EDUCATION PLUS

Making an impact through mini-projects

Way to learn: Online projects benefit students in many ways.

Way to learn: Online projects benefit students in many ways.   | Photo Credit: Photo: S. Siva Saravanan

SHYAM RANGANATHAN

They are mini-projects, but give you an edge over others in the recruitment race.

For engineering students willing to work hard to ensure a good career, the importance of doing mini-projects and a good final-year project cannot be over-emphasised, experts say. In spite of hiring practices in recent times where students have been placed in their third year before the final-year project, students are increasingly taking up mini-projects to pad up their skill-set, they add.

“Mini-projects develop practical skills in students. In spite of all the theory you learn, the industry also needs to know your ability to complete projects using your own initiative. So I would advise students to take up mini-projects in their second year and try to present as many papers as possible in the third year,” says Sivagnana Prabhu, placement head, RMK Engineering College.

Value add

A former professor of Anna University says that students do show an interest in doing projects as they realise the importance of practical training for engineering graduates. But due to the IT boom, until recently final-year projects were not taken too seriously both due to the weighting given to them and also because students had already been hired by the time they came into the final year.

Imroze Suleiman, who works in Tata Consultancy Services in Chennai now after finishing his B.E., confirms this view saying that he completed some mini-projects in his second year but he had been hired before his final-year project and so was not too sure if his final-year project helped.

But a student from the Indian Institute of Technology-Madras says that with fewer internships available this year compared to last year, he and his friends are looking at working on mini-projects in his own department to gain experience with practical work.

Helpful

Shubha Sharma, manager, Corporate Sales, Naukri.com, agrees that mini-projects are helpful. “They provide employers an opportunity to differentiate between students with similar backgrounds. They also help students to show their talent,” she says but adds that they might not have a direct effect on employment.

Online mini-projects through sourceforge.net and other Open-Source development initiatives are attractive to some students especially in the Computer Science and Engineering department. But Mohammed Tajudeen, placement officer, Crescent Engineering College, says that more students prefer working with professors directly as only a few students with lots of initiative can benefit from these essentially self-help kind of projects.

These projects would definitely benefit students, but the very least they could do in their second and third years in engineering would be to work on mini-projects and present papers, he adds.



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