In March of this year, we had reported that due increase in automation in the IT sector, the top 5 IT firms recruited 24% fewer employees in 2015. What we didn’t anticipate was the ripple effect of the automation phenomenon in an important sector – education.
As per the All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE), enrollment and intake for mechanical engineering have gradually overtaken demand for computer science engineering in India, which has been going on for the last 4 years. This means that technical education in India is witnessing a massive transformation from IT to the non-IT field, which can have some serious effects on the job market in India.
As the demand for IT courses in engineering is gradually decreasing, job offers from mechanical disciplines are steadily increasing.
Mechanical Vs. Computer Science Engineering
As per AICTE data, 5,34,199 students enrolled for mechanical engineering in 2013-14, compared to 3,23,697 enrollments for computer science in the same year.
This is the highest gap witnessed by AICTE vis-a-vis mechanical and computer science courses in engineering. In fact, between 2012-13 to 2015-16, the intake of mechanical engineering students has gone up by 2 lakh all over the nation.
Interestingly, as the number of students in mechanical engineering has increased, job offers have subsequently increased as well. In 2012-13, a total of 95,000 job offers was given to mechanical engineering graduates, which swelled to 1,39,162 for the 2015-16 academic session.
Why Is Computer Science Demand Decreasing?
In April, we reported that factory jobs are back in demand due to the increased focus on Make in India, which encourages more manufacturing inside India rather than importing.
This can be a small reason, which came into effect last year.
However, the main reason seems simple demand and supply rule: There are more IT professionals in India than the demand, shifting the base of technical education in India.
A senior official from the HRD Ministry said, “The IT industry was booming sometime back, and more and more students were pursuing computer science, but now the industry is saturated. There is more supply than demand for IT professionals in the industry, which is why students are moving towards other fields of engineering..”
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For example, he said that if 100 people are required to create software, only three must maintain it, thereby squashing demand for IT experts.
Besides, automation is also seen as a major influence in shifting the demand for IT experts. Automation, robotics, and technology can potentially kill 5.1 million jobs worldwide by 2020, and World Bank has just confirmed this fact. The jobs that are being automated at a fast pace now belong to the IT sector; although mechanical jobs can also get affected, the rate is slower.