Of the five million odd graduates that India produces annually, only a little over half are employable in any sector of the knowledge economy. Inadequate English and computer skills are key factors holding back students, especially those from smaller towns.
The National Employability Report by Aspiring Minds, an employability solutions company, revealed this, based on the computer adaptive test on 60,000 Indian graduates. The students were tested communication skills in English, computer knowledge, analytical, cognitive skills and basic accounting knowledge.
According to the report, women show similar or higher employability compared to men, despite them scoring lower than men on many parameters barring English or analytical skills. Predictably, arts stream had the highest proportion of women, followed by commerce. Science and accounts had the lowest. The one area where women could needed help seems to be computer programming skills.
About 16% and 14% of the graduates were employable in sales and customer service or operations jobs, respectively. These require communication, cognitive skills and personality traits such as friendliness and agreeableness and in the latter numerical ability too.
Over one third of the graduates (36%) were suitable for employment in clerical/secretarial jobs, the sector showing highest employability for graduates, followed by IT-enabled services and BPO. These show 21.4% employability as they require relatively low skills.
However, when it comes to IT services and IT operations, only 13% and 16%, respectively are employable. Just 2% are employable in corporate communication or content development, for which the primary requirement is exceptional command over English and basic analytical skills. Only 3% are employable as analysts and a mere 2% in accounting. In teaching,the employability was just 15%.
The city from where the students graduate also influences employability. Employability is highest in the bigger Tier I cities (over 25 lakh population). The drop in employability is maximum for jobs of analysts and corporate communication, all jobs that require high competence in cognitive skills and English.
It was found that the higher the skill requirement for a job, the greater the gap between employability in Tier I compared with Tier II and III cities.
Tier III cities (less than five lakh population) seem worst off when it comes to exposure to computers, while in English both Tier II and Tier III need help.
When it comes to a drop in skills from Tier II to Tier III cities, it is noticeable that the drop in cognitive skills is the highest among management and engineering students.
Non-metro cities have lower employability across all sectors. When students from non-metros shifted to the metrosfor graduation, they have scores similar to the metro students in English and cognitive skills.
The difference doesn’t close for computer fundamentals, despite higher education in a metro Incidentally, when metro students moved to non-metros, they did worse on all scores than non-metro students who continued where they were.
Source: Times of India