After losing both his parents at the age of 8, the future seemed bleak and desolate for Vikas Raghav. He turned towards his uncle who supported his education up till college and gave him a new home. Just when things were a little better, life gave him yet another blow. His uncle died from cancer when he was in his fourth year of college. He soon realized he has to fight for his own survival.
After losing his uncle, Vikas was left with no home. He found a residence in a basement, sleeping on a bed of bricks, and making tea and biscuits for his meals for the day. To earn money, he started giving tuition to earn his bread and completed his remaining education at college.
‘Colleges must provide an up-to-date education’
A native of Gurgaon, Haryana, Raghav did his schooling in Faridabad. He studied in a public school till the 12th after which he moved to Rohtak, Haryana where he got admission through JEE Main at Maharshi Dayanand University in BTech in computer science “I received a scholarship of Rs 60,000 a year for four years. I believed in myself and was determined to find a way to build a technology career for myself,” he said.
Despite being a meritorious student, he found it hard to get a job. Even after completing BTech from Maharshi Dayanand University, he was still unemployed. “From my college, I was struggling to find quality employment after completing my BTech, since campus placements at my varsity, had only a few companies hire engineering graduates, and they were offering dismally low pay packages. In fact the entire curriculum was theory-based with little-to-no practical experience in coding. The syllabus was outdated with no foundational skills in programming or coding,” said Vikas.
Talking about how colleges can train their students to be employable, he said, “Textbook theoretical learnings have become obsolete; colleges should leverage experiential learning as work experience resumes will grow more relevant. The curriculum should have a holistic approach and should be oriented towards competitive programming, and regular coding contests that refine coding skills.”
“Colleges should impart first-hand knowledge of the various trends in the tech sector, while also promoting highly interactive and engaging learning processes for students. In spite of the fact that higher education generally provides a good foundation for a successful career, it may not provide an up-to-date education that aligns with new-age tech requirements,” he added.
It was after finishing graduation that he bumped across Newton School’s online platform. Vikas enrolled himself in their master’s in computer science programme in partnership with MIA – Digital University (Spain).
Vikas took weekly one-on-one mentorship sessions, mock interviews, live classes, doubt sessions, and industry-oriented projects, which he says made him prepare for interviews. “I had given interviews before, but I was anxious about it. I would blank out during interviews,” he explained.
Currently living in Chandigarh, he has grabbed a job Sparksbrain as a react developer with 100 per cent salary hike. He had earlier worked for a year at IGT Solutions as a process associate.
“The most important thing that I am proud of is that I did not seek help or charity but merely an opportunity to work toward a goal and succeed at my own merit. Things could have gotten much worse, but instead, I had an epiphany—I realised that I needed to break free once and for all from my past, and my problems. I was undaunted. I was in a place where I was struggling to make ends meet. Rather than dwelling on what I have lost, I decided to make the best of the opportunity I got to make things right. Everyone has to go to battle some or other day in their lifetime, and trying is the first thing they can do,” Vikas concluded.