The Fresher's Paradox

“You have a message”.


The message pops up and you manoeuvre through the screen to reach your inbox. The mail you see is from a job portal telling you that a “big fat job fair” is organised at the “farthest place” in city. It tells you to register because in the crowd of innumerable freshers you might get lost or will have to wait in the steaming sun to get entry. You get uneasy just at the thought of it and register to get a BIG alphanumeric code. The next morning which is usually a Saturday or Sunday you wake up early and take a bus ride down the venue and end up inadvertently in the unending queue that seemed like a nightmare yesterday. But you don’t have much choice; because you are a fresher and you’ve gotta get a job ASAP.
The scene inside (if you manage to get past the watchdogs, without perspiring to death) is almost the same every time and the worst part is, you know the outcome.
The job fair has been advertised as the best and last resort for freshers and in the hope that something might click here, you join the bandwagon.
You enter the arena armed with your resume, mark sheets, some stationary and HOPE all neatly packed in a hanging sack, which has become a trademark of all the freshers and job hunters. The first counter you see the name “Big flashy IT major” which usually has a team of shiny overfed & over annoyed recruiters. They greet you with a smile, off course, but only if the day is just starting. That smile carries a sarcastic feeling to it hidden somewhere beneath their bosom which is recognizable instantly. The feeling which says “Another job fair hmmmmm. Lets see how many I can bully with my mindless babble this time.” Innovation, I believe, has been cornered to only recognising the ways in which you can piss off and demoralise as many freshers as you can in a time span of 2 – 4 hrs, without helping them in the least.
Anyway, hope they say is a very dangerous thing. People believe in hope but they trust fear. Being a fresher you are entitled to both.
“Sir I am BE Electronics and may I know the job options that are there in “Big flashy IT major”.
“What’s your work experience?”
“Sir I am fresher, though I have designed a network watch dog and have also been involved in the ……….”
“Hold on, hold on. What’s your percentage aggregate?”
“Sir it is 55%, but I have been involved in ……”
“Sorry son we are looking for at least a 65% aggregate.” And again that same smile which reminds you of hyenas at Nat geo.
You move on this time with realisation that you should describe your resume a little better. The next counter disappoints you even more, for they don’t wanna waste time talking to freshers and instead have placed a drop box where the ‘fresher clan’ can drop in their resumes and forget that you ever did so.
You move like this from counter to counter ;on some counters you see a little more crowd but a bigger banner( For Experience +2 yrs) which reinstates the fact that you did a really big mistake coming all the way to “farthest place” wasting time and more importantly money , which I wonder why has always been short since college.
According to the All India Council for Technical Education, India produced 401,791 engineers in 2003-04, 35 per cent being computer engineers. In 2004-05, the number of engineering graduates increased to 464,743, of which 31 per cent were computer engineers. India currently has 113 universities and 2,088 colleges, many of which teach various engineering disciplines. Engineering colleges in the country have been growing at 20 per cent a year, while business schools have grown at 60 per cent. (As of 2006). This in short implies that on an average 5lac engineers are churned out of money making engineering factories, every year, blotted all across India. The nation takes pride in announcing that we are soon to overtake china in engineer production.
Every year you’ll see articles in newspapers and magazines describing how the Indian economy and job industries are booming and everyone is gonna be happy well fed with a fat pay check in the near future. The question is How near this future actually is? If you ask me I can only show you the disappointed faces mostly seen taking rounds of companies on weekends and doing some self enhancing course in weekdays maybe on loan. Where are the feasts we were promised while in College? Where is the development? And most importantly where are the jobs?
Dusting your feet for 6 months after graduation convinces you of only THREE things. Either you should have a flashy percentage (>65%) OR a famed institute (offering placements offcourse) OR EXPERIENCE.
What gets me thinking is how many of the freshers & job searchers are actually still job searchers if they have either of the above requirements. And if they are I don’t call them freshers. My definition of a fresher and job searcher is a person who has neither of the above requirements. Ok you have less than 60%, no campus offers and No flashy institute and obviously no Experience. How do you start from there? Yeah you can whine about it and hit your head on wall and crib, but whatever, in the end you have to stand up, analyse the situation and FIGHT. But How?
The most obvious course of action is uploading resumes to as many job sites as possible, learning a few languages (Software) but what else? Why is there a scarcity of options for freshers? There are tests off course Elitmus and likes that might help you but count the percentage of people who are getting jobs through these and who aren’t and get dazzled. Higher education might not be an option for everyone and might not be economically feasible. Besides, it takes time. Time which has become so valuable in today’s world that economies go for a see-saw ride at the slightest miscalculation. The dynamic job scenario in India might go bananas by the time you’re done with your “extra education for job guarantee” (AS if Bachelors was for saving the planet from a meteor shower).
Prof Madhavan (An intellectual) says the quality of Indian engineers is questionable on account of "the lack of trained faculty and dismal state spending on research and development in higher education." As engineering education grows, he adds, its quality has to improve. The quality has to improve; government has to spend all fair, but what about the paradox that has become a constant peril in lives of thousands of “criteria unfulfilling” freshers NOW. When are they supposed to get a decent job, one which pays a decent salary and if not a decent salary then provides an opportunity to learn and evolve. The paradox “Without experience there are no jobs and without jobs there is No experience”, however has yet to be resolved, by politicians, by policy makers, thinkers, scientists …... I am trying to figure out a way around this, the resolution I believe clearly worthy of a Noble prize.
The other troubles that haunt job hunters are obviously Family pressure, peer competition magnified several times by the sudden emergence of social networking websites and economic Lows. Compared to India, the United States produces only 70,000 engineering graduates every year. All of Europe produces just 100,000. Obviously there is lesser competition, more jobs, greater job satisfaction, higher average salaries and most important lesser working hours / week. Indians, according to a recent survey are amongst the most hardworking people in World; a fact that many might be proud of, but just look at the forwarded emails from all our “employed friends” and realise what a pain it actually is. Working more & being paid lesser in a globalized economy, than average “same intelligence” person elsewhere in world, IT SUCKS.
So where is our nation going and where are we going with it? Yes we made mistakes in our graduation we are being penalised with this incessant job hunt , told by numerous people that you should have studied harder gotten into Good colleges , should join sales……… STOP. It’s not the time for counterintuitive statements , don’t explain my problems and shortcomings to me , I know them very well and am doing my best to get over them ; SOLVE my problem. Can You???

Comments

Dexterous said…
well said my friend...I echo that..the only difference is that my echo doesnt read as good as yours...it goes something like this Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!
you feel as if nothing can be done but keep hoping against hope, surely things will CHANGE!!
rose said…
Superb....writing...
Devesh...i feel like...kissing your hands..., you have great ...writing skills...buddy...just keep writing..
all the best...

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