In our country, engineering as a career has attracted students along with their parents for decades together. A whopping number of career aspirants taking up engineering entrance exams every year testifies this fact undoubtedly. The youth in this nation wants to take up engineering as a career with a dream of earning an attractive pay package.
Every year, millions of students enroll themselves for appearing in the entrance examinations of eminent engineering institutions of India such as IITs, but only a meagre percentage of this populace manage to get through. Those students who fail to achieve their dream of being a part of such premier institutions either wait for a second chance or seek the acceptance of private colleges. But even after dedicating such vital times and efforts of their lives, do the aspirants really manage to become skilled and knowledgeable professionals or are their skills restricted to securing a certificate declaring their expertise?
This question has arisen among youth and their parents at large owing to the shocking reports of the survey conducted by a notable private concern. To one’s utter surprise, it was revealed that just about 7 percent of the total engineering graduates of the country are employable. Here comes the obvious question: So what is wrong with the engineers of the country? It was also revealed that only a 3 percent of the pass outs possess the necessary skills, knowledge and expertise needed to bag a job in the core areas of engineering. It is worthy of mentioning here that in India, every year about 1.5 million engineers pass out from several colleges but most of them lack the basic skills that can get them a job in their chosen field of proficiency.
Delving deeper to find out the reasons behind engineers’ lack of employability
Though it is absolutely clear that lack of skills and knowledge is leading to such mishap year after year, there is more to this crisis that one needs to contemplate on.
The 3-tier college system:
It is important to understand the 3-tier system of engineering in order to get an idea of how it works. The tier 1 includes the top notch colleges such as NITs and IITs. In the second level, i.e., in tier 2, the top ranking private colleges and other state sponsored colleges like SRM, BITS are included. In the third grade, all the remaining colleges which are mostly private establishments fall and they are not specifically categorized.
The grave mistake:
In India, students tend to commit the three grave mistakes that shape the misfortune of their career. When a student is meritorious and good in science and mathematics, they are hardly left with any choices other than taking up engineering. It is not that they cannot take up any other course, societal and familial pressure compel them to take up engineering. There are some students who are interested in taking up engineering but most of them are forced to take it up as their passion. This leads to lack of interest in the learning process as a result of which, they don’t participate in adopting new skills. Some even opt for this career for making themselves creditable as an eligible bachelor and secure a hefty amount of dowry for their wedding.
Disproportioned demand and supply:
The equation of reducing demand and rising supply is one of the major reasons behind poor employability. But more than that, the problem is the tug of war between demand and quality. In the last five years, the number of engineering colleges have grown by leaps and bounds. It has resulted in an ever increasing supply and the quality of education is not improving by any means and thus, it has become extremely difficult for the graduates to bag a well-suited job.
Poor education system:
Blaming the students and shrugging off responsibilities will never lead to improvement of the situation. This is because responsibility is a two-way process where accountability and honesty for work comes to play. By accountability, the experts refer to the colleges as well as education system of the country. In spite of knowing that the job market demands practical skills from a trained graduate, the engineering colleges are much focused on delivering theoretical knowledge rather than practical illustrations.
Lack of skills:
The field of engineering has always been regarded to be job-oriented which means that anybody who is a part of this field can be placed directly in several companies and get hired in their chosen field. But in the present situation, it is seen that when a trained engineering graduate is hired by a company, the candidate has to go through the training process for acquiring various skills required for the job post. This suggests that they were not properly trained in their college and hints at faulty curriculum framing.
Inclusion of irrelevant subjects:
The students pursuing engineering are required to study papers and subjects which are not required in their chosen industry. This definitely increases their burden without teaching them anything valuable. Also, in India, there is a persistent lack of open elective papers which could have allowed the students to take up subjects which they prefer.
Inconsistency in quality:
In earlier days, the number of engineering colleges were restricted and only a small percentage of students were allowed to get through. With the introduction of the 3-tier system, the situation has become worse as most of the third grade private institutions are becoming the birthplace of unqualified and unskilled engineers. It would not have been an issue if all the colleges maintained a standard and paid importance to innovation and individuality rather than measuring quality on the basis of how much a candidate can memorize.
As indicated, the present condition of engineering in India is about selling certificates that declare a candidate eligible for hiring in their respective fields. This is the reason why our engineers are failing to secure a decent job with reasonable pay package. It is important to employ quality teachers who can urge the students to take part in boosting their talent and innovative skills rather than mugging up the words of the books.