All Is Not Well : Employment Problems Faced by Engineer Graduates Today

srimanta@brainware-india.com'

One of the major problems millions of engineering graduates face in India today, is that there are way too many engineering graduates in India. Chronic unemployment has become an embarrassing issue, plaguing the engineering sector. One of the main reason for this persistent problem of unemployment among the young engineers is that there are way too many engineers in India.

The basic rule of economics demand versus supply applies here, the supply of engineering graduates, far exceed the demand (number of engineering jobs). So thousands of engineering graduates face an uncertain future by the time they graduate. Many engineers due to the lack of jobs often engage in professions which have very little to do with engineering like peon work, bank PO ( probationary officer), school teacher, BPO etc. This article addresses the ever growing problem of chronic engineering unemployment and will also share some tips on how to ameliorate this issue to some extent.

Lack of Practical Experience : This is in fact the crux of the problem. Every year a huge number of students graduate are just pen and paper engineers, – lots of theoretical knowledge with zero practical experience. Apart from the Tier 1 engineering colleges, most of the Tier 2 and 3 engineering are heavy on academics but give very little significance to practical learning or hands on training. There are little to no internships , industry visits etc. Students have almost zero industry experience, and their knowledge is limited to the books they have studied. There are too many CS engineers for example who don’t know how to program and code efficiently.

Solution : The engineering colleges need to make the syllabus more profession or job oriented. With rigorous academics regular industry interfaces, and at least 3 internships should be introduced.

Outdated Syllabus : Unfortunately majority of the second and third tier engineering colleges follow an out of date syllabus. The students are not well versed in latest software, technologies prevalent in the industries. Obviously most of the IT firms are reluctant to hire such engineers who lack knowledge of in demand technologies. The companies consider these graduates a liability as lot of time and money have to spent in training them. According to reports most of the engineering graduates are unemployable. Many CS/IT students are virtually incapable of ensuring security in C code, and lack basic programming skills.

Solution : Update syllabus ASAP. Make the syllabus not exam oriented but industry oriented. Include advanced programming languages like Java, C, C++, Python, Ruby on Rails, etc

Curse of Rote Learning : The Indian engineering education system is exam oriented. Most of the 2nd and 3rd tier colleges discourages innovation and research, The students are made to quickly mug up thick tomes/books without understanding basic engineering concepts. Majority of the students study solely to get marks/pass exam and lack in depth understanding of basics of engineering.

Solution : Encourage more research and innovation in engineering institutes

Disinterested Students : Engineering after medical studies are considered by Indian parents as lucrative. Engineering courses are thought to be as ticket to higher pay packages in corporate world. Driven by this mistaken thought many middle class parents in India induce/force their . children to study engineering. Students who are not at all interested in the subject, take it up to pacify parents or due to peer pressure. As they are studying a subject they have little to no interest in, they yield average to below average results.

Solution : Education should be interest and aptitude oriented and not job oriented.

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