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Unemployment among Engineers in India - A burning issue

Updated on September 18, 2014

Honorable Ex-President of India - A respected and renowned Scientist

Unemployment among Engineers in India

Unemployment among Engineers in India is an issue that no one is really willing to highlight and bring to the spotlight. The reason is very simple. Engineering Colleges in India have become major Money Making business where most of the yesteryear politicians, political bigwigs and big Businessmen are managing the show.

The business potential of running an Engineering College was discovered by the end of the last millennium. It was considered a major business that required huge investment of Money and political links which could only be garnered by big shots.

Multitudes of Colleges started coming up very fast and at that time no one knew that they are triggering a decline of the Engineering standards. The decline was gradual and ultimately had now resulted in huge unemployment among engineers in India.

Unbelievable statistics

There are about 5672 Engineering Colleges in India. Of that two states in South India - Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu alone have 900 and 934 Colleges respectively.

From all these Colleges roughly about 1.2 million Engineers are graduating every year.There was a period in India when students found it difficult to get enrolled in engineering Colleges. But now as the Number of Engineering colleges have sky rocketed the situation has reversed. Engineering Colleges are now advertising to pull students to their colleges and lots of seats remain unfilled every year.

Even now the craze for engineering Colleges is prominent among middle class families as they want their situation reversed by making their Son or daughter, an Engineer. How it all started ?

Future of India

How it all started ?

In the beginning of 1990s there was a problem of excessive Arts and Science Graduates in India. As these candidates did not have the potential or demand to acquire a decent job, people started looking for alternatives which led them directly to Engineering and Medical field.

Reason for unemployment of Graduates at that time was attributed to the capability of arts and science graduates not meeting the demand that the market generated which required a particular skill. So, Skill based qualification was in high demand at that time.

This trend had affected the entire generation at that time who have become decision making authorities for their Children in recent time.

Gradual and strong development started at this period IT Sector that offered high earning jobs for Engineers also had it's major impact on individuals who could not grab these chances As the growth of IT Sector grew, more and more of opportunities were created, the craze for Engineering qualification also increased.

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Exploiting the Craze

As the craze increased, big business groups and political leaders started exploiting the situation. Establishment of an Engineering College requires huge investment and vast land in prime localities and also the last but not the least - Government approvals.

Establishing Engineering Colleges started becoming a great tool for making huge money. But any Tom and Harry could not start an Engineering College. Those with Money did not have the confidence in return of investment as this new arena was new and complicated. But those who had the corrupt money and having political pulls were not afraid to invest huge money in this sector for infra structure. Since they had the required political pulls they were able to start an Engineering College or a group of it at ease.

Most of the Colleges were established by persons who did not have any value for education or development of country's economy. They didn't know what a real college would look like and what are the standards expected out of it. They employed inexperienced and under qualified or under talented personalities to set up institutions. Curriculum for the Engineering Colleges set by Government is also not sufficient and lacks in practical implementation of the knowledge acquired by the students in the field. Even a student passing out of an engineering college wouldn't have the capability of satisfying and convincing a potential employer because of the not so practical kind of knowledge students gather during their years in Colleges.

Role of Parents in Student's choice of education

Unlike western countries, Students do not have much choice in India in deciding their career. Most of the Parents who have seen the initial surge in demand for Engineers in IT sector are now in Parent/s role who can influence the decision of a Student's career.

Dream of every Parent in India, particularly belonging to the middle class sector, is to make their Son or Daughter, an Engineer or a Doctor. They influence their children accordingly and induce them into a field at which they might not have any interest at all. They fail to understand the exact scenario prevailing in the market or the capabilities and interests of their children. They are prepared to enroll their children in engineering colleges even if they have not secured required marks or grades in higher Secondary examinations.

They are prepared to pay more than the Government regulated fee to get a seat in Engineering college. For this purpose alone there is a system called Management Quota where Colleges are allowed to obtain more money for the deserved and interested candidates. If a student has fared well in languages with a poor grade in Science is forced to to an Engineering College where he would face hurdle upon hurdle in every step he makes in understanding and mastering the curriculum prevailing in these colleges.

Parents do not know that by forcing their Children they are committing a sin that could spoil the entire future of their child and also of the Nation. So, without a plan and interest a student enters the engineering college that is corrupt, unqualified and run with a curriculum that is out-dated and not marketable.

Myths about getting a Job

Students think that just getting qualified with an Engineering Degree will give them the right to get a job which is absolutely not true.

Knowledge gathered during the education process will help them in getting a job. It is true to some extent but. in recent days Companies do not want only knowledgeable candidates but they want candidates who are capable of converting knowledge into practice.

As per the analysis conducted by The Hindu, a leading Newspaper in India, only 3 % of the engineering graduates have capabilities of getting a job.

A political pull or a recommendation would place a Student in a good job. True. This is possible for getting a placement. But a candidate getting placed like this has very little chance of success and remember the boss is doing business to make money and not for doing favors or social service. Even if a Student gets a job in this manner he cannot sustain in that due to the pressures exerted by the work atmosphere. He is already at a loss as he is not a suitable candidate for the job and as he lacks knowledge about converting his knowledge into a tool for solving practical problems. In no time he would find himself out of job.

Other Major Issues

Most of the Engineering Graduates coming out of Colleges are not fluent in English, be it spoken or written. A recent survey states that most of them could not even understand English. The reason is very simple. Villages in India are still not overtly influenced by the Global developments and are unaware of the importance of a language to communicate with others in the industry in the main land or abroad.

Most horrible problem is that the student having passed engineering could not accept that his language is faulty and requires correction. I have seen many such kind during my career who write so badly but think what they write is correct.

Thus a student entering a College has only one thing in his mind as priority - Getting a Job.

What he doesn't know or taught is that a mere qualification will not get him a job.


A highly intellectual Candidate even though not having sufficient practical knowledge will have a bright chance of getting a job easily.

Gather as much knowledge as you can get, Who knows which one would come in handy on critical circumstances.

Develop good communication skills. Do not feel shy or embarrassed to speak out when it is needed.

Develop your language skills, both written and spoken.

Even while studying develop a Network with professionals and Students who have similar interests in your field. If anything new occurs in your mind don't be afraid to post it in any forum or Social Media Site and get popular.

Remember impacts Money in Social life are numerous I have seen Engineers working as Security Guards, or working as Construction labors or in lesser jobs because of the situations created as explained above. Only Self Motivated and innovative Students could survive and succeed. Please gather knowledge as much as possible that are not part of your Curriculum but that are related to your chosen field.

Remember, some hard days are ahead, so be happy and try to enjoy your College life as much you can without spoiling your education.


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