Every year thousands of young people choose one of the best-paid careers: one that offers opportunities for foreign travel; has an enormous number of kinds of interesting work; is very well respected, and has excellent career prospects. The career (you may already have worked out) is engineering.
As per AICTE latest data, 58% of engineering students failed to secure jobs in campus placements 2017-18 but still, it is good news for those who secured the job in campus placements. 42% got placed which is the higher ratio in the last five years.
Campus placements for engineering students crossed the last year’s percentage bar and hit 42% for the first time in five years in 2017-18 on the back of more hiring by companies coupled with the closure of engineering colleges and lower enrolments.
Besides the fact that 58% of engineering students across the country were unable to find a job on campus, the 42% proportion is much higher than what it has been in the past. According to data from the All India Council for Technical Education, Percentage of placement was 28.7%, 31.95%, 32.65%, 37.32%, and 38.39% in 2012-13, 2013-14, 2014-15, 2015-16, and 2016-17 respectively.
The poor enrolment rate prompted several states to ask the AICTE to ban the creation of more seats in engineering colleges. A number of states such as Haryana, Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Telangana, Maharashtra and Rajasthan submitted petitions to the AICTE, which reports to the Union human resource development ministry, not to set up new technical institutions.
2017-18 academic session witnessed an increase in the number of recruiters as well as placement cell efforts to get students placed. Many companies have also increased their job offers so that more students were able to secure jobs in the campus placements.
According to people familiar with the developments, there has been an increase in the number of campus placements as the government had made internships mandatory to increase the so-called employability of students. Those who have successfully interned at companies find a job easier to land.
As per a senior AICTE official,“More than 3.8 lakh students in third-year secured summer internships, which is a major achievement. The number will go up further this year and will reflect in more students getting placed.”
A similar trend is seen with students enrolled for diploma and post-graduate courses in engineering institutions under the AICTE.
In postgraduate programs, enrolment dropped from 100000 in 2012-13 to 68000 in 2017-18. Placements increased from 18% to 21% in the same period. Among diploma students, the enrolment figure dropped marginally from 680,000 to 670,000, while placements increased from 18.6% to 24%.
According to experts, the poor enrolment can be attributed to a near-stagnant job market for engineers or availability of more career options for students from non-engineering fields, which is making students turn to other fields of study.
“First of all, there is not much difference statistically. There are always errors in such reporting and this could be within the margin of error. Second, there is a reduction in the number of graduates, and hence the same number of jobs would result in the higher fraction of graduates getting a job.
Third, the average quality of graduates may have gone up slightly since it is the poor quality colleges that are shutting down and students today have better access to quality education through MOOCs and other online material. So lots of factors adding a tiny bit each. The internships may have also added a tiny bit. I wouldn’t agree that internships are the major reason,” said Dheeraj Sanghi, a professor at IIT Kanpur.