There has been a lot of discussion among companies hiring newly graduated engineering students that this new class of millennials is not adequately prepared for work in the real world; that they lack relevant problem-solving and critical thinking skills. One remedy to this perceived problem involves getting engineering students more involved in actual engineering projects while still in school.
So the question becomes how to better prepare engineering students for today’s increasingly demanding environment. Products must be conceived, designed, built, and shipped faster than ever for companies to stay competitive. As a result, employers need newly graduated engineers to hit the ground running. One company has developed a win-win program that assists both companies and engineering students.
Virtual internships redefine how students and business can work together
Tethys Engineering is a managed-crowd environment that offers students “extended virtual internships” that enable students to earn money for college while honing their engineering skills working on real-world projects with potential future employers. In the process, businesses gain access to a flexible pool of talent and can shape the development of young engineers to meet their current and future demand.
College students studying engineering today have an easy choice when it comes to what CAD package they should learn. SOLIDWORKS is taught at over 30,000 academic institutions worldwide, and according to Monster.com, nearly a third (32 percent) of job openings seeking CAD skills is for SOLIDWORKS users, the largest of any CAD system.
The Tethys program is working closely with software partners in setting up the right mechanisms for students to access the engineering software when needed. Students who join the Tethys program have access to SOLIDWORKS, SOLIDWORKS Simulation, DraftSight, and other SOLIDWORKS applications to work on real-world engineering projects posted by companies. Tethys aligns its curriculum with the SOLIDWORKS Certification program and encourages students to take CSWA and CSWP certification exams to qualify their own skill sets for employers. In addition, Tethys enables businesses to post specific courses and curriculum and have students gain additional accreditations in its comprehensive online learning environment. The company believes that creating industry- and domain-specific learning opportunities for students is essential to get them ready for an engineering world that demands more specialization.
Tethys manages the registration and monitoring of the student and businesses, maintains and enhances the environment, which includes a social collaboration module, a student reputation building module, a project execution module, and a learning management module. Tethys takes care of all transactions, payments, and administration of the contingent labor pool.
How does it work?
For Students: The Tethys program is designed for engineering students in university, college, community college, technical/vocational institutions who are looking to develop engineering project experience. The program is ideal way to build expertise, develop relationship with future employers and earn an income in the process. The program is free to students; simply provide a valid student ID to register for the program.
For Businesses: Working with Tethys Engineering is straightforward and can be brought down to three simple steps:
1. Register and create a business profile
2. Post internships and develop relationships with possible student candidates
3. Launch a project and book students hours to get the work done
Tethys is currently in a pilot program at Arizona State University and is looking to work with four new schools in 2016 and eight additional schools in 2017. Interested institutions can contact Tethys at firstname.lastname@example.org or visit their website.
Interested businesses can register now here and seek guidance from the Tethys Engineering team to build relationships with students. Businesses can also coordinate with institutions and former interns to sign up as well and expand their current relationships by leveraging the Tethys environment.