Thursday, 24 August 2017

StudyAbroad: Is the great Engineering dream dying?

Six lakh information technology professionals are expected to lose their jobs over the next two three years, according to a forecast by a leading head hunter. Studies suggest that almost half of those who graduate from the prestigious Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) take their skills to work in financial markets and consulting.



Has the great engineering dream died?

The answer, experts say, depends on what the 1.5 million engineers graduating every year dream of.

Conversations with students, faculty members and higher education experts suggest students don’t always sign up for engineering courses just to become engineers and to start designing new engines for cars, extending the lifetime of a battery, building the next big software giant or taking part in the “Digital India” programme. Most of them simply want a job — any job and given a choice, a job with the government.

The thousands of private colleges that have sprung up in the country to fulfil the demand of engineering education. 3,288 engineering colleges exist under the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), more than double from the 1,511 colleges ten years ago.

On the other extreme, lie the IITs, the best that the country has to offer. But apart from the coveted civil services examinations, government jobs hardly figure on the list an IIT undergraduate.

Their aspirations mirror that of India’s youth at large: the latest CSDS-KAS Youth Study, released in April 2017, found that 65% of Indian youth would prefer a government job; just 7% wished for a job in the private sector. The lure of a government job is obvious: job security, allowances and better pay at the entry level.

   



Where do IIT grads end up?

Using 2013 placement statistics of IIT-Bombay, Milind Sohoni, a computer science professor at the institute, found that 45% of the BTech students took up jobs in finance and consulting, 24% in IT and 8% in FMCG and non-IT. Just 22% took up jobs in engineering and technology, which Sohoni argues is the most relevant sector to IIT-Bombay's mandate and training.

This tells us that neither is working in technology companies a priority for students nor does an engineering degree guarantee a job.


Study Engineering in Germany  


The German federal foreign office grants students an 18-month extension of visa after studies for the purpose of seeking a job. Considering that most of the students would like to shift to the industry after studies, this extension gives us ample time to explore opportunities.


In terms of employment opportunities, especially in the field of IT and engineering, Indian students certainly have an edge over others with a majority of them holding engineering degrees. “This combined with Germany’s constant demand for engineers is a win-win for both Germany and Indian students.  


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