Graduates from India – High in Quantity but Low in Quality?

I wanted to have this debate about students graduating in India and entering into the job market. This argument applies to a subset of people, but I think that subset is large.

Colleges in India are producing large numbers graduates.

Do you think those graduates are fit for employment?

I’m going to argue in support of Graduates from India are High in Quantity but Low in Quality.

Few weeks back I was chatting with my uncle about his new company. After discussing for over 4 hours, he listed several challenges of running a business in India

  1. A large number of graduates apply for any given job.
  2. It’s hard for him, to make them understand their role
  3. Most of them are looking for another job to get a  pay raise (even for Rs.1000)
  4. Employees see a job as means to get paid, but they don’t take ownership.

When hired, all they are interested is in the salary. It’s very tough to make them understand about taking ownership, responsibility of given tasks.

After the discussion, I stated thinking, why is this happening. I have seen recent graduates, worked with student interns here in the US. Lets say, things are bit different here.

I came to this following conclusion based on my experience and observations.

Engineering vs. Medical School

When I picked Engineering, the decision was largely influenced by my parents. I was 100% inclined to be a doctor. I missed the cutoff to get into Medical College (MBBS) by 0.87.

There was a definite possibility of getting a payment seat. But, my parents wanted me to go into Engineering. So, here I’m after several years, working as Software Engineer and Blogger.

I went to school for something I didn’t love (or wanted). Learned to Love what came in my way.

A friend of mine doing B.S. Computer Science here in the USA. He will be graduating this December. He’s looking actively for full-time jobs. His expectations, the mindset, is different from a student in Final year engineering in India.

How is he different? He has a built a brand for himself. His expectation is based on his brand.

  • I’m looking for a job in Perl, Unix, PHP, and C.
  • I’m not going to get a job in some company.
  • I should know exactly what I will be doing, product and my role in the team.
  • I know exactly my strength and weakness.

Engineering Graduates from India

Now, how many of you (most of this blog readers are Engineers) while looking for a job, have certain set of clear criteria like my friend?

When I was attending campus interview back in final year, I was willing to get into any company that would offer me a job.

  • My resume listed all possible programming languages that existed on the planet.
  • Resume ran to 4 pages (which could have fit on 1 page).

Usually in Campus  interview the company will give a presentation about what they do, locations, opportunities to travel abroad.

But, we were more interested to hear about their salary package.

Later during the day, rumors will spread ( Hey, looks like salary is only Rs 15,000 per month).

As you can see salary is the one and only things we were interested. How about you?

Question to You

  • How many of you selected a college/degree because that the subject you loved to study?
  • Did you pick the degree, college, course by choice vs by chance?
  • When attending campus interview, did you ask, what product, project you will be working?
  • Did you know what programming language you will writing the code?

These days, it doesn’t matter which branch of Engineering you are from, software job awaits everyone.

In recent years, many students pick Electrical Engineering, instead of Computer Science.

If you ask them, why did they select electrical engineering, 99% will have the following answer.

We wanted options. After graduation, if Software jobs dry up, we can look for Electrical engineering jobs.

High Quantity vs Low Quality

Sameer in this Book Beyond the MBA Hype said it right about choosing a business school.

Students are asked to find the “best fit” program, while applying for top MBA programs.

For Indian schools this concept is non-existent. We hardly think about ‘fitting’ into a school. If the school has strong brand, its good enough for me.

Above lines reflects the argument we are having here today.

When you decide to attend a school, by chance, do you expect the quality of the product to be high? My answer is definitely No.

What Do I mean by Chance?

  • Doing something by Choice – I like this subject, I have spent countless hours learning about this topic. I’m going to attend a school that offers a course in this topic.
  • Doing something by Chance – My dads friends son, went to this college, he now has this job with the very good salary. So, my dad wanted me to attend the same college and get a good job.

When you are doing something that you are forced to do, how can one expect the love your work?

As I said in facebook page

If  you love to do something, you will not feel the pain.

Several students graduate from Engineering and other school in high numbers. But, those who picked the school, programs by choice will really enjoy the work they do.

When money, job title is the major driving force behind someone trying to get a degree to make a living, how can you expect quality?

Comments?

I have given reasons for my argument with examples. Lets have a constructive and meaningful argument. Do you agree or disagree to my opinion?

89 Comments

  1. vams kris on February 23, 2016 at 6:08 PM

    Your post is hilarious. You write as if everybody in US colleges are genius from the beginning and they pick the right college and right course on their own. What’s wrong in taking the engineering course that your dad recommended? And if you pick engineering, at the end of the day, one way or the other, you are dealing with machines. I graded under-grad mechanical engineering subjects and of the 60 students in class, less than 5 students will get the home works done 80% correctly and only 1 or two will get it without any errors. Not just one course , I graded several courses and I have seen the same with my other friends who graded other courses. But, still all those students get the jobs. At the workplace, you don’t need to be genius, you just have to be willing to learn. American work society has a very friendly system of teaching youngsters and work as a team. That’s where you learn your skills. In the school students might hear half here and there or get some knowledge while preparing exams. With practical application, their quest for knowledge is fulfilled.

    I completely agree that people with thorough planning have a head start in their job search or college education, but even other people can work and lead a good life. All the first in the industry inventions are done by average intelligence people. For Indians to succeed, we need to have a society with big companies where youngsters can start their career or enough opportunities in small companies with experienced people.

    Finally, all the R&D for the softwares is done in India with a pool of PHDs. If Indian engineers have poor aptitude, how can they do R&D in India.

    Don’t just blame students! Universities have to ignite their minds and society should have enough opportunities.

  2. peterparker on February 9, 2016 at 8:31 AM

    A person here is saying that post is awful. And then, talks about her education in India. Can she disclose that from which school she studied? I guess neither a government school nor a school where middle class send their kids, but a posh public school which gives lot of exposure, or probably ICSE.

    The fact is that upper middle class families in India are not aware of how worse the situation in India. They are living in their dream world and chanting gandhi and modi’s hymns.

    My background, I am now pursuing my masters in informatics from the ‘The University of Edinburgh’ and I wanted to quit. Why? Because I have not been trained by the real Indian education system to face the world, to compete with the best. First of all, why was that I looked out for an university to pursue my masters? Reason is simple, India’s education, I mean, real India’s education system is not met to produce thinkers, people lack skill.

    So the post has truth in it. And the biggest problem with middle class families is not the ability, but the stability and security. That’s why they pursue safe routes, and given such scenario, only IIT/IIM are safe schools for majority of middle classes, as there is a sure shot guarantee of success.

    Big talks look good only on paper, but life does not run on ideologies.

  3. Rii on December 31, 2014 at 8:56 AM

    Hi,
    I happened to come across this post, and I do agree with some of the things you have said. However, I believe that there are many other factors which come into the picture and I would like to share my views.

    Firstly, let me tell you about myself. I am a US citizen born in LA. I studied in the united states till 8th grade, following which I moved to India. My parents are neither engineers nor doctors, they are scientists who came to the US 30 years ago to pursue their higher studies.
    I studied Computer engineering in a top 20 school in India. It was completely my decision and I have always loved computer science. I would do it for free. At the time of placements, I was sure what kind of job I wanted. I used to listen to the job profile a company was hiring for, and then decide what company I wanted to sit for. I walked out of several companies, even the high paying ones, and finally I got a great job, just like I wanted. My friends, on the other hand used to sit for placements based on the salary, not job profile.
    But I don’t blame them. In my case, I could AFFORD it. Not just financially, but considering everything. I have friends who are supporting their entire families, and money is important at this stage to them. A large number of fields do not pay at all in India, while US has opportunities to have a good standard of living no matter what you study, provided you do your best. This makes engineering a good choice. This is also the main reason why software engineering is in demand and people care more about salaries than job profile. I completely agree that sometimes people do it out of greed, but in a populated nation where opportunities are relatively few, I do not blame the average Indian student. I think the only reason I could do what I wanted is since I could always return to the US and do whatever I want to pursue. For most people, engineering is a way to go abroad and get a better standard of living.

    I am pretty disappointed to see the title of the post. I have witnessed that Indians have a habit of finding faults among other Indians, as if there are no faults in other communites or nationalities. I would like to point out that there are many successful professors and Department heads of top universities who are Indian (including MIT) I do not think that, graduates from India are of low quality, and it saddens me to see this. Being the daughter of scientists who have made significant contribution, and having studied in India, I do not agree with this. I agree that there are several faults, but I also believe that we cannot generalize this statement. A few students might be going to low tier schools, but that includes everyone not just Indians. In general, in graduate school, high school or anywhere else, Indians and Chinese generally tend to be in the top of the class with stellar GPAs.

    These are again my opinions only. I am just trying to add to this discussion and this is not meant to offend anyone.

  4. subbu on February 1, 2013 at 8:36 AM

    I Totally agree with you.In India the prime aim is only salary.every one wants to be in safer side.No one willing to take risks.That is the reason we are not able to produce world class products in many sectors.

  5. prabhakaran on January 12, 2013 at 2:14 AM

    Hello HSB,

    I totally agree with your point. Like a Chinese proverb says,’If you choose to earn by doing the work you love ,then you wont have to work at all’ (NOT THE EXACT QUOTE)

    But you mentioned your friend who is doing his BS in Computer science as different.
    Whoa!
    Aren’t his goals same like a typical Indian graduate you mentioned.

    1.He says his goal is to get a job in one of the four companies( Perl, Unix, PHP and C) and not any other company.

    Is he not too narrow in his choice? Is it not similar to a student thinking ,I will work only in a company which is highly branded and gives me high salary?

    I wonder what motivates him to think that he wishes to work only for the selected few company and not some others. Is it money or brand or people there or achievements the company has?

  6. PDM on December 16, 2012 at 11:11 AM

    Thats 100% true ,Here in india ,many of us thinks Marks and percentage are everything but as we see in other country .I said myself that marks and percentage are meanless but experince and idea and knowledge are more important.

  7. Raviteja on August 6, 2012 at 1:38 PM

    Hi Bro
    I Have to Accept for your words but According to Family situation we have to go for Chance always so i have to listen, India is Not like USA.Parents never give choice for the children’s like USA parents.Simple answer

  8. Avinash on December 9, 2011 at 3:41 PM

    Have to agree with you bro
    i have 10 – 15 new engineering colleges started only in my city and surroundings when had started my engineering.
    but i think there is a problem here
    i.e the same case as your each parent wants their son or daughter to study a course which would get them a campus job in a good company
    whatever may be the initial salary ( majority thinks this way )
    so the students are forced to choose a branch of which basically they have no idea at all.
    so they end up taking a course which as a higher demand in the market at that moment of situation.
    so they would be disappointed but however as soon as the college starts they tend to adjust and all they can do and will do is just try to finish the 4 years of course and get some high paying job (i.e they think but it’s quiet difficult) and live life happily
    so basically the students as you mentioned are low in quality are due to this reason is one cause and the next is as i have mentioned earlier we have awesome colleges here and no one knows how they get approved and produces batches and batches of students each year
    after all the only thing these colleges care is make more money print more certificates and get more money.
    no idea what the hell they will do with that money
    and all mostly what we have here is awesome colleges producing double awesome students who wants triple awesome jobs.

  9. Mazhar on November 2, 2011 at 6:41 AM

    Hi,

    I am neither interested in being a doctor or an engineer as they don’t interest me..

    I have done my bachelors in commerce and with core interest in Event management. So planning to do my masters or MBA in Business Marketing in Media , so after going through the entire thread i feel people talking about going to US for either engineering or studying medicine..Wanted to remind and also clear my doubt about scope of other fields like mine in US as Completing my masters from US is a DREAM to me and really want to gain serious knowledge unlike here only theory and this very well does not apply to the field i am interested in( or still not sure)but as i love traveling and exploring new ideas.. I believe 1 life so live the best and live your dream as there is no 2nd chance u gonna have ..Please guide me ..Thanks..

    Regards,
    Mazhar

    • HSB on November 2, 2011 at 7:02 AM

      To get a new perspective towards your field, I suggest you read 4 Hour Work Week.

  10. Lavanya on October 29, 2011 at 7:48 AM

    I do have to agree with this. It’s the generation that doesn’t deem other ‘options’ worthy. For me, it wasn’t that much of a problem, as I wanted to do a Biotechnology course. (Yes, I am passionate about the subject), and although I was enticed by the science courses at IISc, I had to work out a compromise with my parents and settled for a B.Tech. It’s not a huge issue for me, becuase in another 2 years, I hope to be in a real research environment.
    Also, the fact that most Indian unis don’t offer minors is pretty bad. Not everyone has only one interest. In fact, I would have loved a minor in linguistics.

  11. dr.raghav on October 24, 2011 at 10:53 AM

    hi guys sorry to see these posts…but should clarify 1 thing….there was some post about doctors..that the y dont have ethics…..so on…dont blame the whole bunch of doctors because of ur personal grudges……for ur information a doctor invests 7 yrs(according to new mci ruling) plus
    alleast 4 yr pg plus 4 yr superspeciality a total of ATLEAST 15 YEARS (if at all he gets every seat first attempt which happens only in 1 % cases…here im not talking about the people who donate lumpsome to get into med colleges…so its a noble undertaking requiring a lot of patience….huh..lets think it from ur point of view if a software guy xpects a salary of 30000 minimum after 4 yr graduate stud+ 1yr experience…y cant a doctor who had completed post doctoral courses expect lumpsome after 15 years of study?
    lets see the scenario in us….we doctors excel with 99 on usmle exams which consits of 3 parts + 1 practical…and interviews..we excel on the tests to be a part of post grad education…think of it y will us govt pay u 180k and sponsor u a h1b if ur just an average fellow….u have to be different….u have to be above the league..so stop complainig and yelling …start working the way it puts u in the league…

  12. Sunil on October 24, 2011 at 7:08 AM

    It is one of the most awaited debate that I am waiting to talk about.I don’t know about the whole Asian community but it for sure that south Asian Region has problem in acknowledging the course of study and the job associated with it.the region(India,Nepal,Bangladesh,Pakistan) knows only doctors and engineers,rest of other professions are like shit.
    parents here just want to see their son and daughter doctor and engineers and strongly confront the idea of studying sociology,economics or finance.
    Any sociologist involved in research activities and earning handsome salary has no reputation than a doctor involved in checking ill patient throughout the year. The doctors in this region have no ethical values and are busy charging the high fee from the patient so that they could collect the fee,which was tremendously high during their study.
    and surprisingly,management jobs are getting due respect now a days but still, only bank job is recognized be it a cashier or front office.business development managers and entrepreneurs have still low profile in the society.
    And finally,the reason behind hiring Indian and other Asian engineers in the top most engineering firm is simply the “economics”,means they are ready to work under low Salary which would in turn, in terms of, western graduates would cost much higher.

  13. sreeram on October 14, 2011 at 3:03 AM

    Wow! So much discussion. I am writing this comment after reading only few comments. sorry if this opinion is already represented in some other’s comment.

    Point 1:
    —————-
    I partly agree with HSB opinion. only partly? Yes.

    Look at any major Software company in US. Any company, your choice. You will realize that big chunk of engineers are from india (and asia). Does it happened with out quality?Never.

    Best engineers in Software field are generated from india. Look around you in your company. Best Designers,architects and analyzer are from Asia. So, by looking at this, can you still say that US education quality is better than India education quality?
    There are many people who chosen to become engineers. Not every one forced by parents or situations.

    Point 2:
    ————-
    Now, let me talk about worst part. Half chunk of students enrolled in engineering, should never have done it. They are just simply good in some other field but they enrolled in engineering considering future job perspective. But do they have any other option? If these students have some other option, then what they did is wrong. Indian society offer you no other option unlike US society. What the hell you can do even if you are a good musician,singer,carpenter,painter,mechanic etc. You earn poor wage and you live your life in shit. But it is different in US. You earn decent pay even if are a car mechanic or electrician.

    (I have a very good opinion about US education system. Here, you can get into your “interesting” career. But after all said, US itself changing its methodology. US government encouraging teens to get into Tech studies. Not many students are going to engineering studies. US govt. much worried about it.)

    Point 3:
    ————
    I need to talk one more time about “good” engineers. Off-course i am a egoist and i don’t mind to say that i will fall into this category. Our country generating “software” workers like me. It is one of dump jobs in world (except from pay wise) . If we put this much of brain to some research, we would have become powerful country. But we getting into software jobs and considering our selves as “engineers”. From this perspective, US education is far superior than indian education system.

    Point 4:
    ————
    Hello HSB, not sure whether i allowed to make personal comment about you here. I respect your uncle, but not his idea expressed in this blog. i don’t know what kind of company he started. But seems he started another software company. I don’t see any one who change job for 1000rs increment per month. If he really made this comment means, he is paying very low. Just tell him that, he has to pay best to get best (india is mother land for best brains and engineers in SW). Also tell him that, his comments really well apply in US market than indian market.

    Last point: About your Line buddy – ” If you love to do something, you will not feel the pain.”
    —————–
    Not True. You don’t have a reason to take my word. Also, you will not accept any kind of reasoning,logic or argument against this above statemnt. But things will change along with time.

  14. manoharan on October 13, 2011 at 2:33 AM

    Hallo,
    Always there is agreement and disagreements for a debate but the truth remains the same as nature,long before a Tamil writer Mr Sujatha,he is also a Scientist,wrote about the parents are against the children’s love affair with their counter part WHY because the parents i am talking about Indians the parents are looking forward to fulfill their dreams ,un fulfilled expectations on their children only, so the opposed for their love . The same attitude happening in selecting their future and education in this gap the Politicians as Educationalists will enter and start to ruin the public’s life by way of giving sub standard quality of education quoting some proven examples to attract them and definitely the particular individual will solely resposible for the SUCCESS

    This is not a small subject to discuss but it has to be viewed,reviewed with our culture and future vision according to the world order developments and influence of INDIAN model way of leading now a days that is proved against the western culture in the RECESSION happening in all over the Euro American Countries, simply say” SAVE THE HARD EARNED MONEY with MOTHER TO SPEND WISELY THEY ONLY CAN MINT THE SIX TO HUNDRED” additionally we can now add WIFE instead if Mother, to say locally ” SERTHA PANATTHA SIKKANAMA SELAVU PANNA PAKKUVAMA AMMA KAIYILEY KODUTHU PODU CHELLAKKANNU,AVUNGA AARAI NOORU AAKKUVANGA CHELLAKKANNU”because of this SAVING attitude only INDIA is suviving and shining,i strongly believes.

  15. bala on October 13, 2011 at 1:41 AM

    I agree with HSB.
    If you want to know why graduates from India – High in Quantity but Low in Quality?
    There is a simple answer.
    I think there is no need to explain the first part “High in Quantity “. So why low in quality is
    because of the Educational system in India (more theoretical than or I would say with absolutely no practical education).
    There are practical sections in a graduate course, but even those sections don’t educate the students with practical knowledge.

    For ex:
    Laboratory subjects in Engineering courses;
    In an Electrical lab exercise , students will be taught only to swith on a motor, vary the supply voltage and take readings of current and speed.Even the lectures don’t explain any thing beyond that. As long as the values tally with the calculated theoritical value, it’s fine.
    In an Electronics or communication lab sections, the expectation from a student is to connect the circuits and comeup with right magnitude and frequency of input and output waveforms displayed in a CRT.
    Similarly in computer lab,even some students memorise programme’s with all comments and syntax to get the output’s right.

    I feel that Indian graduates are theoretically strong, but when it comes to practical knowledge they not trained with things outside the box(and the box is very small).

    The students do their practical laboratory work without knowing much of it’s applications. The worse part is some schools have only few equipments, which are insufficient or at poor condition or very old versions and models which are available cheap in the market.

    These are the facilities provides for practical education, adding to this poor conditions, lab sessions are guided by lab assistants who are not well qualified [just with an ITI certificate(1 and half years of technical education after completing secondary)holder in most colleges]

    Comparing with graduates abroad certified from schools with good facilities for research works and staff’s with better knowledge about the subjects, Indian graduates with the available resources,they could learn only theoritical part without knowing about it’s practical industrial applications.

    Know you can get the answer why they don’t choose a career, because the truth is, in most cases they don’t know about the industrial applications of what they study. So they don’t make or have any choice, when it comes for the choice of career.

    -bala B.E (Madras University)

  16. Financial Trader on October 12, 2011 at 12:16 PM

    Hi HSB,

    Wonderful Article! I totally agree with you with what you have said in this article.

    My parents wanted me to pursue Computer Science as my brother did a CS Degree. I mean which indian parent doesn’t want their son/daughter to be an engineer? I had to fight for what i loved and wanted to go into the field of Finance/Financial Markets because stock analysis/trading/research is my passion and i love it and i am good at it. Everyone was skeptical about it and i somehow pulled it off by convincing them that i don’t want to go into Engg.

    Now i have a good job with a good salary, but i worked hard for it and i love what i do, and that keeps me happy throughout the day,week, month, and year.

    I would suggest to everyone that do not give up on what you love to do or have a passion for!

    Thanks for this wonderful Article again!

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:31 PM

      Not everyone can convince their parents to do what they love. Good job.

  17. Shakeel Ahmad on October 12, 2011 at 5:53 AM

    I agree with HSB since I am facing the same problem when hiring people. But in my view we will be lastly be able to come out of this state since the cost of using poor quality people is so low that the employers in US are still very happy. In my view as the time passes the serious folks will remain and off shore/cheap developers paradigm will have success. But one thing is also true that the born programmers are even available in India/Pakistan. Also the wrong careers can also be picked in US too. What I see is not the cheapness in an employee but the quality that he/she can provide to the company. Let us see how this battle between US and Indians remain but quantity is so high that India will have impact. As per some article the number of highly skilled people in India is more than the total number of average educated people in US so the employers will never ignore this factor and this will further improve. Some friend told that offshore companies have started using Cameras, Team viewer access to take the quality/speedy work from people in Asia and this has improved the overall business to a good deal. Anyhow happy coding! and thanks for giving me a chance to use my keyboard to write other than Eclipse.

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:32 PM

      I used Eclipse long back. Now, I spend more time using wordpress editor.

  18. Varad on October 12, 2011 at 2:48 AM

    Not just engineering, even graduates from other disciplines are educated but not employable. At times, I don’t understand why 80-90% of bright students in school have to go only for engineering or medical. Not all these students are truly passionate about physics or maths. Also, not all 18 year olds are mature enough to decide what they want to do the rest of their lives. In short,we still have a narrow approach towards higher education. As Indians, we boast about our superior math and science skills. However, only a few students actually use these skills in pure sciences research. The ‘herd mentality’ fueled by large salary packages in engineering colleges pressurizes students to take up engineering. A lot of other fields are also in need of quality manpower.

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:34 PM

      Heard mentality is tough to get around. But, if parents have exposure that kind will survive, by doing what they love, then things will be different. More students will go to other degree, not just engineering and medical school.

  19. pavan on October 12, 2011 at 1:57 AM

    BTech (ECE) in India – MS(Computer Science) In US is it possible?

    Hello Admin,

    I find that 90 % of the students are responding in your blog stating that they got admission in US universities for MS(CS). Most of them do not specify what is their basic Indian specialization. I am presuming that at least some of them are switching to CS in USA after doing their graduation study in India with some other specialization like ECE, EE, Civil etc.,

    One of my friend tells me that most of the Universities in USA would insist that some mandatory subjects needs to be cleared by such candidates, before they being admitted to MS (CS). This is likely to lead to additional burden financially and also from time perspective, since his / her MS (CS) will get delayed by so many months.

    Appreciate if you could kindly highlight the difficulties , if any, students with other specialization from India will face after they get admitted into MS(CS) in USA. Are there any universities in USA where Indian students with different specialization (Other than CS) are admitted directly into MS (CS) without insisting that they need to clear some additional subjects? If so , what are those universities?

  20. Vamsi on October 11, 2011 at 5:05 PM

    Hello Friends,

    So what’s the conclusion of this debate..? Few people agreed with the above post and there are few dis-agreements. For every debate there should be a possible conclusion.

    Only in our country public statements by politicians, public debates like the above topics and chronic problems like corruption will never ever be addressed properly and we can never expect these topics to be concluded in a right manner.

    Anyways it’s a healthy in-concluded debate… I liked it!!!

    Cheers,
    Vamsi

  21. Piyush Garg on October 11, 2011 at 1:11 PM

    The reason behind taking any job here in India is based on following facts :

    1. There is a feeling in most of them that at college level they will have to compete with only 400 – 500 mates otherwise will have to compete with 3 lacs if later try off campus for the same company.Therefore they may go for any company like infy, tcs etc..

    2. Parents’ expectations : Most of them want their children to have some job( any company) so that they can get settled soon. So due to family pressure this happens.

    3. Most of them take job for the sake of their name and goodwill among relatives and friends ( saying they will later leave the job but ends in working in the same company for long time)

    4. The present scenario of unemployment in our country definitely plays a role for non software engineers getting in software companies as it is very difficult for them to get in a core company due to high competition.

    5. Finally 70 percent guys just opt engineering because their cousin or close friend or some acquaintance is doing the same. So when there is no heart in it how can a person grow.

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:37 PM

      Parents expectation – Have some job, then you do the next thing. If parents are working calss (not business), they are only exposed to what they have experienced. SO, they want their kids to get a job and take a safer route.

      • Piyush Garg on November 1, 2011 at 11:11 PM

        Exactly parents’ exposure to the real world does matter.In my case my mom and dad , both are working class( and that too commerce background).Its all my hard work that i explored my interest fields and goals.But still parents always want good for their child so can’t question their thoughts.

  22. AM on October 11, 2011 at 11:44 AM

    I somewhat agree with this. cant help otherwise……i wanted to go for CSE too but was forced for EE but not anymore….I am going for CSE in my MS. Yes its true that MOST of graduates in India are not that motivated or capable for the job. Reason: an engineering college around every corner of every city. the concept of “multiple intelligence” still hasnt obtained a strong footing in our society. Even the premier engg college of India has degraded significantly enough to be noticed and commented upon by the likes of Mr Moorthy. However not all are such; some are talented…..and its pathetic that majority of them are leaving the country for their higher education coz of the defunct educational system of India…and settling abroad too only because of the richer opportunities available. we can sit and comment and lament of how the academic level and capability of grads is going to the dogs…or we can try and change it. no offenses anyone 🙂

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:38 PM

      When a student takes the first course and starts working on first assignment in MS. thats when he would realize the value of US education.

  23. PowerMan8000 on October 11, 2011 at 4:38 AM

    Quite an interesting topic! I am glad that HSB finally brought something up concerning our homeland.

    “If I pick up a stone and throw it as far as I can, It has a 99% probability to land on a engg. student’s head!” -PowerMan8000

    Firstly, I am too in support of HSB’s views. In the recent decade there has been insurmountable growth quantitatively in education sector leading to decrease in quality of education and thinking as well as motivation students. But what could be the root cause for it?
    We blame the increasing number of colleges in India, but who is responsible for it?
    The UGC and AICTE whose task is to maintain the quality of education and grant certifications to only those institutions which have adequate as well as well qualified faculty and good infrastructure.
    (One very good example, hiring of B.Tech. passouts for position of lecturers in colleges resulting in passing of unclear thoughts and guidance. The aftermath clearly cannot be neglected.)

    But if every ABC university/College is getting an approval then what is going wrong?
    The answer lies in corruption! isn’t it?

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:39 PM

      Its actually very easy to create quality within an engineering college. But, they need atleast one HOD who has the right vision.

      • PowerMan8000 on October 14, 2011 at 11:28 PM

        Dear HSB,

        I object the fact that one HOD can create quality within a college.
        You see, when a student enters college, his thoughts, his personality and almost every aspect of human behaviour changes according to the atmosphere, the atmosphere provided by the faculty, by fellow students, even the administration officials. And considering the fact that education is merely a business and a means of earning for most of the associated people, nobody would like to waste their time and energy on ‘making a difference’ kind of stuff.
        So, it ultimately comes upon the student to choose his path, either to succumb to the environment provided or to ‘make a difference’ for himself!.

        Now, the point ‘Building a Brand’ steps in. A student has to be self motivated, properly exposed to the current scenario and if there is one HOD with the right vision, he might do the trick somehow but might not be sufficient to cater to the invisible needs of such a large student body without the help of fellow members of the faculty.

  24. Prabhakar reddy on October 11, 2011 at 3:45 AM

    I completely agree with you buddy. Many people around us are not literally interested in what they are studying, they just take that courses mostly not because of their interest but because of other reasons (seeing others, salary, easy course etc. )

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:40 PM

      Heard Mentality…. Someone in the class gets a job, then others tend to use the same resume.

  25. swapnil on October 11, 2011 at 12:27 AM

    hello,
    Well it seems to be everyone is either leaning against you opinion or towards your view. Discussion should not be like that. I think what you want to say is partially true. There are many students for whom major concern is SALARY. Even 1000 bucks can also make big difference for them. But blame is goes only to student. Many of them dont know why they are doing engineering in the chosen field. I am not saying they should be fully aware of that. It is not possible. That is a responsibility of parent. But this is also true after completing BE still they dont know what to do? That is worse. If you dont know what you love, then we have to learn to love whatever we are doing. Honesty and sincerity towards our doing is the most important thing.

    • HSB on October 11, 2011 at 8:01 AM

      But this is also true after completing BE still they dont know what to do? That is worse.

      Well said.

  26. Shivangi Tripathi on October 11, 2011 at 12:11 AM

    I completely agree, but I do have reasons why we Indians behave like this.

    We were ruled over till 1947, we have seen poverty, chaos, and slavery. We have a huge population as well. 70% of Indians are below the poverty line………thus most of us have hand to mouth existence. For people deprived of food since generations, money automatically becomes a deciding factor in choosing profession.

    I read somewhere that it takes atleast 7 generations to change a dominant trait in an individual. The yearning for excess money in us is innate and we might take another 30 -40 years to grow out of this need.

    Please don’t feel offended………my view is purely personal and it might not be absolutely correct.

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:41 PM

      Changing just one personal habit takes long time. Changing a culture will take generations.

  27. Avinash Singh on October 10, 2011 at 8:23 PM

    Hi… I had a friend who knew what he wanted to do when he finished his 12th Std. He chose the medical field and after two years into it he realized that he had made a mistake and quit his MBBS. He became an engineer later. My point is that people spend an entire lifetime to realize what they love and what they really enjoy doing. And even if everyone did what they love, there would be no one to do the accounting jobs. Your article is only partially true and overlooks the circumstances that the real world poses. Like I said if everyone did what they loved, you would find no one to do the accounting jobs.

    • Shekar Sharma on October 11, 2011 at 2:07 AM

      And on what basis are you ruling out the fact that their might be certain section of people who love accounting jobs?
      Respect to your friend that he had the guts to quit his MBBS and jump to engineering. I believe their are some mistakes you have to commit in life to know for sure that it was a mistake.

    • Prabhakar reddy on October 11, 2011 at 3:39 AM

      Hi………..I don’t agree with you buddy coz there are many different people who’re interested and have talent in a particular field.

      And there’re many people who’re really interested in Accounting too.

  28. arun on October 10, 2011 at 5:15 PM

    Its a very good post, but we have to look at number of universities available for students in India, compared to countries like USA. The number of students are more in India but there are very few universities maintaining standards.
    So, its not the quality of the students, its quality of our educational system which is poor.

    • balaji on October 10, 2011 at 8:24 PM

      yes, I agree with Mr.arun

  29. Vamsi on October 10, 2011 at 4:43 PM

    Hi…,

    The article was very emotionally written. I can sense few things from your long article that you started at a point with clear idea and ended-up somewhere else clue less with-out justifying your title.

    But still it’s a very good effort…. But You can not decide the quality of INDIAN students by picking random samples of your uncles sons or relatives. Since INDIAN families are made of different composure and various factors influences the kinds and parents in the families we are not suppose to compare the students in India and US. Ultimately where ever you go (to any country in the world) most of the toppers in any universities or schools the toppers would be the INDIANS.

    When people like YOU are sitting in United States striving for foreign companies and making a point on QUALITY of Indian students it really doesn’t make any sense. When you have a strong point to make on quality levels of students you better roll-out a survey.

    If you review the projections of fortune 500 companies, majority of the companies have their plans to launch their captive units or processing centers in INDIA because of the QUALITY which they can RELY on.

    If we take your Uncles company hiring proposal, the hiring team can stretch for quality associates and conduct the better arranged interview process to hire candidates. People look for change for 100 reasons but being a head of the Organization one should be in position to retain their associates. If people are easily opting out or leaving the companies it’s companies chronic problem of loosing their associates. No good Organization ever loose it’s cream (so called quality associates).

    So after being TOPPERS in International schools, being BEST EMPLOYEES for Fortune 500 companies still we can not pose a query on QUALITY of Indian students. Better we start thinking about how to make better progress in fields where we really not much better when compared.

    Cheers,
    Vamsi

    • HSB on October 10, 2011 at 4:57 PM

      I was actually waiting for atleast one comment (like yours). And when I wrote this, I knew few are not goign to agree to my views. What if ex CEO of Infosys says the same point? I would like to see your reaction. FYI – Infosys Ex-CEO is not my uncle 🙂

    • kranti on October 10, 2011 at 8:17 PM

      Hi,
      I am totally agree with you Vamsi. As HSB gives his example of desire in going in medical field same scenario happened with me also . But I was knowing from deep down in my heart that even though I am going for Computer Engg. I won’t let my dream that working in biomedical field finished because of money and external circumstances as I am from middle class typical Maharashtrian Family.So after facing so many issues now I am in US and have already planned how to give touch of reality to my dream. But this is really true that usually our family members or I can say our culture always try to push kids in the system where money is more important and I think that is the reason as HSB said many students think about money first than working in field which they really love again the family responsibility factor is other issue. On the other hand about the quality of students ,we can not say that it is bad because so many times students get pushed in the area where they really want to be and then they excel in that.

      Kranti

  30. Shrinivasan on October 10, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Hey if u need the best start teaching students in a practical way…am from India,even when searching for jobs I was ready for low pay because my skills were weak…Am now in US in a hope to build my knowledge..It’s waste in having discussions…Let’s start taking initiatives by creating strong basis….

    • HSB on October 12, 2011 at 7:45 PM

      Let me ask you this. You were ready to get a low paying job with weak skills? But why?

      But, any job, you have to outperform and get the job done right. Why didn’t you think about improving your skills and then search for high paying job?

  31. vinay on October 10, 2011 at 2:27 PM

    Hi,

    First off all its a good article but I think you are over looking lot of things which most people do.

    Firstly engg or doctor o whatever let me come to that you have to decide this after 12 STD I want to ask how will a kid at 18yr know what he wants from life.

    Has 12th STD provided him enough educational background to make that choice how does that kid know whether he will like networking or VLSI or some programming stuff(only from engg perspective) and on top off this there is MBBS. So what will that person do ask his parents and parents obviously will tell go into electronic or CS engg coz thats the easiest way to get a job after you graduate.

    Next quality over quantity what do you expect we are 1.4 billion people and everyone wants to be rich have a car , a house and can you blame them for that and what is the easiest way to become rich other than stealing or becoming a politician answer is engg or doctor and when so many ppl do it there can’t be quality that’s just not possible.

    Now ” you should do what you love” does this mean you should know what you love by the age of 18 what if you dono by the age off 18 wait for it? If you can’t your already in the web and 99% will be scared to shift once they are in engg or doctoring stream .

    One day I told my mom you know what I will become a physicist after I graduate (meaning will do masters in phy) she looked me in my eye and asked me to promise her that i wouldn’t do it.

    And I could go on like this forever so my suggestion to everyone if you don’t like what your doing just keep at it because in the end its all about having a good life with people you care and love , no point in wondering around looking for inspiration n making your parents miserable motivation is good enf in my view .

    If you feel what I have written is worth the read pls do reply

    Thanks,
    Vinay

    • Nikhil on October 11, 2011 at 1:48 PM

      Hi, Vinay.
      So, are you a physicist or doing something you don’t like ?
      And as far as making parents miserable goes, a parent can never be miserable if their child is happy doing whatever he loves doing. But 99% parents want their children to have a good job, house & then get married & give them lots of grandchildren to play with.
      Coming to the debate, the rot in the Indian education system starts at the lowest level. There is absolutely no insight for students in schools about what engineering, medical or business actually are. Students are not educated about what these different branches entail, they are left to grope in the dark and come up with their own misconceptions. So, they are prone to making the wrong choice or let their parents decide about their career path. Without a well-rounded school system there is no wonder that a majority of Indian graduates are not up to the mark.

  32. Sidharth Allani on October 10, 2011 at 2:17 PM

    “High Quantity = Low Quality” .

    Lets look at your argument considering a different attribute, Shall we say High Quantity of Engineering colleges leads Low Quality of education? I feel that is the main reason due to which the quality of engineering graduates in decreasing. What happens when we have High Quantity of Engineering colleges?

    1- Competition Scenario: For example, if you have 10 engineering colleges in your area then students who are ambitious, who really want to do engineering will try hard to get into that college. They might face a tough competition, but if there are 30 colleges then it will be a healthy competition every aspiring student may have a fair chance, but if we have 100 colleges then that will lead to an ILL competition. Any student who is able to qualify an exam will get a seat, this is an easy escape option for any student.

    2- Faculty of Engineering Colleges: So, how can we expect a good teaching faculty for N- Number of colleges? The answer is simple , We can’t and we won’t. The percentage of good professors is INVERSELY PROPORTIONAL to number of engineering colleges. How Does this impact a student?
    ” Less Encouragement, Low Inspiration.”
    Due to which the student may loose his interest.

    So, We can say that
    “High Quantity of engineering colleges= High Quantity of graduates”
    = ” Leading to a state Where Both have a nonconstructive motive and a common Goal — Making Money.”

    ************************

    Great Post HSB 🙂 I loved the way you presented your thought 🙂 , I guess now you can remove this “Many errors and grammar mistakes in the contents?” from the About Page of the BLOG 🙂 🙂 .

  33. Adam on October 10, 2011 at 2:15 PM

    The people there should understand that, this is the cause (for improving our skills), we are going to U.S.A etc and studying.

    They want us to invest money(for their expenditure) and also return back to India after completing our degree, because, they have no jobs.

    At-least, they could take up this responsibility, to improve skills.

    (If there was world class infrastructure and if one could get good salary in India, so that one can spend for their luxury and have a good living. No one would care for U.S.A etc. On the other hand, they are the country which is unable to come out of recession for nearly a decade ! )

  34. Prashanth on October 10, 2011 at 1:31 PM

    Hello,

    I AGREE with your statement that India has been producing a lot of engineers; but it’s not very true from a qualitative point of view.
    But I would also like to highlight certain aspects of – the society, the psyche (of the students, the academicians and the industry).
    SOCIETY-
    > Good in studies = Prospective Engineer or Doctor
    > “Today engineering has become a basic degree. So you should also do an MBA, my son !” => Even before the student starts to understand his subject, he knows that it’s those TIME and IMS coaching classes that are going to fetch them greater success in CAT, MBA and DEFINITELY not the least- making “MONEY”.

    STUDENTS-
    > First year summary- Discussions on -” who joined, which college” and “How much was the highest package offered to the current final year students”.
    >Second year summary- Placements discussion continues. At a snail’s pace, Planning for CAT and placement starts.
    >Third year summary- The planning stage of second year transforms into action for the focussed few.
    >Final year summary- Placement !! Time to celebrate the final year at college !! Party !!

    Now tell me guys where does engineering come into picture in these four years.

    ACADEMICIANS-
    > Train students to answer five out of eight questions in university exams.
    > In final year, get their Ph. D projects done by a group of students.
    > Group students into- intelligent (“Gets MARKs”), stupid (“does not get MARKs”)
    > When allotting projects to students- the basis of quality of project is judged as per “MARKs”
    > Admission to higher education in the country, brand image of the college deeply coupled with the MARks

    CORPORATES/INDUSTRY PERSONNEL
    > They are no different, while recruiting freshers (Obvious isn’t it ? They were part of the system. The cycle goes ON)
    > Work experience in the country- Most of the projects outsourced from the West are fragmented into such a small module that work transforms into a monotonous activity.
    > The level of R&D activity in the country is extremely CRUDE.

    Dear HSB,
    However, on a personal note, I have created a brand of my own at college, industry as well as among the Research fraternity. I got 8 job offers in hand by the time I left the college. I have opted for a field in which I intend to pursue my higher studies. I left a 8 lakhs rupee package at govt. aerospace R&D to join for a paltry sum of 2 lakhs per annum govt. aerospace R&D (the same company, but a different job profile). I have always chosen and done what I liked to. I don’t work for others. I work on my own projects and have tried to add value to the society by building things that would be useful for others.

    • HSB on October 10, 2011 at 1:46 PM

      Prashanth – Good for you. What you have stated is 100% correct.
      Good in studies = Prospective Engineer or Doctor
      Thats one other thing you would see different from US. for a typical parent in India, kids have to be an Engineer or Doctor. Arts, Commerce, etc are not considers to give social status in the society.
      Its completely opposite in US. College students decide what they want to study. BHe it arts, nursing, business, etc.

  35. Abhinav on October 10, 2011 at 1:04 PM

    Hi HSB,

    I completely agree with your arguments and reasons, they stand true for an average engineering student in India (but probably not for IITs, NITs, IIITs ,etc.).

    I am myself from a very unknown college of Uttar Pradesh. Although I had immense interest in computer science and I enjoyed programming a lot therefore I chose IT stream although due to poor rank in the entrance exams I got admitted in a pathetic college.

    I was surrounded by students who had absolutely no interest in learning about engineering (probably many of them were forced to engineering by their parents and many didn’t have any interest in computer science). Even though many people would rant about the poor quality of teachers and the infrastructure of the college but none would bother to take the initiative and try to learn things on their own (as they had a good excuse of blaming the teachers).

    The only IT companies visiting our campus for recruitment are Infosys, TCS, HCL, etc. And in my opinion it is the companies like these that have had a big role to play in the declining quality of CS & IT graduates (I can’t speak for other branches). The reason is the recruitment process of these companies. Their written exam tests nothing about engineering knowledge in computer science. You get some 10th grade maths problems, some questions on English skills and probably some logical reasoning (which even a 12th standard student can solve) but they test almost nothing about what we study all these 4 years. Then their interview is nothing but a practical joke. It almost appears a random process. In the interview also the quality of technical questions is very low (which is ok for a non CS background student but I wouldn’t work for a software company where they put people with CS and non-CS background in same category).

    So, it all boils down to the placement. It is the thinking of an average student that what if he/she doesn’t understand the internals of the operating system kernel, or can’t even write a hello world program in a programming language of their choice, they still stand good chances of getting placed in campus recruitment.

  36. Nikki on October 10, 2011 at 12:53 PM

    Hi,
    The problem is with the hundreds and hundreds of engineering colleges. Almost everyone back in my state would be engineering graduates.There are more than 9 engineering colleges in my district alone.The issue is with our society too.Everyone wants their child to be a doctor or engineer. Even in engineering there are biases as you have mentioned.
    I loved Computer Science in school, my subject in12th was CS, but my family wanted me to take up E.C.E.
    And later on with a prestigious college, its bulk placements for good scoring candidates.
    Infosys and TCS just offers every student a job(no matter civil or chemical or mechanical eng), none cares what they are into too . So finally we have a bunch of people who have no idea what they are doing with a job where their only aim to is to earn money. Its a vicious circle
    The syllabus taught is so outdated too.
    This is what inspires me to get a M.S in US.I am passionate about “Coding”, I want to go beyond the normal null pointer fixing “software services” job.
    I want to meet people who are inspired about their work rather than those who seek to study a tool or language just to beautify their resume.

  37. Rekha K on October 10, 2011 at 12:38 PM

    Dear HSB
    I could relate to you so much… Even I always wanted to be doctor, I got the best marks in 12th and the highest in school in biology..but my parents dint think i was upto it. They were not sure I would go through the hardships and medicine would not pay you till u are mayb 30!
    Also in 2004, there was lot of fuss in CET due to change of state govt in karnataka and huge hikes in fees for medicine and out of state students being in danger for admission.
    So engineering was d next option, by sheer ego and without much thought I took up the most sought out stream Elec and Comm..
    I regretted it in the 2nd year and almost every day after that. I realized my aptitude for programming but still sought out subjects close to bio like biomedical signal processing and Neural Networks. Now I planning for MS in biomedical engineering from US. I don’t know, sometimes despite how your life goes, sometimes you just can’t loose sight of your passion, it always nags you.
    And what I am trying to say is, I know many engineering who just took a leap of faith to pursue their passion, they all are not paid highly, but they seem happy:)..

    • HSB on October 10, 2011 at 12:42 PM

      I was going to quit MS in CS and jump into MS in Bioinformatics. I did take 2 weeks practical course on DNA sequencing, PCR, ….while doing Masters when I went to India for vacation.

  38. HSB on October 10, 2011 at 12:28 PM

    FYI – It took me 2 hours to write this post. Initial idea, draft, several edits, selecting photo, publishing.

  39. koustav on October 10, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Hi.!
    Well whateva u pointed out brother, its an unsaid truth.!..
    Education in INDIA is all based on MARKS .U being an ENGINEER obviously know that how we engineers study at the last ONE MONTH for the exam, CUZ in INDIAN EDUCATION SYSTEM MARKS are given prevailing importance.!

    Whereas IN US/CANADA the study system is more about assignments,projects which certainly lead to more and more research by the student and leads to growth of knowledge..

    Nothing strange WHY THIS TIME IIT’s HAVE NOT MADE IT TO THE TOP 200 RANKS..!

  40. suri on October 10, 2011 at 12:22 PM

    Well, i certainly agree with this fact,but not completely! In USA, there are majority of Indians who work at a higher level and do great in their business. Although many would have preferred to settle in USA after their graduation or Masters(in USA), there are still few who complete their education in India and get a chance to work in USA.( This is also a fact that not all are IITians or NITians). If there is a lack of quality, why would they still prefer Indians?

    Well, Students are being tortured from their childhood.For example: Children are forced to study right from their Kinder-garden. They are being provided with extra coaching so as to compete with the other students. Parents who are affluent put their wards in CBSE or Matric Schools.But what about many who cannot afford that standards? Whether or not,a person is from a CBSE background,he ought to study the subjects.(It is common for all with some standards)
    But the teachers at the undergrad level presumes that the student would know the basics and also due to the time constraint that he/she tend to ignore the basic lessons.Students from CBSE school( wherein they would have learned the concepts earlier) can grasp the lessons,but what about the others?They tend to loose interest.So students cannot be blamed always.

    Also to mention,govt has many rules which is relaxed to a particular group of the society. For example: If a person belongs to SC/ST or any other backward community,he can get into a particular university with a lower cut-off than the standards.Although govt aims at improving the standards of the backward,the standards in quality of the education is deteriorating. Govt has also removed the concept of Public exams in 10th grade. Although it is good in a way that it will alleviate the pressure of the students,it has compromised on the quality of education.

    So i would say that society is the main cause for the lack of quality in the education.Lucky are those who get a chance to pursue their MS abroad.But its something that is acquired and not always indigenous.

  41. pavan on October 10, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    Interesting read!! I always wanted to become an archeologist and my parents had different plans for me. They made me get into Engineering and i’m good at mechanics and stuff so my obvious choice was Mechanical. But on the day of the counseling an interesting thing happened, I came across ENERGY specialization with Btech mech ( nice huh!!). So, i went ahead and took a brave step. Four years down the line, i never regretted that decision until recently , when i asked my professor where can i get the thermal conductivity(fluids) experiment equipment, and he said “you cannot find it anywhere except for a few IIT’s and some R&D labs”, he also told me about the lack of infrastructure for our branch. During my first year the same guy told me i’ll be having a lot of opportunities and exposure, and now he wants me to change my project area. Ironically my college(VIT) keeps bragging about the infrastructure being world class. This made me make up my mind to go for my masters.
    Btw, HSB did you know about 1820 people(All branches) being hired by CTS from our campus.

  42. saad on October 10, 2011 at 12:10 PM

    when i chose engineering i knew it was something that is being forced upon me even though my parents would have supported whatever career path i wanted to follow but being from a small city and without the power of internet i really had a hard time deciding what career path i should follow. engineering was an obvious choice all my parents were in that career who so ever i had consulted(my relatives and family friends) said that it was an apt choice for me.
    but now i have really decided to do what i really love and i have finally found my calling. it is architecture. even though it requires countless hours of work and not so huge pay check but i know thats what i want to be for the rest of my life. and this is my last chance thanks to the flexible learning opportunities in the US where i can go for masters in architecture even thought i am from a different background.
    i think india should adopt this kind of flexibility because many like me are not really sure what career choice we should follow when we are just 17
    if a person enrols for a course and wants to switch to some other course in india he has to wait for almost a year and even after that he is not sure whether he would really get into that course because there are very small number of colleges which offer quality education and the applicants are many
    most of the colleges in india are only have one motive and that is to appropriate money from students.
    moreover there is also no option for credit transfer. i think indian education system should incorporate these qualities from the western education system
    this would really help in this kind of situation

    • saad on October 10, 2011 at 12:11 PM

      dammit typo please dont post it

  43. GReddy7227 on October 10, 2011 at 12:02 PM

    very well composed one..!!

  44. Mridul Manohar Mishra on October 10, 2011 at 11:54 AM

    Well one of the main factor which comes to my mind is “employable degree”. What I mean to say is that bachelors is a good enough degree in India to make you eligible for jobs (mostly engineering). When applying for undergraduate studies none of us can be sure about the fields we want to work in. 10+2 doesn’t give you good enough picture about what is out there and about what you really want to do in your life. After undergraduation when you are ready to make such choice, instead of doing a serious study(graduation, masters or Ph.D.) in your field of choice you go out for a job as that’s an easier option available to you. There might be various reasons why people choose jobs at premature level rather than going for serious studies.
    1) Some of us never wanted to be engineers but were forced to do so and now we are no more interested in studying engineering further.
    2) Most of us are from middle class families (India still has biggest chunk of middle class, mostly lower middle class) and as soon as we start earning it’s better (because of social pressure, family commitments etc.). We are able to exercise this option as it is available.
    3) Not only students but the industry as well as colleges perceive graduation (M.Tech.) as a last resort for people who could not get a job for themselves after B.Tech. Now this is a catch 22 situation. M.Tech. studies in India actually do not promote research work so not much value addition here. Industries in India do not do much of original research work in India so they do not need such people. (Mostly original research is done in USA, Israel or Europe).
    4) Last its not the students to blame for as the teaching staff and the examination pattern of the colleges. Profs not involved in any kind of research, let alone good one. Thus they are miles away from the reality of technology and how those equations, algorithm in books turn into practices. By studying last 5 years of question papers you get to pass the exam. Its not students fault.

    Its not India, its everywhere. Undergraduates are going to be as clueless as they are here. Israel also has a trend of employing undergrads. They are also of the same quality. Difference being the quality of work in the industry where these undergrads develop their skills pretty fast.
    Till we have culture of employing graduates only, availability of good research work in industry and a research culture in institutions, nothing is gonna change much.

  45. arun on October 10, 2011 at 11:49 AM

    i think the quality of output of our gradates is some what,is less than required knowledge in a company.Myself being an gradate i think we people still need some more expose from the school,colleges & universities etc

  46. Bodhi on October 10, 2011 at 11:37 AM

    Guys its not a very valid discussion. How many Indian Engineering graduates get the option to go for their core jobs? At the final year how many core companies come to take interview? I guess it is very less in number. I was a B Tech in biotech(by choice). The state and central Govt cooked up big stories about biotech “Boom”. Which still is a Myth. Guys you people might be offended. But I know people who went to US because they couldn’t crack GATE/CSIR . I have done my Masters from IITM, got into Drexel University for PhD but joined IIT-KGP because I think it is useless to blame the system. Instead it is better to improve the situation. Finally don’t blame India because its graduates are of poor quality. US industries and Universities run because of Indian employees and researchers. Don’t feel proud because you have money to study MS in US (in most cases MS students don’t get scholarships I guess) and an average Indian student don’t have money so he is striving in some software company. If you are ashamed of being an Indian Univ Bachelor Degree holder, be a green card holder and please don’t return to your motherland.

    • Kishan on October 10, 2011 at 1:23 PM

      I partly agree with your argument. It is true that many students who are not able to qualify the exams like GATE, CSIR or JEST go for universities abroad and in great many cases, they succeed in getting one. But this, in no way implies that majority of students going abroad belong to the same category. I also have done my masters from IIT M and have fairly decent scores in GATE, CSIR – NET and JEST. I had joined IITM for my Ph. D. as a CSIR candidate in 2010 but left after one year and now trying for some good university abroad. The reason being the poor quality of students as well as teachers(some). In order to do something novel, authentic and ground-breaking one needs a conducive environment. But what I found was a situation exactly similar to what HSB has mentioned GREAT QUANTITY but low QUALITY. The stress is more on producing more NUMBER of papers than on doing a quality work. Students too have a very passive attitude towards research. They just want degrees and the IIT brand so that they can get to some good company or institute with a high pay scale. It’s hardly about passion and CHOICE. They don’t even know what they would like to work on and wait for their professor to suggest the problem to work on, they lack initiative. Another problem is the ego clashes of professors here which involves a lot politics of which students become an intrinsic part by default. There is no freedom for students in carrying out the experiments freely and efficiently because they cannot use or are not easily allowed to use instruments from other labs. And this problem persists invariably in most of IITs. As if this is not enough, students also have a similar situation among themselves. Senior students see juniors as, not their colleagues but, their subordinates and refuse to discuss research matters with their juniors because, somehow, this hurts their ego and reputation. This kind of environment creates frustration and disappointment in My point is that the atmosphere in India is not suitable for research and the reason for this is the attitude of students and teachers. It’s like rat race, as is in schools, but at a more advanced level.

  47. harsha on October 10, 2011 at 11:34 AM

    Well said….. I am one of them…. I love Computer Science… but i was forced to select ECE ….
    at least i will definitely study MS in CS out of my interest…

  48. megha on October 10, 2011 at 11:32 AM

    unfortunately yesss…….

  49. GBK on October 10, 2011 at 11:21 AM

    When everyone knows the problems with graduation study in India, why can’t we discuss on something that we can do to encounter it in the coming days rather than sticking to a typical political kind of discussion “What’s your stand on this? ” . . Can taking a stand solve the problem. When we all know what the problem is, its not worth to spend time on “My case was this, I heard that, I did this.”.

    If we really had concerns we definitely have to fight against it. How many of us have convinced our juniors, friends or relatives to pursue what their mind say? How many of of us have convinced our aunt and uncle to let her/his son/daughter to pursue what they admire? Its been happening there from long time and it will continue to be, if we stick to discussions that still focus on comprehending the problem. Problem is already known. Its time to act. Lets test ourselves as to how we can contribute towards it. Finding a problem is easy, solving it is never . . .

    How many of us are ready to go back India and get into teaching or other profession to change the system?
    How many of us really have a concern towards it?
    Is it just for the sake of a discussion? Is there outcome? Does it gonna solve the problem?
    When we are insisting many to come abroad and settle down, how can we (note the term ‘we’ because I’m one among you.) curse the system?
    Is there a possibility to encounter this problem?
    And now ask yourself . .
    Do we really have to do it?

    Its all about my personal perception. And to make it clear its not an exaggeration towards being an Indian or something. Its just because, after 2 months of being in US, I regularly see ourselves cursing our system, when we come as a part of that system. Doesn’t anyone think we have something to do about it than just cursing?

    • HSB on October 10, 2011 at 11:36 AM

      Is not about cursing the system or India after coming to US. Think about it for a minute. You wouldn’t be cursing the reality when you (or I) were in India before coming to US. So, why do we do that after coming to US? We are exposed to things, which can be done in better way.

      • GBK on October 10, 2011 at 10:57 PM

        Agreed! We are getting exposed to it, no doubt. But not everything in US is good. Of course since its an education blog we have to restrict ourselves. But I just have one point.

        What are we making use of this exposure apart from using it for cursing?
        Do you honestly believe that majority of us are making a good use of this exposure to improve the system in India? And you know the answer is “NO!” . .

        Time really keeps changing brother! There are few institutes which are now tending to follow US education system. And its time that we should feel responsible. Even if we cannot do something about it, atleast we should stop cursing it. 🙂

        • HSB on October 10, 2011 at 10:59 PM

          I’ not sure you are doing anything about it or not, but I’m creating awareness through this blog.

          • GBK on October 11, 2011 at 11:22 AM

            FYI, I’m doing it on my part too. Of course I don’t run a blog to say that. . 😉



          • GBK on October 11, 2011 at 11:23 AM

            And its not about just me and you, that’s why I added the word ‘Majority’ (not even ‘all’) . .



    • Umank on October 10, 2011 at 2:48 PM

      You can’t really solve a problem by just talking about solving it.. Debates like this help explore more towards the root and effects of the problem.. The problem is more intrinsic than just society of system.. It is ‘Mindset’.. Mindset of student, mindset of parents, mindset of teachers, mindset of recruiters even.. Honestly you can’t really change mindset by just telling people to do it.. The reason why people want to be engineers and doctors is that there was this time when those were the most reputed jobs.. the social standard stuff u know.. the trend still continues to continue.. As long as we Indians don’t quit associating every job with certain social standard, we will never be able to get over it.. In the US, no job is big or small.. a job is a job.. We are too far from those ideas.. ijs.. *Peace out*

  50. Mani on October 10, 2011 at 11:20 AM

    Although the post does point to a serious concern, it is unfair to make sweeping generalizations about Indian engineers.

    The main problem lies with the fast mushrooming engineering colleges where anyone and everyone gets admission easily. People want to be graduates and an engineering degree seems easy to get as well as well paying due to the blossoming IT industry.
    In the US, money is not a concern mostly. People have the leisure to sit and decide what they desire and then follow their dreams.
    In India, typically, a father of two children cannot afford to follow a career which is not “secure” like the Fine Arts or Singing. The same applies to his interests in the fields which can be dubbed as “the roads not taken”. The primary aim of an average Indian is to earn money to feed his family and this plays a pivotal role in his career decisions. Thus he runs after the high paying IT jobs.

    Talking about Engineering, let us not forget the IITs, NITs, DCE (DTU), NSIT and IIITs where the most brilliant minds of the country segregate. Here students are contantly motivated to strive for excellence solely due to the peer pressure (when everyone around you seems better then you…only then can you really grow). Students do research projects and internships right from their 2nd year (or sometimes 1st year!).

    The placement season here is hardly the way you describe it. Students refuse to sit for the company they don’t want to work for and compromise fat paychecks to work for startups (low paying) just to learn more. Many students have two jobs in hand and still think about applying off campus if they think they can get a more challenging profile.

    “It’s very tough to make them understand about taking ownership, responsiblity of given tasks.” I beg to differ here too. At least in the case of the top engineering colleges, students here accomplish more in internships, learn a lot by themselves through self study, group study. The more ‘knowledge’ a person has here, the more he/she is respected.

    On the other hand school life hardly prepares us for a professional life. Most of the times a 12th class pass out has hardly explored the available fields to be able to really decide what he/she wants to do. Hence he takes the beaten track of pursuing engineering if he is good at Maths, Physics and Chemistry. It is the 4 years in engineering (or any other graduate degree) where students discover their talents and decide whether or not they can pursue their dreams. Few people know what they want from an early age.

    And also it is not important that just because you have taken up a certain course you have to stick with that subject for the rest of your life! Let me take a real example from the life of a person I know first hand, who did what he wanted to do when he wanted to:
    A senior from my college (NSIT) who was doing computer engineering tried his hands at coding but discovered that he is not going to be happy in that field. He did a few internships and got disillusioned with the IT job world. And “Economics” interested him immensely. So he started studying as much as he could about Economics and did a few projects (His interest was in Game Theory) and so much was his love for this field that he published papers in conferences. Finally..he got an admit from Stanford as well as London School of Economics.
    SO it is never too late to start .

    It is not the fault of the students only but the whole Indian Education system and our culture where we are taught to keep working hard towards something we don’t even like to do.
    Some people don’t dream and take what they get. Such people are not limited to India (we get noticed as we have a huge population!).

    All in all…just do what you love…and you will reach the stars 🙂

    • akansha on October 10, 2011 at 12:08 PM

      real and beautifully put..

    • Mahesh jaju on October 11, 2011 at 4:03 AM

      The last line”Just do what you love” is well said >it may work in some context but not in all.
      Depending on one’s situation it would be applied.

      Anyways Great post

  51. PP on October 10, 2011 at 11:11 AM

    Totally agree with you. As for your questions –

    1) How many of you selected a college/degree because that the subject you really loved to study?
    I selected my degree and my course because i loved it. However, college was definitely by chance. Just like you when you miss cutoffs by any small percentage, you are left with limited options.

    2) Did you pick the degree, college, course by choice vs by chance?
    Degree and course – by choice
    College – by chance

    3) When attending campus interview, did you ask, what product, project you will be working?
    Back in India, when i was attending campus interview, I did not really bother asking what product or project i would be working on. However, once in US, when I was interviewing for my first FT job, which I got eventually, I did ask such questions.

    4) Did you know what programming language you will writing the code?
    Back in India, of course not. The standard question is what are your areas of interest and you talk about programming languages and subjects about which you feel you can answer questions, even if you are not really strong in these areas. I am a SQL person, so I just mentioned that, but the interviewer asked me questions about data structures. So I guess it did not really matter.

    In essence, you are right, salary is the key and everything else is secondary for Graduates from India.

  52. Angelo Kurian on October 10, 2011 at 10:36 AM

    I cant see this post as something that might be controversial,

    HSB has clearly outlined a typical indian engineering graduate, even i fall into the same category.
    Most of the indian engineers does not have a sense of direction.

  53. Sumeet on October 10, 2011 at 10:32 AM

    100% absolutely try “Graduates from India are not just low in quality, but they don’t have any quality”. Infact I was one of them. But, I was, I am not now. After coming to US, I am finding meaning in education and finally loving my work. I don’t mean that USA will help you find your dream college or what you want to do but one should know what you want from the life ultimately. If you know this, your 90% problems are solved. Let me give you my example. In my college in Punjab, nobody knew about this whole GRE, TOEFL and US thing. I did and I started working on it and scored good marks and secured US university. I never took help of any external agent neither I had any senior who could help me. And believe me, without these 2 things, it got really really difficult sometimes but my inner motivation kept me going. Anyways, as soon as I got admit, half of the class bought GRE books, started studying just because I had secured admission, they thought they would do. They thought its very cool. But in actual how much does it take to secure US admission, nobody knew. And result was, after wasting money, they end up looking for something else a month after because they didn’t know in first what they actually want. They were just influenced by me. It’s okay to get influenced but at the same time, person should also know his capabilities and aspirations.

    And graduation studies in most of the colleges of India ???? It s**ks man. By any perspective, student after even under-graduation doesn’t know, what he wants to do. Either because he was forced to come to in that field by his parents which turns into his lack of interest most of the times, or studies in undergrad college is so outdated and pathetic that even those who comes with the interest, eventually loose it. And not to mention, society’s pressure to do well and ultimately earn well is big factor in India which turn them into seeking money-producing-jobs (which is fine) but to earn that, you need to have quality too (which they don’t). And I think everyone knows quality of education in India. I would be really surprised even anyone says, its better and conditions are improving and blah blah blah !!…Period.

    • Kishan on October 19, 2011 at 12:00 PM

      I totally agree. I remember when I refused to join Eng. after my 12th and went for BSc, I was opposed by most of my relative. I was seen as a foolish and hard-headed person – absolutely refusing to compromise with my choice. I suffered for 3 consecutive years thoughout my BSc till I got into IIT M for the masters. In India, people are not encouraged to make their own choices. Students are forced to cater their parents’ will and do something that they don’t enjoy. Those who dare to go against the flow have to face the emotional blackmail which leads to frustration and mental trauma. This ultimately engenders disappointment, lack of leadership qualities and a passive attitude towards life which results in weakness at the fundamental level. What else can you expect from a person who goes through such trauma right from his/her teenage life – a stage in life when students must be taught to take responsibilities, take their own decision and believe in self.

      In my opinion, parents and teachers are the biggest culprits behind the present situation we have of being LOW in QUALITY. Parents impose upon their children their own (baseless) ambitions. Although as children we are obliged to fulfill their dreams, if that makes them happy, but they should DREAM RIGHT. What should be expected of children is whatever field they choose to work in, they should put their best efforts, be honest towards their duty and achieve greatest heights in that field and the most important of all they should be HAPPY and SATISFIED with their lives. Instead what I have observed is that most parents’ dreams are driven by selfish motives like their social status, monetary benefits, future financial security, etc. The truth is parents like to boast over their children achievements in front of others such that their listeners feel down, which is a very bad and mean thing and they get a strange happiness out of it and feel that they have achieved a better social status. This is a socially accepted custom in our country. Parents who feel down force their children to pursue the same thing as the other has done as it carries with it a better “social status” with it. This is the real ambition of most parents which impels them to crush their childrens’ dreams and happiness. This is the narrowness of Indian parents and their contributions to low quality students.

      The second culprit are the teachers. In our country teaching is seen as one of the most unyielding and disrespected jobs. The primary reason being LOW SALARIES and hence a low social status. There is a filteration process for students in India which has now becom a custom – Most of the good students are FORCED to pursue eng. or medical, those filteref out go for studies like BSC, BCom, etc. Here the top ones join some good companies or institutes like IITs. Remaining go for masters and again top ones from these are selected for some jobs in some companies. The left out pursue teaching. Just imagine what kind of teachers would these people make and what quality do they have teach their students? A teacher is the most important factor in a students’ life. A teacher, ideally, must be well well versed in his subjects apart from the qualities like good personality, confidence, integrity because teachers are the role models of students’ early lives and they tend to imitate and imbibe his habbits and qualities. Did we have such teachers for our primary and secondary education? I bet the majority will say NO. Then how can one expect the students to have all these qualities? To tell one of my own experiences, recently I found that in my sister’s MATHS is being DICTATED as it is from TEXT BOOK and important questions are being given which are going to appear in the examination. And this is happening everywhere. How can you, then, expect quality from these students when they grow up?

      The truth is we first need to educate parents and teachers if we want educated and quality students. We cannot blame stuedents for their low quality when they haven’t had a chance to know what quality is in their chilhood.

  54. Rajesh Gill on October 10, 2011 at 10:28 AM

    Hello HSB,

    Quite interesting and controversial topic.

    I guess we are on same page as I think that in India, every parent want his son/daughter to be Doctor or Engg these days irrespective of the fact what he/she is capable of or more inclined to.

    Even I am from the same bunch of guys who did engg. just for the sake of it but after 4 years of industry experience, I “think” i know what I want from life so while applying for MS in US, I am looking for good colleges in the field I want to do MSc (MIS) instead of just college ranking.

    Coming onto the agenda:

    1) If given option, I would have opted for Mech engg instead of Electonics and comm.

    2) As per my AIEEE rank, I picked the college where seats were filling up quickly (foolish).

    3) Being from middle class family, job was most important so no such questions there, even though I should have however I did checked about my project and my role on day one.

    4) No idea of what technology I would be working at the time of joining.

    Do share your views as well.

  55. Uday on October 10, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    Agree to the core. I am fortunate that my hobby, passion, skill and profession are the same (coding). So personally I didn’t have much of a choosing to do. But yes, most of my peers chose the field because they heard that “isme baut scope hai”.

    Hardly few Indians choose based on what they actually want to do, or even have to aptitide of doing. They realize it only after sinking deep in the program, and instea of trying to develop their aptitude/attitude they eventually give up justifying what is expected of them as engineers. Hence their tendency to get “any” job they get and surviving “with the crowd” rather than rising to what they should/could/wanted to be..

  56. Karthik Ramesh on October 10, 2011 at 10:19 AM

    True words..
    “We wanted options. After graduation, if Software jobs dry up, we can look for Electrical engineering jobs.” Many people have said the exact words as above.
    I myself am an IT student since I liked BASIC and C++ during my school days.
    But many have taken IT/CSE just because they could get a lucrative job in some IT company..that really saddens me as they are not inclined towards ‘learning’ in the classic sense..
    Not to brag , but I and some of my friends are really into learning the subject, like how hardware works, what is machine language, micro coding etc and we really enjoy it. Students
    must really learn things on their own.

    As for me I am planning to pursue Master’s in HCI and hope to do so from quality universities in the US.

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