An engineer from New Delhi wrote an open letter to Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi describing situations of engineers in India few days ago. The letter is going viral on Facebook. But we disagree with the letter. Here is our reply to the open letter written by Rakesh Roushan.
Reply to the Unemployed Engineer who wrote Open Letter to Narendra Modi
Dear Unemployed Engineer,
I sympathize with your situation and believe that many others like you feel the same. But I would like to clear certain misconceptions that you have regarding your degree and the value you assume it has. This might be a long read but it has some important lessons that every youth looking for employment needs to know.
First thing you have misunderstood is that a degree means a guarantee of a job. A degree is not your guarantee; it is just another certification that acknowledges that you have completed all the necessary work that the institute granting the degree requires for you to get the certificate. Now the things you learned at the institute may or may not be something that an employer desires. You should know that employers don’t look for the piece of paper in your files but the skills that those papers represent. If you do not have the skills that the certificate acknowledges then that certificate is nothing but a piece of paper. A certificate cannot replace actual skills. Certificates are useless; skills are what get things done.
Another thing you got wrong is that if you have invested a lot of time, effort and money, then you deserve the results that you expect. Nobody owes you a job just because you spent a lot of time developing a skill. If the skill is not in demand then it will not get you a job. The value of a skill is not determined by how much work you did to acquire it; it depends on how much work you can get done for your employer. If your skills are not what someone is looking for, you will never find employment, regardless of the number of days or the amount of money you spent developing that skill. So your demand that you get employment just because you invested a lot in your degree is baseless. When you chose to invest in your skills in engineering, you did not do your research very well and fell for the hype about engineering. Let me say something that you have probably heard before many times but never understood “All investments are subject to market risks.” That is the first thing you should learn as an adult. The job market is not a separate world. All markets work on the same laws. Learn the lesson and invest in skills that are in better demand.
Then you complain about how you only get offers for jobs in BPOs and that you are over qualified for the job. Your prejudice is coming between you and employment here. Just because you have a ‘better’ degree does not meant that you will get a better job. Grab the opportunity to work, gain some experience and climb higher. You are also complaining that companies only hire experienced candidates. Have you considered working as an intern with little to no salary just to gain experience in your field? Or do you want companies to take a huge risk in hiring you just because you have a degree? There are a lot of ways to gain; experience, intern or work for smaller companies and startups. Sure the salary isn’t what the big companies pay but you get the experience required to get into the big companies. It is an investment in the right direction.
You mentioned that you did get a job but the pay was not as much as you would expect for an engineer. This attitude is very bad. First thing, you currently don’t have a job. Grabbing this opportunity will solve that. Second, you are ashamed to ask your parent for money, this can at least reduce the amount you ask for. Third, don’t compare yourself with your friends. If your friend got a better job than you, it does not mean that you have to get an even better job. This mentality is only keeping you from working towards your dreams. And, no it is not shameful to earn an honest living, no matter how low the salary or what the nature of the work is. You know what is stupid? Leaving an opportunity and then complaining about the lack of opportunities. Grab it while you have it.
Then there is the problem of companies, ‘only hiring people with references’; that is a cultural problem and nobody can do anything about it, not even the PM of India. It is their company and they can do as they please. Sure it is irrational to hire someone you are related instead of a better qualified candidate but that is their problem. How can you change that? That is too long for the scope of this letter. Let’s save it for another time.
You are approaching watchmen of companies for jobs, shows that you will do anything but acquire the skills that are actually in demand. You cannot create a need for your skill when there is none. Your desperation is apparent but you are not utilizing your time to find the solution to your problem. It is obvious that you are not interested in Engineering but are only interested in employment. But there is no market demand for your skills so pick up from where you are and move on. There is no point in complaining about reality, it is how it is. If you want employment, learn something that is useful and in demand. Yeah you wasted your time in the college by worrying about lost time is never a solution. Do some market research and learn something that can get you employment. Maybe you already have some skill that is employable, discover it. Explore your own horizons. I’m sure there is something that you can do that will land you a job. Maybe you need tohone your skills a little but you will find what you are looking for, a job.
As a concluding note, stop complaining about lack of opportunities and start grabbing them. Stop whining about problems and start solving them. Nobody owes you a job or a salary. It is not the job of our prime minister Narendra Modi to find employment for you. It is your own responsibility and it is high time that you understand this.
An engineering student who refuses to be the victim