Hyderabad: The goal for some of the students who are seeking admission to the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) this year, after working hard for the last two years, is to become civil servants. Most of those who pass out with engineering degrees end up in a job that is anything but engineering-related.
Education researchers say that this mismatch between what is studied and the eventual employment is because young people are not trained in proper goal setting. Very few schools or colleges have career counsellors who can assess a student’s potential and match it to a possible career.
Psychiatrist Dr Preeti Swaroop says, “Sometimes parental pressure also plays a key role. Parents demand that their children first ‘settle’ in a stable and secure job and then pursue their dreams. Most of the time, children have no choice but to obey their parents and pursue the same. So, many students tend to come back again to pursue their dreams once they are financially stable.”
When it comes particularly to IITians, Dr Swaroop added that, as the Union Public Service Commission is one of the toughest exams after JEE Advanced, many IIT students with challenging nature tend to pursue by leaving behind the fat pay checks that they get in the corporate companies, based on their IIT backgrounds.
Mismatch of education and employment
According to the Centre for Educational Studies and Service (CESS), 15 lakh engineering graduates pass out every year and the country is not producing enough jobs for them. Rather than being unemployed, they look for any job they can get.
Mr Narayana from CESS said that “Since last three decades, our government is unable to produce government jobs on par with the growing graduates, so the alternative is either the private or the corporate sector, who demand quality and efficiency. Though our country produces engineers, 25 percent of the engineers, are not fit for the job market as there is no quality. Many students are doing engineering courses because of parental pressure or due to peer pressure, which is the main reason for the lack of quality”
Despite a record growth in intake of engineering candidates at All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE)-approved technical institutes, more than 60 per cent of engineering graduates remain unemployed every year, according to AICTE’s own report.
Also, the Nasscom survey of 2011 says that over 75 per cent of technical graduates in India are not ready for jobs due to the lack of ‘desirable generic abilities.’
In such a scenario, women fare worse than men due to the skill gap and gender discrimination in India, according to research by the University of Burdwan.
Also, according to research by Universities UK, ‘graduates who lack certain core and employability skills fare poorly in the labour market, often finding themselves “mismatched” in non-graduate jobs and with lower average earnings than their “matched” graduate counterparts.’
It is now a general phenomenon in India that large number of graduates or postgraduates apply for clerical jobs which need the educational qualification of 12th standard.
Career experts advise that students should be given a free hand in choosing their career, after being given proper career guidance and should be shown how to proceed down their chosen path. There are many careers that have high potential for employment and are not being tapped.