Knowledge@Wharton published an article titled “Assessing Employability Is Disrupting India’s Higher Education Model“. The article is their take on our work at Aspiring Minds.
More than 20% of Indian youth between the ages of 15 and 24 years are “seeking or available for work,” according to 2011 census data. In other words, some 47 million young Indians are unemployed. At the other end of the spectrum, employers across various sectors are searching for the right talent. For brothers Himanshu Aggarwal, 35, and Varun Aggarwal, 31, this massive gap represents an opportunity to not just build a profitable business but also to make a social impact.
In 2007, the Aggarwals co-founded Aspiring Minds, a talent evaluation and employability assessment company with propriety technology, under the mentorship of Tarun Khanna, a professor at Harvard Business School. Their reasoning was simple: Most employers use proxy measurements — like a college pedigree or geographical region — to assess the employability of potential employees. However, new ways of learning have upended that model. For instance, online classes taken through MOOCs (massive open online courses) wouldn’t necessarily be reflected in proxy measurements. “A standardized employability test, on the other hand, can help jobseekers to showcase their abilities to prospective employers,” says Varun, CTO of the company. Adds Himanshu, who is CEO: “We want to democratize job opportunities and provide a level playing field for candidates.”