Number of engineers on rise...
...But 30 pc of fresh grads still unemployed
Despite industry leaders complaining about the shortage of quality engineers, a recent study has shown that India has surpassed China, Japan, South Korea, the US and the UK with an impressive 10.4 per cent increase in the number of graduate engineers.
While China recorded a 9.9 per cent increase in the number of graduate engineers, South Korea’s progress was 5.9 per cent. The UK trails far behind with 3.9 per cent and the US with a negative growth of -1.0 per cent.
The estimates have been incorporated in a study by Rangan Banerjee and Vinayak Purushottam Muley, both associated with the IIT, Bombay. The study, published in form of a book “Engineering Education in India” will be released on Monday by Human Resource Development Minister Kapil Sibal. In 2008, it is estimated that 3.5 lakh engineering degrees, 23,000 engineering Masters degrees and about 1,000 PhDs were awarded in India.
The research, published by the Observer Research Foundation, also sought to find out whether these high growth rates were impacting quality and resulting in unemployment/under employment of fresh engineering graduates.
“It is estimated that about 30 per cent of fresh engineering graduates are unemployed even one year after graduation,” the study said. “Though there are no conclusive statistics, it seems that the present growth is impacting quality,” it said.
However, when it comes to the number of engineers per million people, India has only 214 with South Korea having the highest number 1435. While Japan has 765 engineers per million people, China has 340. The study also showed that doctorate degrees were less than 1 per cent of graduate engineering degrees in the country.
The percentage of doctorate degrees compared to engineering degrees was much higher in most of the other countries ––9 per cent in the US, 10 per cent UK, 8 per cent Germany and 3 per cent South Korea.
Comparing Indian institutions with the wellknown international centres, the study observed that most Indian institutions had not progressed beyond undergraduate teaching institutions into graduate teaching and research institutions. “One of the biggest advantages of the top engineering colleges in India is the extreme selectivity—approximately 2 per cent to 3 per cent of applicants get selected. This is much lower than the figures for reputable international universities,” it said.
However, in spite of such a selective engineering education system, the best engineering students were not attracted towards post-graduate studies.
The IITs and IISc contributed less than 1 per cent of the engineering undergraduates in the country, 20 per cent of M Techs and 40 per cent of PhDs. However, only about 1 per cent of B Tech students in an IIT opt to study for an M Tech in India, while only 2 per cent of M Tech students go for PhD.