State of Engineering Education in India

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India is the massive industry where lakhs of engineers get churned out with degrees but are not qualified with even elementary engineering skills. Candidates who have no interest or skill in the field of engineering end up being certified as engineers by colleges of extremely low standards, all thanks to the parental and social pressure. The big question is what are we producing more engineers with bad quality. Several reports have pointed out low employability of engineering graduates, except those from prestigious institutes. Most engineering colleges are unable to provide education to students that would get them suitable jobs.

Crisis of the engineering education system in India is now quite visible. Earlier it was very common for Indian engineering students to dream of driving luxury cars, working in big offices and living in huge bungalows are now more concerned about finding a promising job as they get into their final year at college. Also, the entry-level salary is very low and has stagnated at that level for the last few years.

A threatening fact is that the two key industries which hire engineers in India, the IT and the manufacturing sector are also hiring a lesser no than before. The IT industry in India, which grew by as much as 30% up till 5 years ago has slowed down to a 10.2% growth rate at present. The demand for qualified engineering professionals has reasonably gone down too in the domain. The situation is even grimmer for tier 2 and tier 3 colleges.
On top of that, huge no of engineering pass out which is more than the total no of engineers produced by the United States and China combined together. There is a clear supply-demand gap. A maximum number of students that get placed after degree are taking up jobs which are well below their technical qualifications since the supply far outnumbers their demand. They do not get jobs for which they are qualified or suitable jobs which makes the matter even worse. Also, there are a number of students who come from humble economic backgrounds and whose parents had to arrange student loans to give their ward a decent education and a bright future. Not surprisingly such engineers are taking up jobs for which they are not qualified. Let me put this in a better perspective. When you work in an IT industry you can earn 3 to 4 lakhs per annum, on the contrary, if you drive an Ola /Uber you earn 6 to 7 lakhs per annum. So basically we have 3 questions: do we have poor quality engineers, substantial engineers or engineers who are taking up alternative career options. There was a time when this engineering profession was considered to be one of the prestigious professions but in today’s era if you are not an engineer it’s even great.

It is also important to note here that a report by Mckinsey a decade ago said that just a quarter of engineers in India was actually employable. It is pertinent to point out that only a small percentage of those who pass out from engineering colleges do possess any skills worth the name at all. Most of them are not employable or requires long term training to do a job.

Mushrooming of low-quality engineering colleges over the years has been the root cause of the problem as maximum students from such colleges fail to get themselves a suitable job. They face a decline in enrollment. Now large numbers of these colleges are being shut down as students are now becoming more aware of the current situation. There will be around eighty thousand fewer seats in engineering colleges this year in the country. This will lead to around 3 lakh seats less in 4 years. According to AICTE, nearly 200 substandard engineering colleges have applied for this closure. AICTE is aiming to shut down about 800 engineering colleges across the country. As there are no takers of the seats of these colleges and admissions are plunging in them every year. On the bright side, the promising growth of the startup ecosystem in India is emerging as a rescuer for those who are hardworking and passionate about their field.

Getting admission into the prestigious institute like IIT’s is no longer the dream of every engineering aspirant Many of them qualify for the JEE Advance but refrain themselves not to register for the same. IIT’s and NIT’s still being the top choice for both the students and parents, not every IIT’s are favored. Students prefer a metro-based engineering institute than a non-metro based IIT’s and NIT’s Logistics can be considered for these far-flung institutes are not preferred.

Today, an Engineering Graduate devotes 4 precious years to complete the degree; however, that doesn’t mean he has to stick to this field. Hence it becomes a necessity to figure out one’s skill set passion and aptitude. Engineering entrance exams does open several doors for them but the new age millennial kids might just not opt for a basic B-Tech degree and instead go for a new age creative career option. They often go for JEE Main to be on the wary side and choose for more creative than analytics-based subjects which can include programs in design etc provided by IIITs based on JEE Main score. Today’s generation is not shy from talking the road less traveled. Unlike earlier, at present, they have a range of options to choose in concurrence with their personal interest and skill sets.

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