Land of a Million Engineering Colleges
We just cant seem to have enough engineers and MBA’s, even when the economy is in the shitter and millions of engineers are struggling to find decent jobs, if any at all.
The All-India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) has received a total of 886 applications for starting engineering colleges and 1,084 applications for new management institutes [link]
There was a time when getting into engineering/management was prestigious. You had to slog to clear entrance exams and then do whatever it took to actually become an engineer. Going by the current trend, there is going to be a college on every street corner, and you could just walk in, pay a few lakh rupees, and be en route to riches unemployment.
To adapt from those wonderful lines from Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner
College College everywhere, hardly one that doesn’t stink
We may open a thousand colleges, but these colleges are not being opened with the intent of creating good engineers or scientists. These are just shops out there to cash in on the buzz. Already Indian engineers are considered unemployable due to the disconnect between education and industry. This is the reason most technology firms have their own training programs where they teach desired skills to fresh graduates over a period of several months.
Till some time back, IT was the place to be. Salaries were touching unheard highs. Annual increments to the order of 30% were the norm rather than the exception. To put that in perspective, here in the US a 10% rise would be considered phenomenal. Now, people who haven’t already been let go are seeing their salaries go down 10-20% or more. Some are seeing a salary drop and losing their jobs.
Things are not going to get better anytime soon. The IT bubble seems to have burst, and only people who know what they are doing are going to be the ones standing amidst the ruins.
In this light, what will become of all these college shops and the people who graduate from them?
What will happen to the ideal Indian family model of two kids – one doctor and the other engineer, once engineering is not a lucrative option anymore?