Does a Gloomy Future Awaits Most Engineering Graduates?

Until 15-20 years back, pursuing engineering was a big thing. An engineer had a respectful status in the society. Today, there is no value for engineering, in fact a person who pursues it is considered mediocre. A person who literally has to do bike mechanic work in his village is doing mechanical engineering in an engineering college in the nearby town. Thanks to the explosive growth of engineering colleges, reduced standards for getting a seat and above all free seat quota and the schemes offered by state governments. (this is rampant is AP)

Ask anyone who just finished intermediate in India, he/she will say I will do engineering. Lakhs of students are doing engineering, but are they in the right direction? Make no mistake, not everybody is of low quality, but 75-80% of them do not have what it takes to be an engineer. It’s not just our opinion, many industry bodies and eminent personalities are saying that today’s engineering graduates are unemployable. (Click here to read Lack of Employable Talent in Today’s Indian Graduates)

Even if we ignore all these reports and say all our engineers have the potential to be great employees, the reality is, there are not enough jobs. Let us take an in-depth look into the jobs issue to clearly understand the fate of engineering graduates in India.

Less jobs more engineers
India is producing around 15 lakh engineers every year (statistics from 2012). This figure has grown rapidly, nearly four times up, from 3.9 lakh engineers in the year 2000.

Nasscom, the premier industry body that represents IT and ITES sectors in India, recently made a prediction that 1.3 lakh jobs will be created by IT sector this year which is almost 30% less than the 1.8 lakh jobs created in 2013 – See 1.3 lakh for 15 lakh engineers! Not including those who passed out in last 2-3 years and still not having jobs.

Nasscom says that traditionally IT industry has had 70% engineers on board, but in 2011 they have recruited 46% BCAs and MCAs, while engineering recruitment’s constituted only 33%. Further, IT companies also realized that the trend that had happened in the last 10 years won’t happen in the near future. Companies are looking to better utilize the existing workforce.

Campus placements for engineers are a matter of past
Campus recruitment’s, through which 90-95% of IT workforce requirement is met, slowed down drastically due to uncertainty in global economy and sluggishness in the IT market.

Industry analysts estimated that the campus hiring by the IT industry will drop down by 50%. The top 10 IT players who added 17-20% to the workforce in 2012, ended up at 10-12% in 2013. In a survey conducted by, 47% recruiters told that they will lower their intake in 2013 compared to the previous year. Except for universities and top colleges, campus placements were not observed in most of the engineering colleges.

Selected in campus placements, but not yet given offer letter
Surprisingly, pass outs of engineering-2012 batch who got selected in campus placements didn’t get joining letters till now. According to the sources, companies are still in the process of extending joining letters of 2011 pass outs. The recent protest made by engineering graduates hired by HCL during Aug-2011 campus placements, to give a clarity on their joining, truly illustrates the state of campus placements in the country.

Engineers not being considered for BPO jobs
Till last one or two years back, most of the engineering graduates, if not hired in IT companies, used to get settled in BPO jobs. That trend has changed now. BPO companies are not hiring engineering graduates due to their high expectations and poor job skills. Instead of training them they are training non-tech graduates. TATA, Wipro, IBM are few companies that started training and hiring non-tech graduates.

Companies cutting costs by hiring non-technical graduates
It is clear that the quality of engineers has dropped significantly. IT companies, with an intention to cut costs, started hiring non-tech graduates, who can be hired at half the cost of tech-graduates. While a typical engineering freshers salary starts somewhere around 3.5 to 4 lakh, whereas, companies are hiring a Bsc/Bcom graduates at 1.0 to 1.2 lakh, and are providing the same training.

Finally, doing an engineering course and getting a high paying IT job is history. Today IT companies know that there are 15 lakh engineering pass outs. They also know that the quality of many of the engineers is sub-standard. IT companies are shutting down doors to our friends with namesake engineering degree. Engineering graduates will neither get into IT job nor will they like to do other jobs (their pride of being an engineer will get lost).

Our intention in this article is not to discourage engineering graduates saying there are no jobs. We want our young graduates to understand the reality and take proper decision. It is ultimately you who will suffer if you do not face the facts.

There is one quote from Sardar Patel that is relevant to remember in this situation – “It will be folly to ignore realities; facts take their revenge if they are not faced squarely and well”

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