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Returning Indian students ‘need employment help’

Indian students that have studied overseas risk unemployment after returning home unless they are provided with specific support, Canada-based education management company M Square Media has warned.

Internationally-educated Indian students find it difficult finding a job. Photo: Unsplash

Stakeholders have often called on students to gain internships or part-time work experiences during their studies to enhance their employability

Although studying abroad is regarded as a secure pathway to professional success in India, research indicates that finding a job after coming back home may be a critical challenge, the company suggested.

Indian Education ministry figures show that 750,365 Indian students went abroad to study in 2022, as reported by the Hindustan Times – a 68% increase compared to the 2021 value of 444,553.

“It is our responsibility to provide resources, guidance and support students need to succeed in their careers”

However, MSM has cited a government report stating that only 22% of Indian students who studied abroad between 2015 and 2019 were able to secure a professional position after returning home.

Sanjay Laul, CEO and founder of MSM, emphasised that students “must be aware of the potential challenges they may face when returning home”.

“As stakeholders in international education, it is our responsibility to provide students with the resources, guidance and support they need to succeed in their careers,” he said.

“This may involve developing partnerships with local employers, promoting cross-cultural communication and understanding, and fostering alumni networks to help students build their professional connections.” he added.

“By working together, we can ensure that studying abroad remains a valuable and rewarding experience for students, both during and after their education.”

One obstacle is the lack of recognition of foreign degrees and diplomas in the national job market, paired with “ambivalence” from Indian employers towards internationally-educated Indian graduates who often prefer to hire Indian-educated people.

The pandemic has led some businesses to be inclined to select local applicants due to travel restrictions and public health concerns and has also resulted in companies scaling down hiring.

“Several or many Indians end up going for or enrolling on shoddy courses that probably have no future,” Adarsh Khandelwal, CEO of education services firm Collegify, told The PIE.

“One third of the students we counsel are just random in terms of decision-making; country, course, etc…they are misguided by agents.

“They are told they can support themselves by part-time work and even get scholarships. A lot of them come from the middle class with hefty loans, which is not even reported. Also, when they come back on heavy duty loans they start from a very low package or may not find an appropriate or sustainable job,” he added.

Stakeholders have often called on students to gain internships or part-time work experiences during their studies to enhance their employability, as well as capitalising on career-advice services, mentorship programs and alumni networks to create employment links.

However, with more multinational companies increasing their presence in India, students who study abroad will get more options to work back home, according to Karan Gupta, career counsellor and head of KGC.

“When these students come with work experience after studying abroad, they are in a better position to get meaningful jobs in India,” he told The PIE.

“In the end, private companies in India value students who bring cultural diversity to the work place and students who study abroad have this distinct advantage. To work in government companies students should get their foreign degrees evaluated by accrediting bodies in India.”


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