposed to various facets of life through different texts that are part of the curriculum,” says Anil Kumar Aneja, professor and head, of the Department of English, University of Delhi.
The recruiters’ preference for English graduates stems from their ability to bridge the gap between the developers and consumers as they can not only translate complex tech concepts in a lucid manner but also spot language-related mistakes if any in various processes. “As excellent communicators, English graduates also prove to be effective product managers by convincing people to purchase their product or service. Their power to imagine and understand the intricacies of human thought also promotes entrepreneurial leadership. So, instead of adapting according to the tech world, English graduates are reshaping it with their rich vocabulary, style of writing, knowledge of socio-political trends and persuasiveness. These qualities give them an edge over the other candidates,” says Vineeta Prasad, professor and head of the institution, Amity University, adding that almost 26 % of placements for the English graduates at the University were from the tech-enabled sector. The university’s alumni are working with companies such as Accenture and KPMG.
In Tamil Nadu’s Salem, TCS recently conducted Pooled Campus at the Sona College of Arts and Science and hired several students from the BA English program. “More than 10 students from the college’s English program are working in the IT industry in Bengaluru. Companies such as MyCaptain have hired students from BA English programs for the creation of content and marketing of their products,” says Anuradha Ramesh Babu, professor of English, Sona College of Arts and Science that offers BA English program and also BSc in Visual Communication program that includes editing, reporting and creative writing components in both English and Tamil medium.