Education to employability
A few days back, I first landed in Old Rajinder Nagar (preparation hub for civil service examinations). I was completely shocked when I saw thousands of people on the road. Buying study materials for preparation for the coveted UPSC CS examination.
The first thing that clicked in my mind was to check. How many people appear in this examination itself? Soon, I figured around 4–5 lakh aspirants of a total of 8–9 lakh appeared in the 2021 preliminary examination.
Do these numbers feel right? The answer is an absolute yes. According to Department of Personnel and Training data, 22,05,99,238 people have applied for 7.22 lakh jobs since 2014. That means only 0.33% of Govt. Employee applications have been accepted in the past 8 years (2014-July 2022).
The above numbers are of the Central government and forget about states. According to DoPT data, the Central Government, which is the highest employer in the country, gave only 3 jobs out of 1000.
The question is not how many people were able to get government jobs. But, are there ample government jobs available? Again the answer is No. Then, why do people choose government jobs over other fancy high-paying jobs?
Job security, more or less fixed duty hours, so-called work-life balance, etc. I think more or less everybody knows the answer.
We do not have enough jobs for our college graduates. A lack of job opportunities means that a whole generation of Indians is scrambling to get government roles. Many young people spend several years preparing for entrance exams for unskilled positions, but only a fraction of the candidates manage to land a job.
Shreyansh (age 30) is an IIT and IIM graduate. After exhausting all his attempts of UPSC civil services examination now he is preparing for the state civil services examination. According to him, he cannot go back to his previous job (17LPA) due to the gap of 7 years. So he is willing to give a few more years in another uncertain entrance exam.
This is the case for many highly educated and skilled graduates in the country. The main problem is that mediocrity is so often embraced in our society that we have long forgotten to teach our new generation the importance of being uncomfortable.
I am not saying that only mediocre students appear for government jobs. But my point is that, on average, a student takes 4–5 years for his/her government exam preparations.
And if they focus on any skill just for 6 months, they will be much ahead in their life compared to what they are getting in lower-grade government jobs.
A study conducted in North Indian states titled “Employability of graduates and postgraduates with respect to retail industry” found that the antecedent factors influence employability development among college graduates and undergraduates.
With its findings, the study identifies the changes or improvements required in teaching and learning mechanisms, grooming students and societal practices, and social and economic biases regarding inaccessibility to facilities leading to employability.
In other areas, like attitude and confidence building, we as a society failed in the same. We have more graduates seeking jobs instead of creating jobs for others.