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Study says 47% graduates unfit for gainful employment

Employability varies from 2.59% in functional roles to 15.88% in sales related jobs

M Saraswathy  |  Mumbai 

Out of the several lakh students who pass out of college every year, about 47% graduates are not employable in any sector of the knowledge economy. According to the findings of the National Employability Report - Graduates (Annual Report 2013) by Aspiring Minds, the employability of graduates varies from 2.59% in functional roles such as accounting, to 15.88% in sales related roles and 21.37% for roles in the business process outsourcing (BPO/ITeS) sector.

The report said that a significant number of graduates were not employable in any sector, given their English language and cognitive skills. It added that more females are pursuing three-year graduate degrees and show similar or higher employability to males. There are 109 males to every 100 females in three-year degree programs. This is in contrast to the male-female ratio of 1.96 for engineering graduates. Among the streams, arts stream has the highest proportion of females followed by commerce, while science accounts for the lowest proportion.

While females are found to be equally or more employable in all sectors, the report said that they lag in basic computer skills. "There is a requirement of intervention to improve computer programming skills among female students from early formative years," said the report.

For students residing or studying in smaller towns and cities (tier 2/tier 3), the report said that maximum gap is observed in English and Computer skills. It was observed that even after moving to metros for education, graduates are not able to bridge the gap in their computer skills. This is despite the fact that they are equivalent, with respect to all other skills, to candidates permanently residing in metros.

Despite the positive sentiment of the IT revolution, it is found that more than 50% graduates do not know how to perform simple functions like copy-pasting text nor are they able to differentiate between hardware and software. The report said that this called for greater as well as targeted intervention in areas of Computer and English skills.

The system of rote learning in India was also to blame. "Not more than 25% of the graduating students could apply concepts to solve a real-world problem in the domain of Finance and Accounting. On the other hand, on average, 50% graduates are able to answer definition-based/theoretical questions based on the same concept. This shows that even though students have got exposure to the concepts, they really do not understand them or know how to apply them," it said.

The report is based on AMCAT (Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Tests) tests conducted on a sample of more than 60,000 (graduation) students from across India. All of these students graduate in 2013.

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First Published: Thu, August 22 2013. 12:59 IST