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97% Of Engineers In India Can’t Speak English; Less Than 20% Are Employable For Software Jobs

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Indian IT engineers

In India, around 600,000 engineers graduate annually from various colleges; while some of them chose the profession because of their engineering passion, some of them were pressurized from their parents.

But a new study has revealed that most of them aren’t even qualified for a job in knowledge economy.

Aspiring Minds, a leading employability credentialing firm, has revealed that only 18.43% of all engineering graduates are eligible for a software engineer’s job in India.

Employability Percentages

And the worst part is that such incompetency has nothing to do with their engineering skills: its their proficiency in English language & soft skills which makes them lose out on opportunities.

As per their study, 97% of Indian engineers cannot speak English, which is one of the mandatory requirements for working in any software or IT firm. In fact, 67% of all engineers do not possess any English language skills (reading, speaking, comprehension), which are required for a high-end job in business consulting, software, IT and other knowledge economy jobs.

It is a shocking reality indeed, which can have major implications on the current job market in the country.

These results were derived from two studies:

a) ‘The National Spoken English Skills of Engineers Report’, where in English language skills were tested on 30,000 would be engineers from 500 engineering colleges across the nation

b) ‘National Employability Report for Engineering Graduates’, where in 1.2 lakh engineering students from 520 engineering colleges were surveyed for employability skills (which included logic, aptitude and more tests besides English language). This particular test was conducted on those students who passed out in 2013

Interesting facts from these studies:

  • 91.82% of the students lacked programming and algorithm related skills
  • 71.23% of the students lacked soft and cognitive skills
  • 60% of the students lack domain skills (example civil engineering, mechanical engineering etc)
  • 97% of the students cannot speak English which is required for getting a IT job
  • 57.96% of students lacked analytical and quantitative skills
  • 61% of students possess grammar skills which is almost equal to a class 7th student
  • Only 7.1% of students can speak English which is considered as meaningful, and presentable during an interview
  • The major problem was witnessed with pronunciation, followed by fluency skills, grammar and sentence construction. Understanding spoken English and vocabulary showcased less problems
  • Girls had better command over written English, while men were more proficient with spoken English (comparably)

Providing a possible explanation for these shocking results, Aspiring Minds CEO & Co-founder Himanshu Aggarwal said, “The low employability among engineering graduates is a cumulative outcome of poor education standards and higher demand of skilled employees thereby creating a drastic skill gap in the country,”

If we are assuming that this problem mainly exists in students from Tier 2 colleges, then we are wrong here. Even IITs and NITs are not spared, when it comes to English language skills.

Gautam Biswas, director, IIT Guwahati said, “We get students from different backgrounds and regions, and they are mostly not comfortable with English. Quite a few students appear for the joint entrance examination in their mother tongue. It becomes very difficult for them to follow the curriculum.”

employments across Tiered cities

Have we put too much focus on Maths, Science and Biology that we have left our students paralyzed when it comes to soft skills and English language proficiency?

UB Desai who is the director of IIT Hyderabad certainly thinks so. He said, “Over the years, the focus in the education system has shifted to chemistry, maths, physics. Focus on soft skills has reduced. Students may lose out on good job prospects as many companies come to campuses for global positions as well,”

As per Aspiring Minds, a fresher can easily lose 30-50% of salary, in case his English language and soft skills are below expectations.

[Sources: 1, 2, 3 | Image: WSJ]

"97% Of Engineers In India Can’t Speak English; Less Than 20% Are Employable For Software Jobs", 1 out of 5 based on 23 ratings.
  1. dp says

    English is just a language, treat that as a language not as a skill, the worst part in India is education system and over population, we must be in a position to create jobs but not holding jobs. bring up best teachers and quality education system..!! everything falls in place..!!

  2. SpeakingEnglish says

    I doubt the credibility of these data. “67% of all engineers do not possess any English language skills (reading, speaking, comprehension)” 67% engineers can’t read English?

  3. Manish says

    I believe this kind of articles for social engineering and for negative publicity.
    Dot forget the fact we have big hand to make this IT world what it is.

  4. […] have already reported why 8 out of 10 engineers are unemployable right now; and 97% of engineers from India can’t speak English and only 20% of them can be hired by software/IT […]

  5. […] that only 8 out of 10 engineers are actually unfit for jobs; and last year, we had reported that 97% of engineers in India cannot speak English, and only 20% are eligible for software […]

  6. indian says

    is learning english solve every engineering problem?india is playing with its youths future and education and so too its research and creative thinking.young educated people can act as explosives.if this situation continue .india should ready for disaster. english should be learn as second language as other countries do for world comunication. if need there should be interpreters. why force english down everyones throat.

    1. The Ugly Indian says

      Well said, The school never emphasized on the requirement of english. The requirement can only be understood when one loses opportunities to excel in career just for the lack of english skill. Just understanding is not sufficient, expression is also important. I think it’s hard to shift the focus towards english unless IIT-JEE like entrance exams add english to their examination syllabus. Then at-least coaching institutes like Narayana, Sri Chaitanya, etc impart the english to students with their moulding capabilities making every student eligible for the professional corporate world.

  7. Gagan0123 says

    Being able to speak English has nothing to do with what you can and cannot code. Proficiency in the computer language you are working in, is far more important. As long as you are able to understand the client’s requirement, and code his/her thoughts into computer programs, you are going to be employed.

  8. Nilay Anand says

    Article is not 100% true. when it comes to engineering, knowledge of algorithm/programming and analytical ability scores more than english communication skill.

    Engineering education is being degraded day by day and it is mostly because everyone appearing for engineering degree without having natural interest for it. Also, most of the 2nd tier campus do not have competent faculty.

  9. Nikhil Karkare says

    Only one place to solve this problem – primary school. The problem lies in the basic fact that we are obsessed with getting educated in a technically foreign language medium. Some of us are lucky to be in urban cities and get good teachers. For the rest, there is a huge gap. English should be ideally learnt as a second language, like the rest of the world does. Our country has a rich culture and very sound local languages. This problem is far from being solved. Out of the box thinking is required to get the system on track. Unfortunately, everybody in the government is thinking only about how (s)he will keep his/her term and maintaining a media presence (forget thinking out of the box!).
    What would be more interesting to know is whether engineers can communicate at all… forget English. I think we are dealing with a larger problem here – communication and understanding. ????, as they say in Marathi smile emoticon
    I’ve replied to this on FB too – but would like to attract some attention to this, as I strongly feel that we are heading towards a disaster. Would love to hear peoples opinion on this.

  10. Amit says

    I have been working in IT for the past 10+ years and the problem that has been indicated in the post above is spot on.
    There is a serious lack of basic communication (written & spoken) that I have seen at all levels (from freshers to juniors right up to Leads and Managers.)
    These people are most of the times not even using spell checkers to correct their sentences before sending them over to the client (I seriously doubt that they even know that thy have constructed a grammatically wrong sentence!!!!)
    I would blame the education system that simply does not understand the importance of teaching presentation skills to the newly minted graduates.
    The saddest part in all of this is that despite clearly indicating to them (during appraisals) that they need to improve on communication, a vast majority of them are just not interested in doing anything on this front.

    1. unfortunate says

      you are right.english necessary as secong LANGUAGE not
      as medium.india is playing a dangerous game with its youth and education in favour of elites.educated youth can act as exposives.i think days are coming when india will face millions of angry young people destroying the country. the energy of young people should be properly channelized .

  11. hemanth says

    I don`t approve with the report. IT, software is a part of engineering, there are so many other streams of engineering. Don`t confine engineering to only IT or software. From my engineering days, i have learnt that drawing is the best language of engineers. As an engineer, I can survive in the field only with the knowledge on maths, physics and chemistry. English or any other language is important for transferring your ideas, it has to be given importance but not by decreasing focus on maths, physics or chemistry. The article is more like an advertisement for English coaching institute. In the article, it was said that the 91.82% of engineering students dont have programming skills. Is it necessary for a Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, aeronautical, electronic engineer to have knowledge in programming? we don`t use programming in our fields

  12. Dheeraj says

    Yes article Is true but not 100% if anybody have good programming language and analytical skills he will get good job as anybody in place of him explain project or software

  13. IT Eye! says

    99.99% Americans don’t know many Indian languages whats so big deal get life you morons!

  14. Altaf Rahman says

    After reading this article, I felt inferior. Some one might think that Engg is related to only IT, Software. Please consider people like me too. In addition to the above virtual fields, there are other brick and mortar fields like Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Instrumentation in which number of Engineers slug it out.
    I am a Mechanical Engineer working in Oil & Gas field.
    Coming to the the language skills, I would like to share few interesting facts with you. 90% of all Korean, Japanese Engineers / Managers can barely speak English. Of course they are on a stronger ground. They study Engineering in their own language and are not worried that they lack English proficiency. Our Engineers graduate in English language and are supposed to know it.
    Just my two paisa :)

    1. Chirag says

      I totally agree with Altaf. There is no relation between English and Engineering. Countries like Japan, S.Korea, Germany are far better in engineering and R&D.

      When it comes to Software industry, good english is not necessary unless person having direct communication with client and client is located in US/UK.

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