Despite being from a college affiliated with the University of Mumbai (MU), Karan Kumar had a hard time finding a job after graduation. He claims it was not his college degree but online coding classes that helped him grab a job in the tech-giant Amazon.
“No company comes to my college for on-campus recruitment, so I was going to end up jobless by default,” said the 23-year-old Mumbai resident who holds a degree in computer science engineering from a tier-3 college in Mumbai. Determined to land a job, Karan decided to learn to code via online platforms. He did not own a laptop and used to visit cyber cafes for the same.
Hailing from a tier-3 engineering college, Karan claims that he got rejected from internship and job offers as he was not from a tier-1 college or did not have a ‘branded degree’. “I applied for many jobs and internships off-campus during my engineering but never got shortlisted for interviews as students usually get rejected in the shortlisting process by companies if they are not from tier-1/2 colleges like IIT/NIT. So I had to work very hard on my coding skills to shine out from the crowd,” said Karan.
He resorted to online skilling courses to learn to code. During his college studies, he participated in as many coding events as he could. He got an all India rank of 12 in Google CodeJam (21’Quals) out of 60000+ participants, a rank of 72 in Facebook Hackercup (21’Quals) out of 30000+ participants, a 6-Stars rating on Codechef, an international rank of 261 in Quora Programming Challenge 2022, and was ranked 17th by HackerEarth for his coding skills.
The hiring process nowadays is not based on the traditional recruiting methods, it has changed a lot and now employers are looking for skilled candidates. It is crucial for universities to incorporate skill and competency-based curricula into their programs to better prepare graduates for the challenges that await them in the corporate world
He got a referral to apply for a job from HackerEarth based on his performance. He used this referral to apply for a job at Amazon which he got to know about via LinkedIn. After two months-long processes of four coding rounds and one interview round, he landed his current job.
Claiming to be the first-ever software engineer from his suburb, Karan said getting a job at Amazon was beyond his dreams and after getting to know about his selection, he broke down into tears.
“I think it is critical for educational institutions to keep the latest hiring processes in mind and groom the students in a similar way. The hiring process nowadays is not based on the traditional recruiting methods, it has changed a lot and now employers are looking for skilled candidates. It is crucial for universities to incorporate skill and competency-based curricula into their programs to better prepare graduates for the challenges that await them in the corporate world, said Karan.
Karan’s journey did not stop at his own success. He is now helping others get out of poverty. He has selected a group of 20 students from underprivileged backgrounds and is helping them to learn coding and other skills to land off-campus jobs.
“I teach them coding and DSA online through Zoom calls or google meet on a weekly basis. If a student’s interview is near then I take regular sessions as well. I teach them for free as the motive is to help them get a good job and impart knowledge that I have acquired through my journey,” he said.
Karan’s mother is a housewife and his father owns a small shop. He also has a sister who is pursuing B.F.M.