Land of a Million Engineering Colleges

February 19, 2009
By

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?

Shudder.

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14 Responses to “ Land of a Million Engineering Colleges ”

  1. The Quirky Indian on February 20, 2009 at 12:53 am

    It’s a very tricky issue…there have been a number of studies that have indicated a large proportion of India’s graduates/engineers are unemployable. But they have the degrees – after having spent a lot of money – and the slowdown, coupled with the unemployability factor will lead to a lot of anger, chaos and social unrest. Most of these colleges have no faculty, zero infrastructure and high fees. But all are ‘recognised’. Is it any wonder that the students feel cheated? It is a con.

    Quirky Indian

  2. amreekandesi on February 20, 2009 at 1:25 am

    QI – That is true. These colleges are all a sham. Indeed once kids graduate from these colleges their lives may not be as rosy as they may have perceived!

  3. Nita on February 20, 2009 at 1:42 am

    It is sad that education is being treated worse than even a business…to produce batches and batches of poor quality engineers. At least in factory they have strict quality control but I doubt whether our govt. is keeping tabs on the quality of educational institutions.

  4. Chirag on February 20, 2009 at 1:56 am

    yep, the educationalists are playing with the supply and demand. Its mostly a business now.

  5. […] Land of a Million Engineering Colleges | amreekandesi.com […]

  6. Reema on February 20, 2009 at 10:39 am

    As I am in the system, I cant even begin to describe how horrible the situation is. I too had written a post on this
    http://opinionsandexpressions.wordpress.com/2008/07/21/education-boom-or-education-doom/

  7. Solilo on February 21, 2009 at 6:20 pm

    It is really sick to see mushrooming Engg. colleges. No value for education. On top of that you see some really fake resumes. After you hire them you know that they have no clue about the things mentioned in the resume.

  8. dinu on February 21, 2009 at 11:46 pm

    When I saw this problem first, I thought its only with my community, or my village … etc .. but, I have started seeing this in most of the places now …

    example: imagine .. in 2002, someone figure out MBAs are going to be in demand by 2005, some people plan their careers, and study MBA, and get job … a few more, comes in and joins the group .. and they are placed … the third group, the large one, comes when they see more people getting job after MBA .. by the time they finish their MBA, the demand will be very very less ..

    the third group decided to do that course only because they saw few people getting job .. I saw this happening with some courses in Poly-technic institutes .. diploma courses … and then I saw it with Nursing colleges …

    those who are in the first group, are the smartest people :D

  9. amreekandesi on February 22, 2009 at 2:55 am

    @Nita – Yes, it is unfortunate that there are no controls at all, and as a result the standard of education is going down.

    @Chirag – True, its just a business now.

    @Reema – Read your post. Interesting to read about your insights given that you are a part of the education system!

    @Solilo – Fake resumes. Fake degrees. Fake colleges. Everything is getting faked in this age of capitalism!

    @Dinu – Thats an interesting observation. Indeed it is like trying to squeeze every ounce from a positive trend. At some time it will give way!

  10. Shivya on February 25, 2009 at 12:26 pm

    It’s a sad state of affairs, definitely, but unemployment is what is making people queue for more degrees. It’s a vicious cycle I guess.

  11. Kislay Chandra on March 2, 2009 at 1:28 pm

    In Bangalore, you can’t throw a brick without hitting an engineering student or a graduate .

  12. amreekandesi on March 3, 2009 at 1:36 am

    @Shivya – Yes, it is quite a sad state of affairs!

    @Kislay Chandra – Welcome to Amreekandesi! That’s an interesting point! We have too many engineers :)

  13. Adarsh Sharma on October 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm

    Ya, it is true no of college is open but it can not maintain quality in study so students have degree but not good knowledge to get a job.

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