No college degree, but online coding helped 23-year-old land job at Amazon, says traditional campus hiring needs to change

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Despite being from a college affiliated with the University of Mumbai (MU), Karan Kumar found it difficult to find a job after graduation. He says it wasn’t his college degree but online coding classes that helped him land a job at tech giant Amazon.

“No companies come to my college for campus recruitment so I was going to find myself jobless by default,” said the 23-year-old Mumbai resident, who holds a degree in computer engineering from a tier 3 college in Mumbai. Determined to land a job, Karan decided to learn to code through online platforms. He didn’t own a laptop and frequented internet cafes for the same reason.

Coming from a Tier 3 engineering school, Karan says he was rejected from internship and job offers because he was not part of a Tier 1 university or did not have a “degree in engineering”. brand”. “I applied for many off-campus jobs and internships during my engineering, but I was never shortlisted for interviews because students are usually rejected in the screening process by companies if they are not from Tier 1/2 universities like IIT/NIT. So I had to work really hard on my coding skills to shine in the crowd,” Karan said.

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He resorted to online skills courses to learn how to code. While in college, he participated in as many coding events as he could. It has achieved an Indian rank of 12 in Google CodeJam (21’Quals) from over 60000 participants, a rank of 72 in Facebook Hackercup (21’Quals) from over 30000 participants, a 6 star rating on Codechef, an international ranked 261 in Quora Programming Challenge 2022, and was ranked 17th by HackerEarth for coding skills.

The hiring process nowadays is not based on traditional recruitment methods, it has changed a lot and now employers are looking for qualified candidates. It is crucial for universities to integrate competency and competency-based curricula into their curricula to better prepare graduates for the challenges that await them in the corporate world.

He received a referral to apply for a HackerEarth job based on his performance. He used this reference to apply for a job at Amazon that he learned about through LinkedIn. After a two-month process of four coding cycles and one interview cycle, he landed his current job.

Claiming to be the very first software engineer in his suburbs, Karan said finding a job at Amazon was beyond his dreams and upon learning of his selection he burst into tears.

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“I think it’s critical for educational institutions to keep the latest hiring processes in mind and prepare students alike. The hiring process nowadays is not based on traditional recruitment methods, it has changed a lot and now employers are looking for qualified candidates. It is crucial for universities to integrate skills-based and competency-based curricula into their curricula to better prepare graduates for the challenges ahead in the corporate world, Karan said.

Karan’s journey didn’t end with his own success. He is now helping others lift themselves out of poverty. He selected a group of 20 students from disadvantaged backgrounds and helps them learn coding and other skills to land off-campus jobs.

Karan’s journey didn’t end with his own success. He is now helping others lift themselves out of poverty. He selected a group of 20 students from disadvantaged backgrounds and helps them learn coding and other skills to land off-campus jobs.

“I teach them coding and DSA online via Zoom calls or google meet on a weekly basis. If a student’s interview is near, I also take regular sessions. I teach them for free because the goal is to help them find a good job and to pass on to them the knowledge that I have acquired throughout my journey,” he said.

Karan’s mother is a housewife and his father owns a small shop. He also has a sister who pursues BFM

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