India chunking out 1.5 Million Engineers every year.

  Ramesh A
  karma level 13759

Engineering colleges have been springing up like wild mushrooms in India in the last few years. Their number has gone up from a not too modest  1,511 colleges  in 2006-07 to an astoundingly high 3,345  in 2014-15 . The state of Andhra Pradesh alone has more than  700 colleges .

If these figures are anything to go by, it would be easy to be led into believing that opting for a degree in engineering would be a wise career move in India. The fact, however, remains that  20-33% out of the 1.5 million engineering graduates passing out every year run the risk of not getting a job at all , points out EconomicTimes. For those who do, the  entry-level salary is pathetically low , and has stagnated at that level for the last eight-nine years, though the prices of everything from groceries to vehicle fuel have shot up during the same period.

Whether it is the below-par quality of education provided by private colleges or the stagnating (if not shrinking) demand for the number of engineers, 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.

A large percentage of the ‘fortunate’ ones who do end up getting a job after an engineering degree take up jobs which are well below their technical qualifications, since the supply far outnumbers the demand. They do not get jobs for which they are qualified or ‘suitable’ jobs, which makes the matters worse.

“In that case, there is both unemployment and underemployment,”  says  E Balaji, former CEO of manpower consulting firm Randstad. “Several engineers end up working as sales executives, so there is no link between what they studied and what they do.”

All the more threatening is the fact that the two key industries which hire engineers in India- the IT and ITes and the manufacturing sector- are also hiring a lesser number of them than befor e .

The IT industry in India, which grew by as much as 30 % up  till 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.

The rapid growth in the number of engineering colleges can be attributed to an ecosystem built around feeding the $110 billion outsourcing market and the huge demand for engineers in the IT sector in India itself.

Sadly however , the demand for IT related jobs in India fell sharply due to non-linear growth models of IT companies and lesser number of men required to handle the same jobs as before due to a higher degree of automation.

Making matters worse is the fact that the start-up salary offered to fresh engineering pass outs is expected to stagnate at more or less the same level in the next 3- 5 years, said LiveMint last year. Entry level salary package for a software engineer which has hovered around Rs 2.75 lakh to Rs 3.25 lakh ($4,600- $5,400 per annum) since the last eight-nine years should not, therefore, hope for a turnaround or for better days.

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