Home Outsourcing Less than 5% Indian engineers employable in software start-ups: survey

Less than 5% Indian engineers employable in software start-ups: survey

Only 3.84% of Indian engineers are employable in start-up roles in software companies, a survey by the Indian firm Aspiring Minds claims.

The report, for the year 2016 and covering those who graduated a year earlier, compiled data from more than 150,000 engineering students from 650 engineering colleges across India.

Aspiring Minds, which describes itself as a skills assessment company, said there was not much change in the 2016 statistics of its National Employability Report for Engineers from 2014, the last time when it did such a survey.

The figures are being released at a time when the US has decided to take a closer look at its H-1B visa system that is used to bring in skilled foreign workers to fill jobs and as Australia makes changes to its 457 visa system that is used to bring in temporary workers from abroad.

The engineers surveyed took a test devised by the company, which is called AMCAT or the Aspiring Minds Computer Adaptive Test, which it claims to be India's largest and only standardised employability test.

Programming languages.

The company says AMCAT covers all objective parameters such as English communication, quantitative aptitude, problem-solving skills, knowledge of domain areas such as computer science and programming, mechanical engineering, electrical engineering etc. for determining employability in the IT/ITeS and other core engineering roles.

The 2014 study of engineers had found that 18.43% of engineers were employable in the software services sector, 3.21% for software products and 39.84% for a non-functional role such as business process outsourcing.

Two years later, the figures were not much better: 17.91%, 3.67% and 40.57% respectively for IT services, IT products and BPO roles.

The survey found that only 3.84% of engineers were employable as engineers by software start-ups. It said this had been looked at because investments and growth of technology start-ups were the new business stories in India.

"(Well-known Indian industrialist) Ratan Tata recently said that India is becoming the Silicon Valley of the 1990s," it said. "To sustain this growth, we need candidates with higher technology calibre, understanding of new products and requirements and the attitude to work in a start-up. With this in mind, we specifically captured employability for startup technology roles this time.

"Unfortunately, we find that only 3.84% of engineers qualify for a start-up technology role. This is a big concern and would surely hamper the growth of start-ups in India. It may also cause the market to be diluted with a lot of low quality products floating around."

The 2016 survey found that only 8% of those who were questioned wanted to work in a start-up. "Students from tier 1 colleges are most motivated to work in startups as compared to others," it said.

"It is also observed that inclination of males is strikingly high to work with start-ups than that of females."

Aspiring Minds said employability was quantified based on benchmarking studies done at various companies in different sectors, adding that AMCAT was used by more than 3500 companies, including seven of the top 10 IT services companies in India, for their assessment and recruitment solutions.

Among its clients, Aspiring Minds lists Sapient, Coca Cola, GE, Genpact, Bank of America, CITI, HCL, Axis Bank, Wipro, Tata Motors, Daimler, HDFC Bank, Microsoft, MphasiS, DUPONT, Hyundai, ZS Associates, Ericsson, Deloitte, Huawei, John Deere, Grofers, Frankly ME, and Kart Rocket. The company has branches in the US, the Philippines, China and the UAE, apart from India.

The full survey can be downloaded free after registration.

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Sam Varghese

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A professional journalist with decades of experience, Sam for nine years used DOS and then Windows, which led him to start experimenting with GNU/Linux in 1998. Since then he has written widely about the use of both free and open source software, and the people behind the code. His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.