If you are planning to do engineering in the hope that you will be assured placement, you might want to reconsider. You just might end up being unemployed. One in every two engineering graduates of recent years in India are unemployed.
Last year NITI Aayog Vice Chairman Rajiv Kumar gave a statement that there is 48 percent unemployment among engineering graduates. A recent newspaper study showed how Tier 2 and 3 engineering college graduates find it difficult to get placemed directly from the college.
Reports indicate that even Bangalore which is considered the IT Hub of India is facing a decline in employment rate among engineering graduates. Last year Team Lease EdTech published a report which shows that there has been a 10 percent decline in hiring freshers in Bangalore in the IT sector.
RV College of Engineering is a 60-year-old engineering institution in Bangalore. It has seen a dip in number of on-campus placements over the last three years.According to data provided by the college the number of on campus job offers have declined. The placement drive for 2024 started in August 2023. As of now 601 offers have been made to students. In 2023, 1122 job offers were made, while the number stood at 1485 in 2022.
Students worry that even after studying for four years they might not land a job. Ravi Kumar a student of Master of Technology (M.Tech) in civil engineering said that he fears that he might not have a job at the end of his course. He said that the number of on campus job offers is not as good as it was a few years back.
He added that many of his seniors who graduated in the last couple of years, had to search for off campus job placements. “The number of jobs offers Computer Science Engineering (CSE) and Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) students get are more compared to what other branches get.”
In the placement drive for 2023 students from CSE and ECE courses got 210 and 171 job offers respectively. Other courses like Application Support Engineer (ASE), Bio tech (BT), Chemical, Civil Engineering were 49, 22, 30 and 31 respectively.
Visvesvaraya Technological University (VTU), Bangalore, has recorded lower on-campus placement. NIRF report on VTU states that in 2022, 137 students were placed from the M.tech course. In the year preceding it, the number was 222.
According to data from Naukri.com the average salary of VTU engineering graduates has decreased from Rs.6.5 Lakh in 2011- 2013 to Rs.3.2 Lakh in 2018-2021.
Prof. Rohit Kaliwal, a Computer Science (CS) branch coordinator in the placement cell of VTU said that some branches of engineering get more job offers. “Compared to Chemical and Civil Engineering, other branches like CSE, Aerospace Engineering and ECE are constantly evolving and are in more demand. With the coming of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robotics, recruiters demand some technical knowledge. Other branches might have to up-skill in order to get placed. ”
A NASSCOM report estimates that, out of the 3 million joining the IT workforce, only 25 percent of graduates with engineering background are employable.
According to a study published in the open access journal Education, Sustainability and Society (ESS) unemployed people are very likely to experience psychological tension, mainly depression and anxiety, which negatively affects their health, their family’s security, and society’s stability in general.
Dr Surya Prasad who is a psychiatrist and works in iBrains- Centre for Precision Neuro-Psychiatry Bangalore, said that many engineering graduates suffer from some kind of mental health issues.
He said, “Engineering aspirants prepare for two to three years to get into a good ranking college. After getting into college they obviously get stressed due to the curriculum. Even after graduation their troubles are not over, as most of the companies demand extra skills apart from what they have learnt. For graduates from computer science background this up skilling may be easier. But for the graduates from other backgrounds this takes a toll on them.”
He added that even after doing all that, there is no employment guarantee for them. He said engineering students are constantly working under pressure over the years and are spending large amount of money for preparatory classes and their degree. Eventually, when all this is in vain, it disturbs their mental health.