In January 2016, ‘Aspiring Minds’ published the “National Employability Report”. The report took into consideration the responses provided by over 150,000 engineering students who graduated in 2015 from 650 colleges. Respondents in the survey included students from Tier-1 and Tier-2 cities as well and not just the metros. To cut a long story short, the Survey found out that over 80% of India’s engineering graduates are unemployable!
On one side we have the government boasting about “Make in India” and generating new jobs. On the other side we have mass-produced students coming out of colleges with no inkling of how to get a job!
A problem of epic proportions
Recently IT major HCL announced a walk-in interview for engineering graduates without any work experience at its facility in Bengaluru. What the firm did not estimate was the number of people who would land up for the walk-in interview! The local police had to be called in as it became a minor law and order issue as over 10,000 candidates from across the country landed up for the walk-in interview and the firm did not have ample space to accommodate everyone. This is just one of many examples to indicate the rising number of unemployed engineers.
All leading firms have allocated a sizeable chunk of money into training and development of new hires. Be it TCS, CTS, HCL, Infosys or Wipro; once an engineering graduate is hired as a ‘trainee’ the student is put through rigorous training. All these firm run intensive training programmes ranging from six months to one year in duration and are practically an extension of college life to these students albeit a bit stricter and more focused! At the end of the training period only the best students are filtered out and assigned to projects. The ones who fail to make the cut are politely sacked!
Why this mess?
The eighties saw a massive boost in factories and the manufacturing sector saw a phenomenal growth. Be it the cars and scooters, television sets or engineering tools; there was massive growth all around with a clear direction towards economic growth. The nineties and the relaxation of norms on the subject of foreign companies investing in India gave another push and suddenly everyone wanted engineers to complete tasks. The first wave of the IT boom suddenly created a demand for computer engineers. At breakneck speed, colleges began mushrooming around the country and without analysing the demand and supply clause, engineering began to be thrust down the throats of students. The country has reached a phase now wherein every fourth person in the 22-to- 26 years age group is an engineer.
Rather than focus on building the lives of students; colleges have become money-minting machines, burdening students with one fee after the other. The lecturers that are hired are not skilled enough to ignite the curiosity of the students. They go through their chores of teaching like automated robots. Majority of private colleges do not pay well and have pathetic infrastructure and training facilities.
Completing a project, means getting something assembled from one of many training firms that have mushroomed in leading cities across the country. The desire to think innovatively and create something afresh is reduced to a negligible number. On one hand, we see premier institutions like the IITs, where students come up with innovative ideas and then going abroad for research. How many students have actually remained here and given back to the country and community that nourished them? The percentage of students doing this is again a small number!
What is the solution?
There is no magic wand solution to this issue. Expecting the government to do everything is again childish. Parents who admit their students to engineering colleges should do a thorough check before they spend hard earned money. Another option is to judge the child’s strengths and tastes and actually determine if the child wants to study engineering?
One of India’s biggest problems is parents forcing down their unfulfilled dreams on their children!
The Directorate of Education in every state and the All India Council for Technical Education - AICTE – the apex body for engineering education in India should take strict action against colleges across the country that do not meet the basic prescribed infrastructure and training requirements that a college should have. The proper appointments of teachers, a proper pay-structure and scholarships for deserving students are other actions that the government should consider. Currently the caste quota system plays a major role in students getting admission to premier institutions.
What originally started as a solution for the underprivileged to get access to mainstream education and a better livelihood has now become a ‘killing joke’. Academic merit should be respected rather than one’s lineage, caste and community.
Student politics is another big curse that is plaguing the nation. Earlier we used to get news of stray incidents of campus violence. With political parties seeking to get a strong footing among young voters; all parties are now running their own youth wings. These groups have infiltrated campuses and are creating a ruckus for every other incident. Unless politics is removed out of the equation; the future is very bleak for the country’s students.
There is enough data available from various recruitment agencies that a degree and a job abroad pays much more than studying in India and finding a job here. Here at Hotcourses India we specialise in helping students find the right course and university abroad and assist them at every step - from short-listing universities, to helping them file applications, prepare for visa interviews to providing pre-departure assistance. With numerous banks providing study loans at attractive interest rates and institutions offering scholarships based on academic merit; now is the right time to secure your future by going abroad for higher studies!