Why engineers end up being Underemployed? | 8 Reasons

Engineers nowadays are either unemployed or underemployed. According to Wikipedia, 67 percent of Indian families have their income less than ₹10,000 per month. According to a research of Indeed.com, the average salary for a core engineering branch is about Rs 15,000  per month and also 60% of Indian Engineers remain unemployed every year said Times of India.

Why are engineers underemployed?

There are several reasons behind this issue. Top 8 reasons are as follows:-

  1. Indian Education System

India is home to approximately 1.3 billion people, out of which 315 million are students. According to Dr. Education, India has 819 universities and more than 35,000 affiliated colleges, enrolling more than 20 million students per year & one-sixth of all Indian students are enrolled in Engineering/Technology degrees. And after getting the degree they remain unemployed or underemployed.

unemployed or underemployed

What’s wrong with Indian Education System?

Since the time of independence, India is following the same education system with same outdated course syllabus & teachings. Currently, Indian education Index falls below 144 countries in the world. Moreover, in the education sector, our country ranks 92, which is way behind the ranks of other developing countries such as Philippines (76), Malaysia (51), Sri Lanka (59) and many more. India has a total of 819 universities out of which only 16 Universities makes it to the list of Top 1000 universities in the world. And when it comes to colleges, the stats are more shattering.

How much do we spend on Education?

Much of the family expense is spent on the education of their children. Here, is the chart showing the amount required to raise a child.

Money Required to raise a Child

An average Indian family spends an amount of 25.19 lacs for on their children education. This accounts for almost 46% of the total spending required to raise a child. And after all that money and hard work, students end up being unemployed or underemployed.

2. No, IT sector Jobs left

Last decade manufacturing sector became stagnant and financial crisis hit the world. Many became unemployed throughout the world. This was the time when IT sector showed up as a savior for engineers. They become the so-called mass recruiters, “Sab Ka Maseeha, Sabko Job dega” and started recruiting in 1000s. The share of IT sector went from scratch to almost 9.5% in Indian GDP. It went to generate 26.93 million direct employment & 84.9 million indirect employment opportunities.  But things are changing now, IT sector is getting stagnant too. Moreover, its already been said Automation to take 70% of IT Jobs as Bots are cheaper than employees. Foreign clients are forcing IT companies to adopt automation as it cuts down the labor cost. IT companies are either going to automation or making engineers underemployed.

3. Manufacturing is Stagnant  

From past decades manufacturing contribution to Indian GDP has not increased much. Currently, the contribution of manufacturing in India’s GDP is 16.53% much less than that of China [37%].  Although, after adaptation of ‘Make In India’ initiative, we are seeing a decent growth in this sector. Several manufacturing companies have pledged their investment to India. The contribution of manufacturing sector will increase to 25% in India’s GDP by 2022. It will also lead to creating 100 million jobs manufacturing job opportunities with 28 million jobs in electronics manufacturing. But this doesn’t mean that the engineering pay scale will increase. These companies are coming to India to take advantage of cheap labors & employees in India.  Engineers will still be underemployed.

4. Unskilled Engineers 

80% of Indian engineers are unemployable as per the aspiring mind report 2016.  Only 7 % are eligible for the IT jobs & out of which only 3% are eligible to handle individual projects. When it comes to core 0% are eligible for research and development jobs.

Why unskilled engineers?

The reasons behind India producing unskilled engineers are:-

  • Indian Education System.
  • Indian Engineers are not serious about their career. They should understand that ‘No one can become an ‘Engineer’ just by studying one night before the exam’. It takes a lot of hard work & continuous effort.
  • Engineers nowadays are falling for jobs outside their engineering domain. This not just makes them unskilled for the job but also act as a threat to their growth in the company. 

It’s obvious that an Engineer whether skilled or unskilled will learn how to work in a industry after a certain amount of time. This is the reason why Industries are going for the unskilled ones who are willing to work for any salary. And hence, skilled engineers remain unemployed & unskilled underemployed.

5. Supply >> Demand 

This point doesn’t need an explanation but still, I will take a dig at it. It is a big reason for engineers being underemployed. India has 10 lakh Doctors, 2.5 lakhs CAs and Engineers in crores. About 1.5 million engineers pass out every year in India. There is only one doctor for 1600+ population in India but still, students are opting for engineering over medical.

Fees might be the reason behind this as the average fees of medical college is more than 7 times to that of an engineering college. Moreover, passing engineering is easier than passing CA as only 3.1% of CA’s pass their final exam.

How much is the Demand?

The chart below depicts the share of different sector of the economy in India’s GDP.

Share of different sector of Economy in India'a GDP

Engineering sector share is less than 20% in India’s GDP. In spite of this fact, most the in students in India are going for engineering studies. Industries are also taking advantage of this situation and hiring Engineer’s as an intern/GET for a year and get their work done for free or low pay scale. 

6. Insecure Engineers 

The amount of job insecurity among engineers is increasing day by day. They are opting for sales/IT jobs irrespective of their core engineering domain.

One of my friends went for a  job of Associate Software Engineer. He was a mechanical engineering pass out with an aggregate of 80 %. He underwent an Industrial Training at Kennametal for 1-year. Moreover, he completed his AutoCAD and Solidworks course from a certified training company. And after all this, he went for a job for which he is not even qualified for. He is one of the best examples of an insecure engineer. After studying science for 16 years, he went for a computer science job. Not sure, whether to call him insecure or a fool.

Remember: It’s not about getting a Job, It’s about getting the right job. 

7. India behind in both Technology & Globalization

Look around into your house, you got a Playstation of Sony, Washing Machine of LG, Mobile phone of Samsung and a Car of Hyundai. Which one of these are Indian companies?  If we go look out for Fortune 500 companies, we find 7 Indian Firms. Moreover, if we go Forbes list of 2000 world biggest companies, we find 58 Indian firms mentioned in there with none of them in top 100. We are neither going for technological development nor for globalization.

How China fought against unemployment?

If we go 40 years behind, China was struggling with poverty & unemployment. And this was the time when China started integrating from 1 to n i.e. globalizing. Due to globalization, more than 500 million people were lifted out of extreme poverty as China’s poverty rate fell from 88 percent in 1981 to 6.5 percent in 2012. Today, China has become a manufacturing giant and also known as the Silicon Valley of hardware.

It’s obvious, if there are no companies then there are no jobs. Forget about technological advancement, globalization is the need of the time in India. 

8. High Capital required for CORE industry startups

For setting a software company all you need is hard work & marketing capital whereas a manufacturing/core industry demands a huge capital. You need capital for a setting up a factory, buying machinery, getting labors & Vendors & finally marketing your product. Elon Musk spends around a total of 100 million on SpaceX and 70 million on Tesla. That’s too much.

As a matter of fact, 100s of startups are being registered every day across the world & most of them are in the field of computer and communications. Yes, Technology is increasing pace but it’s constrained to the computer science world.  Even in India, we got startups like  Flipkart, PayTM, Slicepay, RazorPay, Zeta etc and none of them being in the field of Electrical or Mechanical.

All things apart. At the end of the day, it’s your passion & desire which gets you the job. If you are good at something then you don’t need a degree or good score to get the job. Best of Luck!

 

 

 

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