Better time back home

Better time back home

Reverse Trend

A decade ago, seats in engineering colleges were coveted for one particular reason — they were viewed as a direct ticket to a prestigious (read: high-paying) firm in the USA, where earning six-figure salaries and all the accompaniments which come with that kind of money are a routine matter.

But the last few years have witnessed a shift in the perspective of engineering students. 

Several of these students appear to be turning their backs to the glamourous American corporate world and applying their skills as a part of the Indian workforce instead. 

Metrolife speaks to a few professionals and students to find out the reason behind this change.

Sapna, an engineering student-turned- IT professional, believes that this shift in mindset is fuelled by the growing Indian economy.

 “The opportunities here are more today. India is now considered to be a talent hub — and IT isn’t synonymous with coding anymore. These days, engineering students can branch out into design, production, management and many other fields,” she explains.

Another factor which she feels is worth a mention is familiarity.

 “Being near family and friends is one of the big reasons why people prefer working in India. In fact, I have a couple of friends who actually got jobs in the US, but they aren’t very happy there. They view it more as a temporary phase — they’re excited about coming back to India when they wrap up work there,” she notes.

Although foreign employment seems more financially profitable at first glance, Abdul Hameed S A, the administrator of HKBK College of Engineering, explains that this isn’t always the case. 

“Engineers in India may start off with a salary of around Rs 60,000, whereas those who go abroad are paid around Rs 2 lakh. But the cost of living is much higher there, and given the rent rates and more, many consider it a better option to remain in India.

Besides, salaries here have shot up in the last ten years and the standard of living in India is much better than what it used to be,” he describes. 

Aspects such as uncertainity and job-descriptions are another reason why he believes students prefer Indian jobs. 

“Large companies such as Microsoft and Oracle now operate in India and students enjoy the certainity which comes with working in a familiar environment. Those who work in the US are often put in charge of odd jobs but with the level of outsourcing to India, employees here can apply their skills much better here,” he adds.

Aditya Prabhakara, a software engineer, belongs to the group of growing professionals who actually left high-paying jobs in the USA to return to India. 

In his case, he explains, the decision went beyond mere financial and family considerations. 

“The growth in India is very nice right now. A person with ten years of experience can even aspire to become a project manager. In the US, on the other hand, the situation is much more saturated. There are people with lots of experience who are blocking others’ promotions,” he says. 

This being said, however, he admits that in financial terms, the foreign employment still outstrips its domestic counterpart. 

“The earning potential, even now, is much higher there,” he concludes.

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