Jobs for Engineers in India
India is sitting on the cusp of a job crisis. Unemployment rate apparently is a very manageable 4.7%. This figure does not show the big disguised unemployment in the agriculture sector, which engages 49% of the population and contributes a mere 17% to the GDP. The violent protests for reservations in Haryana and Gujarat are an indicator of the problem.
India has 3345 engineering colleges. Andhra Pradesh has 700 engineering colleges. 20-33% out of the 15 lac engineering graduates passing out every year run the risk of not getting a job at all. In this blog, “Jobs for Engineers in India“, an attempt has been made to analyze the problem of unemployment of engineers with a view to deduce practical solutions.
Unemployment, Poor Work Conditions and Insecurity
- . India is adding about 13 million new workers every year to its labour pool. India’s economy has been adding about 8 million new jobs every year predominantly in the low paying, unorganised sector.
- A 2012 survey found that there were around 48.7 crore workers in India. Over 94 percent of the workforce was engaged by unorganised enterprises.
- The unorganised sector has low productivity and offers lower wages. It created just 57 percent of India’s national domestic product in 2006, or about 9 fold less per worker than the organised sector.
- The jobs in the unorganized sector are highly insecure. This is the reason why 75,000 persons applied for 30 posts of peon in Chhattisgarh in 2015.
Situation of Jobs for Engineers
- As stated above 20-33% of freshly passed out engineers will not get a job. For those who do, the entry-level salary is pathetically low. Reputed companies like TCS and Infosys have not raised their entry level salary for the past 8 years.
- The huge number of engineering pass outs – which, incidentally, is more than the total number of engineers produced by the USA and China combined together, face a bleak future.
- The IT industry in India, which grew by as much as 30% uptill five years back, has slowed down to a 10.2% growth rate at present. The demand for qualified professionals in the field has understandably gone down too.
What Should Fresh Engineers Do?
In these bleak times, what should the fresh engineering graduates, who are likely to fall in the 20-33% bracket of unemployed, do? Life is a struggle and we should get prepared to enjoy the struggle. Some of the suggested actions are discussed below:
- Improve Understanding of Subjects. As an aware person it will be sensible to know the realities that you are likely to face after graduation. Focus on improving your understanding of the major subjects. Remember once you face an interview your understanding of the subject, particularly practical application is of higher value than your marks. By doing this you can avoid remaining in the last 33% of fresh engineers!
- Training and Practical Experience: The projects and training modules that are done in engineering colleges are often of little value for the industry. You can pursue courses like web development or mobile app development where you can create a real world project. If you have time, it would be a good idea to join some company in your vacations to get real time experience and training.
- Build Expertise: The major trend among engineering students is joining short term courses and trying to collect more and more certificates during their vacations. As a result, what we get, are half-baked engineers who are neither good in their own discipline nor do they have in-depth knowledge in the courses done. Aviral, one of my students, has developed his expertise in web designing and does free lance work even as a student.
- Stay Informed: The economy is changing rapidly, so are the needs of the industry. You need to be aware of the current trends and requirements. Mere theoretical knowledge and academic skills will not help. One of my friends had done engineering in paper technology at the time of the IT boom in India. He taught himself for the IT field and became an IT professional.
- Work on Communication and Soft Skills: Honing up your communication and soft skills is very important as it is a great value addition and enhances your employment opportunities. An interviewer is likely to hire you if you can write and speak good English and have a polished conduct even if you lack adequate competence in your hard skills because these are vital skills required for job performance.
- Take up Whatever Job you Get/ Start Teaching. Sitting at home and preparing for competitive exams, or waiting for the right job is quite popular with the youth today. I am totally against this option. This is a sure way of becoming increasingly unemployable. You lose skills gained by not working and get rusty. It is much better to take up whatever job that you can get and thereafter work to upgrade. If nothing else, start teaching young students. Teaching is a great way of clarifying your own mind about theoretical concepts and practical understanding. Use creative means to explain concepts to your students. It will be great practical learning.
These are difficult times for employment in general and engineers in particular. These are likely to remain so for the next 5-6 years. It is the right time to work smart and prepare for the real world and get employment by utilizing the practical suggestions given above. Remain energetic and enthusiastic. When things improve you will be in the right position to reap the benefits of current efforts!