Skip to comments.Million Engineers Struggling to Find a Job
Posted on 06/23/2013 6:06:17 AM PDT by Kaslin
It's tough to find a job everywhere: in the US, in China, in Europe, and in India.
Think education is the answer? I don't.
Economic Times reports amillion engineers in India struggling to get placed in an extremely challenging market
Somewhere between a fifth to a third of the million students graduating out of India's engineering colleges run the risk of being unemployed. Others will take jobs well below their technical qualifications in a market where there are few jobs for India's overflowing technical talent pool. Beset by a flood of institutes (offering a varying degree of education) and a shrinking market for their skills, India's engineers are struggling to subsist in an extremely challenging market.Engineers Churned Out in Spades
According to multiple estimates, India trains around 1.5 million engineers, which is more than the US and China combined. However, two key industries hiring these engineers -- information technology and manufacturing -- are actually hiring fewer people than before.
For example, India's IT industry, a sponge for 50-75% of these engineers will hire 50,000 fewer people this year, according to Nasscom. Manufacturing, too, is facing a similar stasis, say HR consultants and skills evaluation firms.
According to data from AICTE, the regulator for technical education in India, there were 1,511 engineering colleges across India, graduating over 550,000 students back in 2006-07. Fuelled by fast growth, especially in the $110 billion outsourcing market, a raft of new colleges sprung up -- since then, the number of colleges and graduates have doubled.
How is [the situation in China] different than the average liberal arts major in the US expecting the world at their doorstep just because they have a useless degree that prepares them to do nothing more than work as a part-time retail clerk, 25 hours a week, dumped into the Obamacare system?If education was the answer, there would not be millions of engineers looking for jobs.
Yet, we are told education is the answer, without ever addressing the questions "for who? at what cost? in what field?"
These articles were purportedly about China. Change the names and faces and the stories are not much different than you can find right here in the US, in Italy, in France, or anywhere else in a slow-grow global economy.
After growing at an astronomical rate for years, the cost of education is going to plunge. Job statistics will force that outcome.
American companies need to hire Americans.
For 30 years we have been sending American jobs overseas, to foreigners.
They are training lots of engineers, without regard for whether the students really have any aptitude to become a good engineer.
Welcome to the free market for labor. Supply and demand is a beotch.
The solution is NOT more H1B visas!!!!!!
Yes, Americans first!
But, I disagree with this article. It all depends on your specialty. If you are a Petroleum or Chemical Engineer and you willing and able to relocate to a free state (think Texas or North Dakota, etc), you will be able to get a job pretty quick.
Once Obamacare kicks in why wouldn’t U.S. companies send these jobs oversees rather than hire someone here?
I got it! Let’s import more unskilled labor from third world countries.
That’s because they hand out engineering degrees and doctorates in India like candy and we import these idiots.
But it’s OK - I make a ton of money fixing their crapola software
I'm in the industry, and I have not observed this. Software people get the same rates here, whether they are foreign nationals or domestic citizens.
Specialization matters. Demand for engineers depends on subject. Don’t expect an optical engineer to design sewer systems.
How is that putting Americans first? I don’t think the answer in the long-term is the H1-B visa. The answer is for American schools to produce more qualified Engineers and fewer Psychology grads.
“Once Obamacare kicks in why wouldnt U.S. companies send these jobs oversees rather than hire someone here?”
We pay Chinese works in China 1/3 of American workers without fear of Obamacare. You can bet the practice will increase quickly.
While this is true, I have two observations:
One: Unless the Indian national assimilates to our culture and business customs, they don't do well. The cultural differences are too great.
Two: The Indians I have worked with have been quite skilled, but perhaps this is a minority. I do know that India has very severe corruption problems, so paper credentials are not a useful gauge of their skill.
If people were using their own money to buy their college education, more of them would choose to study something that would help them earn a living. As long as they're spending OPM, why not major in Underwater Basketweaving?
Two nations with the world’s largest populations have been producing more engineers than they needed for years, with the idea that many would be used to syphon off jobs from more advanced nations, both through plant relocations and the outsourcing of jobs where the engineer can do the work from distant locations.
Now the jobs aren’t there for all the engineers being produced in India and China, and there’s probably no scenario where growth in the near future will create a need for the excess.
We, as a country, have big problems in the Universities. In studying for my Masters in CS, I saw that 90 percent of my classmates were 90% from India or China, etc — not good at all. In one basic class, Systems Analysis and Design, we had 21 students. All but 2 were foreign nationals. So, I understand your point first hand.
I think it means companies can hire engineers from India or Russia who remain in India or Russia for 1/3 of the cost of a US worker.
I should add that during the past few years, companies are returning to the US to manufacture goods (or at least part of the assembly). The supply chain was getting to long and costly (contacts, monitoring workers in China and so forth).
correction: aw that 90 percent of my classmates were 90% from India or China = 90% of my classmates were from China/India
Even that isn’t a sure thing.
You will get a contract, for a short time. Great if you are single (I did something similar back in the day, had a LOT of fun). But with families it is harder to move every six or so months. And the energy markets are going to hit the wall, leaving a lot of these guys out of work.
If you play in that field, you know the cycles. But I see a lot of young families making the jump without realizing that you are one legislative session away from unemployment.
Engineers? I’m about to start a geek fight.... Most IT requires little to nothing that would be classified as actual engineering.
If India had a million actual trained Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Chemical and Software (and related disciplines) engineers they’d have a true national asset that they could tap and create value.
Instead they have a bunch of software installers and hardware rackers that they call “engineers”.
IT depends on somebody actually doing something real before it comes significantly into play. “google” is nothing without people who actually do something real that provides the content for them to index, sort, and distribute.
Don’t get me wrong- I have worked with some wonderful and talented people from India- forgive me if I made it sound like 100% of the degreed people from there are useless- that is absolutely not the case.
Just in the last 5 or 10 years- they churned out way to many unskilled, and I have worked with groups of them that clung to each other in a group, refused to share information, and churned out garbage code (like a high-schooler)
When you suddenly double or triple your output of engineers, you get more and more from the lower half of the bell-curve. And in a class full of morons, graded on a curve, even an idiot can get an A.
You’re right. However, we can’t just force American students to study engineering or math. The incentives have to be changed so that those with the ability are motivated to do the work.
The end game is socialized medicine. Most major companies want it, and view Obamacare as the stepping stone to get it.
My father was a logistician in the nuclear weapons field, with a degree in Management (and 32 years in the Navy). His title at his last company was “Senior Engineer.”
They gave him a secretary because he refused to learn word-processing or even email!
We can stop providing subsidies and low interest loans to students studying worthless majors. That would cause many of these students to pick a more useful major or go to a vocational school where rightly most of these less than stellar students should go in the first place.
“Dont expect an optical engineer to design sewer systems.”
Any true engineer, if properly educated and trained, should be able to understand and practically apply concepts (at some basic level) to just about any other engineering discipline.
“The end game is socialized medicine. Most major companies want it, and view Obamacare as the stepping stone to get it.”
No. Most companies wish simply to be in the business that they know, and not have to hire a legion of staff that do nothing related to the business in which they choose to focus on.
Don’t cast business as the “bad guy” in the healthcare debate.
Your job has nothing to do with your healthcare. That it happens to be the case to a large extent in the US is not an advantage of doing business in the US.
Can’t those IT jobs be automated?
Somebody has to flip Burgers and push Fries with that.
Check out Michigan Tech in Houghton, Mi.
You graduate and you have many offers
Here is why I said that.
My company, and many of the major companies in the area (one likes to make big machines painted green) have stated internally that they want to have socialized medicine. Because that will allow them to cut the insurance bill by shifting cost to the tax payers.
My company specifically has the current healthcare insurance costs listed as why they feel not as competitive in the US market. The per person overhead is higher than in Europe (we are also about twice as a productive, which gives our US plants a net gain).
If a system of socialized medicine is in place, the amount of money a large corporation pays on health care will go down. The taxes on the workers will go up, but that is a net good.
I have talked with quite a few other companies, who have similar views. They view socialized medicine as the cheaper option.
In my 20 plus years of software development I’ve determined that college education only accounts for maybe 20% of the required knowledge for my career field. Technologies are changing constantly and only those who have the aptitude and desire to keep up with those changes will survive in this field. I’ve met people with only a high school degree who were brilliant coders/developers and other people from MIT who couldn’t write the most simple of programs.
Software development is as much an art as it is a profession. Some “artists” are just better than others and have natural ability to visualize an entire application in their head. Having a holistic view before even starting makes applications less buggy, easier to understand and easier to enhance. Just as Da Vinci visualized his art works and inventions before he put it on paper.
“American companies need to hire Americans.”
Would you hire the samples that our public schools are “graduating”? I sure as hell would not.
Sorry a job is not a right.
Sorry a job is not a right.
I work with a Michigan Tech grad. He is a huge asset to our department.
It is not. I should have put the "turn off sarcasm" tag at the end of my statement ( /s ). My bad.
They could use about 100,000 engineers in India to design safer water systems for the population, as well as garbage processing systems, sewage systems, holy cow elimination systems, traffic systems, streets and housing,...
Thanks for the warning. Should I get into another ‘hiring authority’ situation, I’ll be sure to ask for coding demonstrations on a white board, and more ‘non-standard, hard-to-Google’ technical questions — which will be broad enough to avoid being too obscure, of course. I used to hate those too-obscure questions when I interviewed....lol
Yes but that is pretty naive if they think they won't be the primary source to fund it.
... if that!
To me, a college degree shows me only two things:
I have said it before: If it were not for incompetence, I would have been unemployed half of my working career.
Nossir. Maybe someday, but not now.
Automation is a leverager, though. Some 'coder helpers' I have employed is an automatic object generator from a database to application code, and automated testing (which is only marginally useful).
There are a lot of really poor engineering schools in India, turning out marginal and ill-trained grads.
You’re right, India turns out a lot of highly-skilled engineers, too. It is in part the job of the top Indian outsourcers to skim off the best grads and then give them good further training.
It seems such a short time since anyone who commented about this on FR was met with a barrage of stories about how engineering graduates were still in huge demand. As someone who is as I used to say, “A world class expert in an obsolete profession”, let me say that it is hell. I am still very able to work at my old profession at which I used to charge fifty or sixty dollars an hour twenty years ago but looking for work would be like looking for buried treasure or worse. Things change rapidly now, you can go from hero to zero in a few months.
True dat. It is because of the accepted level of expectation that the American employer commonly offers health insurance as a benefit. The only upside to this Obamacare thingy is that it could have a side effect of de-coupling the health-care benefit from the compensation package.
This de-coupling was part of the debate during the Hillary-care push in the early 90's. The theory was that the individual will get the tax deduction for providing his own healthcare. And, insurance companies would have to start competing for the individual's purchase rather than for a group at a time.
“I got it! Lets import more unskilled labor from third world countries.”
Brilliant idea but some gang already beat you to it. I know the answer, raise taxes on those who are earning more than just enough to buy gruel and take all those rocket powered assault rifles away from the white trash. That’ll fix everything!