India produces one of the largest graduates in the world every year. The figure is bigger than the population of many countries in the world. Some might feel this huge figure of educated youth must be an asset for the country, but more often than not, this is seen as a liability for our nation because this young population is adding to the already existing jobless people searching for work.
Let me explain the horrifying status of unemployment in India, through the following article published back in 2012 in The Hindu. It stated that for around 600 posts of peon, more than 25 lakh registrations were made, and of which more than 2.5 lakh were engineers, around 250 PhDs, and others included masters in various domains. Making it difficult to interview such a large number of applicants in a specified time, the authorities were forced to cancel the applications and invite fresh set applications for the same.
This is just one instance of a situation where people seemed too desperate to get jobs, even if the job profile didn’t match their skills, or even if their skills and abilities were higher for the job. As I am a recent graduate, and that too a B. Tech, I am overwhelmed by the rising crisis of unemployment existing in my field. According to a survey, in a year, around 1.5 million B.Tech graduates could not get employed as they were considered unproductive as per the companies’ point of view. Of the many who were hired, few got jobs related to their domain and ended up working in industries like IT, BPOs and the likes of these, making their four years of learning almost useless.
I remember when I opted for B.Tech back in 2013. I was a fairly good student throughout my school. Besides, I was also active in co-curricular activities like public-speaking, debates, singing competitions, to mention a few. I was way too excited to give my best in every field. I was basically a versatile student in the eyes of others, including my teachers, parents and not to forget, the so-called relatives. Seeing my pretty good graph in education, my parents wanted me to pursue engineering and I too thought it was the best option to take up as a career at that point.
I was a diligent student, always giving my best in everything, but I never actually bothered to think about what I actually liked to do, and thought it was better to do what my parents thought was right. Since I was inclined towards academics, getting into IITs was never my dream.
I didn’t clear the IIT entrance exam, but I did clear some good state level engineering entrance level exams and managed to get a seat in a private engineering college, that too in a branch that I came to know of, only when I was shortlisted for the counseling process of the college. Ya, well, it didn’t seem funny back then! To add to this conundrum, I also paid a heavy amount for the four years of graduation, only to be left jobless after four years. Such was the plight of many more friends of mine, but that obviously gave me no respite.
From my experience, I strongly feel that perhaps even after passing out of school, I wasn’t mature enough to choose a career. But going with the flow and doing what every second individual was aspiring to do at that time was in no way a sane decision. It’s the story of lakhs of young fellows in India who end up doing something either due to peer pressure or parental expectations, having little or no knowledge of the field they are heading towards, and the trends of their employing industry. That’s why companies might have a tough time recruiting such candidates who have little knowledge and training to be fit for a particular job profile.
Having talked about the B.Tech crisis, not talking about the MBA crisis would be complete injustice to the large number of unemployed MBA graduates in India graduating every year. A decade ago there was a sudden demand for MBA graduates in the corporate world, which led to setting up of a huge count of B schools in India. Today, there are around 3000 B schools affiliated to AICTE, which excludes the IIMs and few other premium B Schools.
But since the last five years or so, there has been a huge decline in job opportunities for these graduates. In line with this declining trend, in 2016 only 47% of total graduates were placed or got job offers. According to experts, the main reason for the same was the incompetency of these freshers to meet the expectations of the companies pointing towards the outdated curriculum of the B Schools. Thus, the status of Management schools and engineering colleges is quite alike in terms of the massive number of fresh graduates being rendered jobless for whatever reason.
Engineering and management are the most dominating fields in terms of providing employment opportunities to the youth, or at least, that was so in the last few decades. But can we blame the existing curriculum of colleges alone for the daunting figures of joblessness? Certainly, there is another side to the story too which we often neglect. There was a time when India had few premium engineering colleges like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) and few more government-affiliated institutions, known for producing quality engineers. But today we are all quite aware of the existing number of private engineering colleges in India.
India has more than 10,000 private colleges, with 1,165 colleges in Uttar Pradesh alone. Having discussed the plight of most individuals who graduate from these colleges, we must focus on the other face of the problem which often remains unnoticed. What gave rise to this huge number of colleges sprawling across every corner of the country? For more than a decade ago, when engineering became the top priority for most, it opened gates of drawing wealth for many.
By building up colleges on their so-called barren lands and attracting many innocent people to take admissions in exchange for massive fees, these affluent people have made massive fortunes and sadly the trend still continues. In fact, there have been so many scams related to engineering colleges owned by these people who also see this as a way of converting their black money to white. The focus of the owners of such institutions having a large amount of unaccounted wealth, is also bleak and disheartening.
There is one more aspect to this vicious situation. In India, of late an engineering degree is being seen as a gateway to a stable job and good future prospects. So there are very few people who opt for it out of passion. According to a survey of a private engineering college, it was found that most students opted for engineering in the hope of getting a stable job, and many of them consisted of people preparing for government exams.
For them, an engineering degree merely served as a benchmark of being a graduate. Not only this, we know of many alumni of IITs and other prestigious institutions who later turned out to be writers, actors, and other professions, switching their careers to a field totally different from what they might have intended to do a few years back. Perhaps they realised it later, that an engineering degree could not cater to fulfill their dreams and aspirations. This all points to the fact that there is little room for following one’s passion and even identifying one’s worth.
It’s important to realise that you can’t excel in something you have no interest in, and most of us end up in jobs which we can hardly relate to, and hate it deep inside our hearts. But we still continue to do it for earning a fair meal and to survive. The biggest problem is that people are too money-centric and relate success to the number of figures in the salary. It is the twenty-first century, and most of us still don’t know professions beyond engineering, medicine, chartered accountancy, law etc.
Today, the tremendous use of internet has opened immense options for us. You can become a blogger if you take a keen interest in a particular topic, in fact, and you can even start your own YouTube channel to talk about it. If you like writing on diverse issues, content writing can fetch you great jobs. There is much more to add. There are a whole lot of things like affiliate marketing, where promoting various brands can make you earn a lot of money.
Apart from that, if you love travelling, you might think of starting your own vlogs and sharing your experiences and adventures with the world. If you love to capture shots of nature and everything that amazes you in your camera, photography is the field you need to explore. If you are moved by various social issues in the country, you can be the first to raise your voice against them.
You can become a party planner if you love organising events. You can become a DJ if you love loud music and making people dance to your played tunes. If you love to motivate people and have good speaking skills, you can become a motivational speaker and be a cause for a change in many lives. The point is, not everybody is good at everything, and thus everybody should get a chance to identify his real worth, so he can do something worthwhile in the fields of his interest.
But at the same time, there is a great need to make people aware of the diverse career options available today, so that people stop following stereotypes when pursuing their careers. Actually, no sector is good or bad, but there is a certain capacity of people which can be absorbed in it. Thus, we need to be aware of the changing trends of various sectors and the related statistics so that we don’t blindly opt for a career in the hope of earning huge salaries.
*Featured image for representation only.