Why engineers are unemployed in India: A students POV

Why engineers are unemployed in India: A students POV

Why are most engineering graduates unemployed?

Engineering is one of the most popular and sought-after career choices in India. Every year, millions of students enroll in engineering colleges across the country, hoping to land a lucrative and prestigious job in the industry. However, the reality is far from rosy. According to various reports and surveys, more than half of the engineering graduates in India remain unemployed or underemployed, and only a fraction of them possess the skills and competencies required by the employers in the current market. What are the reasons behind this alarming situation? Let us explore some of the key issues that contribute to the unemployment of engineering graduates in India.

Mismatch between supply and demand

One of the main reasons for the unemployment of engineering graduates is the mismatch between the supply and demand of engineers in the industry. According to a report by NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar, about 45 per cent of management and 48 per cent of engineering students in the country are unemployed. He attributed this to the stagnation of higher education in the country and the low enrolment in institutions like ISB and IIM. He also said that India produces more engineers than it needs, and many of them are not employable due to lack of quality and relevance of their education.

The demand for engineers in the industry is not uniform across all sectors and domains. Some sectors, such as IT, electronics, telecom, biotechnology, etc., have a higher demand for engineers with specific skills and knowledge, while others, such as civil, mechanical, electrical, etc., have a lower demand due to saturation or automation. Moreover, the demand for engineers also varies across different regions and states, depending on the availability and development of industries and infrastructure. Therefore, many engineering graduates end up being either overqualified or underqualified for the jobs available in their respective fields or locations.

Lack of new-age technology skills

Another reason for the unemployment of engineering graduates is their lack of new-age technology skills that are essential for the jobs in the knowledge economy. According to a report by employability assessment company Aspiring Minds, over 80 percent of Indian engineers are unemployable for any job in the knowledge economy, as they lack skills in areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, deep learning, robotics, etc. The report also said that only 2.5 percent of Indian engineers possess cutting-edge skills in artificial intelligence and data science.

The reason for this skill gap is the outdated and rigid curriculum followed by most engineering colleges in India. The curriculum does not reflect the changing needs and trends of the industry and does not provide enough exposure and opportunities for students to learn and apply new technologies and tools. Moreover, many engineering colleges lack adequate infrastructure, faculty, labs, and industry linkages to impart quality education and training to their students. As a result, many engineering graduates are not able to cope with the dynamic and competitive environment of the industry and fail to meet the expectations of their employers.

Lack of career planning and guidance

A third reason for the unemployment of engineering graduates is their lack of career planning and guidance during their academic years. According to a study by researchers from University College London, there is no single reason for unemployment among engineering graduates, but one of the key findings is the importance of students' early engagement with career planning and the final year application process. The study also found that many engineering graduates lack relevant work experience, awareness of employers' recruitment criteria, and ability to articulate their skills and competencies effectively.

Many engineering students do not have a clear idea about their career goals and aspirations, and choose engineering as a default option due to parental or peer pressure or societal norms. They do not explore their interests, strengths, weaknesses, and opportunities available in different fields and domains of engineering. They also do not seek proper guidance and counseling from their teachers, mentors, seniors, or experts regarding their career options and prospects. They do not participate in internships, projects, workshops, competitions, or extracurricular activities that can enhance their skills and employability. They also do not prepare well for their final year placements or interviews, as they lack confidence, communication skills, resume writing skills, etc. All these factors lead to poor performance and outcomes for many engineering graduates in their job search.


The unemployment of engineering graduates is a serious problem that affects not only the individual lives but also the economic growth and development of the country. It is a complex problem that requires a multi-pronged and collaborative approach from all the stakeholders involved, such as the government, the industry, the academia, and the students themselves. Some of the possible solutions that can help address this problem are:

- Reforming and updating the engineering curriculum to make it more relevant, flexible, and industry-oriented.
- Improving the quality and infrastructure of engineering colleges to provide better education and training to students.
- Encouraging and facilitating more industry-academia partnerships and collaborations to create more opportunities and exposure for students.
- Providing more career guidance and counseling to students from an early stage to help them make informed and realistic choices.
- Enhancing the skills and competencies of engineering graduates through internships, projects, workshops, online courses, etc.
- Creating more awareness and access to new and emerging fields and domains of engineering that have high demand and potential.

By implementing these solutions, we can hope to reduce the unemployment of engineering graduates and create a more skilled and employable workforce for the future.


(3) Unemployment of engineering graduates: the key issues. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.11120/ened.2012.07020007.
(4) Unemployment of engineering graduates: The key issues - ResearchGate. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/275107194_Unemployment_of_engineering_graduates_The_key_issues.
(6) India's jobs crisis is more serious than it seems - BBC News. https://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-59870297.


Why are 80% engineers in India unemployed?

This may be because of the education system imparting theory-based knowledge. The data collected has revealed that only 40% of the total graduate engineers opt for internships for hands on experience with 36% taking up projects other than their coursework.

What percentage of engineers are unemployed?

Connecting Graduates with Job Opportunities |… A shocking 48% of engineering students are left unemployed[3], according to NITI Aayog Vice-Chairman Rajiv Kumar.

How many B Tech graduates are unemployed?

The country has reached a phase now wherein every fourth person in the 22-to- 26 years age group is an engineer. According to a recently conducted survey, nearly 80 percent of engineering graduates in India are not employable.

Are 60 percent engineers unemployed?

NEW DELHI: More than 60% of the eight lakh engineers graduating from technical institutions across the country every year remain unemployed, according to the All India Council for Technical Education. This is a potential loss of 20 lakh man days annually.

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