Home Opinion More aspirations, less preparations: Placement of Engineering grads leaves a lot to be answered

More aspirations, less preparations: Placement of Engineering grads leaves a lot to be answered

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The demand-supply imbalance in engineering and technology graduates versus jobs, has been weighing more towards supply for some years now. In fact, a moratorium over opening of new engineering colleges in the country was only lifted last year as the policy makers think, India needs to look beyond the confines of domestic requirements of engineers and provide for the world.

As per the available statistics more than 1.5 million engineering graduates are produced each year from an estimated 5868 institutions in India. And the employable percentage of pre-final and final year students in India stood at 51% in 2024 as per reports, which means about half of the graduates don’t meet the skills, knowledge, aptitude and attitude requirements of the industry in the first place.

Then, world over the technology companies have slowed down on recruitment amidst of layoffs. From Indian perspective this year is likely to have the lowest intake by computer software and IT companies in India. There is a trend in the last few years that has become obvious and worrying as far as placements are concerned in colleges across India. there is a sharp decrease in overall campus placements in 2023-24 as the session concludes and with this final year batches finishing graduation and searching for jobs.

Even IITs are reporting a decline in placements. The number of students facing difficulties in placing themselves seems to be growing, and this is fading the once optimistic scenario of lucrative placements.

Technology has been advancing at an exponential rate, changing industries and their skill requirements for employers. It could be seen that most traditional courses offered by colleges may not fit into the evolving job markets. As a result, employers see less value in these students’ skills when they graduate with outdated skills, which leads to a decrease in placements.

Career Services teams are working very hard to bring in as many companies as possible. The placement companies visiting campus this year offered more sales-based positions than some kinds of tech-based role. The placement in the whole country is seriously affected by slowdown in western markets. The problem is aggravated by the fact that bulk of the graduates are coming from the computer sciences stream as it has ruled the popular choice for close to two decades now.

“We understand the time is tough for placements but if they are unable to place the students in the tech domain then simply accept it. Stop making stupid arguments. You keep bringing the worst companies with a call center-type position then you urge students to opt for career-ending jobs,” wrote an angry student group to their placement officer.

While such anger may not be noticeable as of now, but it is bound to increase as the number of unemployed engineering graduates keeps on increasing. Computer and IT engineering has actually become aspirational for the middle-class population and this has been fanned by easy access to engineering courses by hundreds of tier 2 and tier 3 engineering colleges. These colleges governed by loose state legislations have in fact admitted students in droves without assessing their aptitude and fundamentals. In some colleges, the class size (section) runs to 100 students. These are simply minting money and selling degrees in a way.

There is a need for tighter regulations and controls besides raising parental awareness on their own sufferings of losing hard-earned or borrowed money after seeing their children not sail through. Not able to cope with the studies and in many cases, such youth are sucked into addiction and then mental health issues.

The Government’s decision to promote core engineering as a choice is welcome to put the engineering career choice in its fundamental perspective and foster the right kind of aptitudes and preparation through schooling.

States and the centre both need to work together to address engineering education pitfalls and curtail the dark world that has been created to cash on the innocent dreams.

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