The secret behind the rise in number of unemployed engineers
India produces about 15 lakh engineers every year. The ugly truth is that no one wants to talk about the fact that most of them remain jobless!
Let’s analyze the situation and find how we can combat it:
Tug-of-War between Supply and Demand
In the late 90s and early 2000s, there was a gaping shortage of engineers in India. The companies were doing everything in their power to fill in their vacancies. Salaries were growing at an alluring rate of 10 to 30%.
Hence, all the politicians and entrepreneurs rushed to create more government as well as private engineering colleges without really analyzing the sustainability of the industry demand. They did not wait to ponder over how they would absorb millions of engineers they are going to churn out every year.
Student and parents too were seduced by ‘delicious carrots’ (read Lucrative Packages) and rushed to enroll in these engineering courses. Not many ever checked about the ‘real’ job market scenario, future career prospects for a graduating engineer, and the quality of colleges coming up.
- In the last 10 years, annual demand for new graduates has increased by about 19% – from 1.6 lakh to 1.9 lakh. On the other hand, number of new graduates in that time period has jumped up from 2.7 lakh to 10.7 lakh – about 300%!
- Many engineering colleges do not have proper infrastructure and reasonably qualified faculty members. Predictably, the graduates they churn out are not really skilled or knowledgeable enough to grab a job once they have their degrees in hand. This also affects the overall credibility of Indian education system.
- India lacks adequate Industrial Infrastructure too. We are much dependent on MNCs operating outside India to employ our ever-increasing skilled workforce.
How to Combat the Situation?
Hopefully, the free market will automatically fix the problem and reach the stage of equilibrium eventually. Already, thousands of seats in engineering colleges are lying vacant with no takers.
Yet, a true engineer can never be take things lying down. So, here is what we and the Indian government can do to change things for the better:
- Small-scale and Medium-scale Industries should be encouraged as they have a huge potential of combating unemployment. Besides, they help in meeting the demands of the local market and encourage women employment. Small scale industries can also impact rural-urban migration and bring it down considerably.
Recently, many small scale industries have proved that they can use industrial waste gainfully and have emerged as a good source of foreign exchange income. They bring down the burden of imports, reduce regional disparity, use locally available raw material better and are less capital-intensive as their use of sophisticate technology is much lesser than bigger industries.
- Entrepreneurship should be promoted too. Graduating students should be encouraged to start their own ventures, create their own companies – here in India itself, and produce jobs for others too. This can be done by offering them guidance, tax exemptions and subsidies – as and when necessary.
- Ensure that quality checks and academic standards are adhered across all private and government engineering colleges in India. The authorities, students, faculty members and parents have to make sure that they actively look for quality.
Do not underestimate the Power of Public or the Power of Social Media. Use it to bring about positive changes in Indian education system and educational institutions in India.
- College-Industry Tie-ups should be actively nurtured too to allow students to do internships and gain industry exposure. It will add to their employability after graduation.
Mentoring programs can also be started where fresh graduates can work in a company immediately after college and can be evaluated periodically to help them gain useful insights about how to move ahead in their intended careers.
- Build good-enough infrastructure and facilities to attract Foreign Investments to India and keep our economy strong.
The most important thing to do is perhaps to Change One’s Mindset. Do not give in to peer or parental pressure. Do not try to conform to the society norms and conventions. Dare to dream and live up to it as you carve out your own path to Success.
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