Of the six hundred thousand engineers that graduate annually in the country, only 18.43% are employable for the Software Engineer-IT services role, 7.49% are employable for core engineering jobs, even though more than 90% aspire for such jobs.
There is a large mismatch in the aspirations of graduating engineers and their job readiness, which can create large-scale dissatisfaction and disillusionment, says Aspiring Minds, an employability solutions company in its third edition of National Employability Report (NER).
The report adds that employability varies tremendously across colleges. For instance, colleges in tier one cities have 18.26% employable software engineers, whereas for those in tier two cities, it goes down to 14.17%.
Similarly, the states at the top have employability as high as 40.42%; those at the bottom have it at 12.03%.
"Despite this variation we find that 53% of employable candidates for IT services companies and 25% of employable candidates for IT product companies are studying beyond the top 750 colleges, and thus end up being invisible to most employers. This signals that potentially a large proportion of employable engineers are ending up without any opportunity- a dangerous trend for higher education," said Himanshu Aggarwal, CEO and Director, Aspiring Minds.
A key reason behind these employability percentages is inadequate preparation in the domain area, i.e. the ability to apply basic principles of say, computer engineering or mechanical engineering to real world problems.
91.82% computer/IT engineers and 60% engineers from other engineering branches fall short of the desired domain knowledge required for such roles. These concepts and principles are there in college curriculum, however there is a gap in teaching and learning pedagogy being followed in majority of colleges.
The report is based on a sample of over 1,20,000 engineering students from 520 plus engineering colleges across India.
All the candidates graduated in 2013. The analysis and findings of the report is based on the results of the students on Aspiring Minds' Computer Adaptive Test, a standardized employability test. More than 550 companies, including six of top-ten IT services companies in India use AMCAT for their assessment and recruitment solutions.
To add to the unemployability woes, only around 6% of the engineers have start-up companies as their first job preference.
"If we consider those who are both employable and aspire to work with start-ups, the number decreases to 1.9%. Hence start-up companies shall have a very hard time attracting and hiring students for their organization. Whereas males and females equally prefer working in start-ups, students from colleges in lower tier cities prefer start-ups even less (4%)," said Aggarwal.
Considering the the current entry-level hiring practices, where companies only visit certain high-ranking colleges for their hiring program a candidate from a tier-three college with equal merit as a tier-one student, has 24% lower odds to get a job. If the student from a tier three college gets a job, he/she will get Rs 66,000 per annum less than a student of equal merit from a tier 1 college implying that a tier three college student is much disadvantaged, even though he has equal proficiency and employability.