Engineering is one of the most sought after field of education in our country. Every year, lakhs of students take admission in the various engineering colleges of India and aspire to establish a career as an engineer. Due to the ever-increasing demand for the course, many engineering colleges have opened in the country so as to accommodate as many engineering aspirants as possible. These colleges claim to provide world-class education, infrastructure, and training to their students.
However, the promises made by these colleges regarding the placement of students often turn out to be a hoax. Nowadays, there are massive crowds of students who have completed their bachelor’s or master’s in engineering but are still reeling under the hopelessness and helplessness of unemployment. These students are left to languish in the brink of unemployment with a huge baggage of education loans that reach up to several lakhs.
Reports given by some authentic agencies and bodies bring out the stark reality in front of everyone and show the unfortunate statistics of the number of engineers graduating every year and the total number of them who get placed. According to the Higher Education report by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and Ernst and Young (EY), about 99 per cent of M.B.A. (Masters in Business Administration) graduates and 80 per cent of engineering graduates in the entire country are unemployable.
Several reasons have been stated for the poor employment numbers of engineering and MBA graduates. Some of the topmost reasons are the deplorable state of education, the failure of institutes in arming students with the appropriate industry-related and practical knowledge, students performing poorly in interviews and about 27 per cent engineering altogether failing in clearing an interview, inadequate infrastructure, outdated curriculum, poor quality of faculty, old delivery platforms, etc. These factors do not let the students be equipped with the relevant skillset that is required to land jobs.
When one talks about employability, the shift from degrees to the professional venture through employability meets a roadblock called placements and it is here that a conflicting pattern is almost always visible. A disparity that dismays all is that while the industry complains that over 80 per cent engineering graduates are unemployable, the colleges and universities boast to get over 90 per cent of their students placed. Some of the statistics from the National Employability Report that reveals the plight of Indian engineers are mentioned below.
- Around 3 per cent engineers possess some new-age skills in areas such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Mobile Technologies, and Data Engineering. The percentage of employability in these specific areas is around 1.5 - 1.7 per cent on an aggregate.
- A total of only 3.84 per cent engineers are employable at startups in the jobs that are software-related.
- The proportion of engineers who possess good programming skills is much higher in the United States. The numbers are as high as almost four times as that of India.
- Only 40 per cent of engineering graduates do an internship and only 36 per cent do any project that is beyond coursework.
- 37.7 per cent of engineers from India are incapable of writing a code that is free of error. This is much higher than the percentage of China which is only 10.35 per cent.
As a result, many engineer graduates settle for jobs that are in different sectors from their education. The payscale is meagre and the jobs do not suit the knowledge and stature of an engineer.
Several suggestions have been given to combat this problem in the higher education sector. Many organisations and authorities have provided input regarding solutions to the major gap between the engineers graduating every year and the employability rates. Universities and colleges need to make significant alterations in their curriculum and other facilities so that students get proper training for placements and the industry.