In India, around 600,000 engineers graduate annually from various colleges; while some of them chose the profession because of their engineering passion, some of them were pressurized from their parents.
But a new study has revealed that most of them aren’t even qualified for a job in knowledge economy.
Aspiring Minds, a leading employability credentialing firm, has revealed that only 18.43% of all engineering graduates are eligible for a software engineer’s job in India.
And the worst part is that such incompetency has nothing to do with their engineering skills: its their proficiency in English language & soft skills which makes them lose out on opportunities.
As per their study, 97% of Indian engineers cannot speak English, which is one of the mandatory requirements for working in any software or IT firm. In fact, 67% of all engineers do not possess any English language skills (reading, speaking, comprehension), which are required for a high-end job in business consulting, software, IT and other knowledge economy jobs.
It is a shocking reality indeed, which can have major implications on the current job market in the country.
These results were derived from two studies:
a) ‘The National Spoken English Skills of Engineers Report’, where in English language skills were tested on 30,000 would be engineers from 500 engineering colleges across the nation
b) ‘National Employability Report for Engineering Graduates’, where in 1.2 lakh engineering students from 520 engineering colleges were surveyed for employability skills (which included logic, aptitude and more tests besides English language). This particular test was conducted on those students who passed out in 2013
Interesting facts from these studies:
- 91.82% of the students lacked programming and algorithm related skills
- 71.23% of the students lacked soft and cognitive skills
- 60% of the students lack domain skills (example civil engineering, mechanical engineering etc)
- 97% of the students cannot speak English which is required for getting a IT job
- 57.96% of students lacked analytical and quantitative skills
- 61% of students possess grammar skills which is almost equal to a class 7th student
- Only 7.1% of students can speak English which is considered as meaningful, and presentable during an interview
- The major problem was witnessed with pronunciation, followed by fluency skills, grammar and sentence construction. Understanding spoken English and vocabulary showcased less problems
- Girls had better command over written English, while men were more proficient with spoken English (comparably)
Providing a possible explanation for these shocking results, Aspiring Minds CEO & Co-founder Himanshu Aggarwal said, “The low employability among engineering graduates is a cumulative outcome of poor education standards and higher demand of skilled employees thereby creating a drastic skill gap in the country,”
If we are assuming that this problem mainly exists in students from Tier 2 colleges, then we are wrong here. Even IITs and NITs are not spared, when it comes to English language skills.
Gautam Biswas, director, IIT Guwahati said, “We get students from different backgrounds and regions, and they are mostly not comfortable with English. Quite a few students appear for the joint entrance examination in their mother tongue. It becomes very difficult for them to follow the curriculum.”
Have we put too much focus on Maths, Science and Biology that we have left our students paralyzed when it comes to soft skills and English language proficiency?
UB Desai who is the director of IIT Hyderabad certainly thinks so. He said, “Over the years, the focus in the education system has shifted to chemistry, maths, physics. Focus on soft skills has reduced. Students may lose out on good job prospects as many companies come to campuses for global positions as well,”
As per Aspiring Minds, a fresher can easily lose 30-50% of salary, in case his English language and soft skills are below expectations.