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:: 48 India

India Emerging as the Preferred Career Destination for IITians
48 India    10/10/2008 1:31:03 PM



Many Indian families will not experience the same struggles as the Ganguli family depicted in the famed book and movie, “The Namesake”, as it seems most fresh college graduates in India now prefer not to leave India. It is well known that graduates from the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITians) have historically preferred to move to the United States or other countries to pursue higher studies and explore more attractive career opportunities. However, preferences have changed during the last few years according to a recent survey of 677 IITians by Evalueserve – a global research and analytics’ firm. Among IITians who graduated during 1964 and 2001, 35% moved to countries other than India, while 65% remained. However, among IITians who graduated in 2002 and later (including the graduating class of 2008), only 16% moved while 84% remained in India. Recent graduates also believe that India will be the most promising geography for IIT graduates in 10 years.

Changing Geographical Preferences

Among IITians Among IITians who graduated prior to 2002, approximately 60% of the respondents viewed the developed countries as the destination with the best career opportunities. However, among those who graduated in 2002 or after, this trend has been reversed with 51% respondents now considering India to be the preferred career location. As many as 90% of all graduating IITians have chosen to remain in India in 2006.

  • The point of “inflexion” with respect to this change seems to have occurred with the graduating class of 2002 and likely correlates to the growth of India’s economy, which (since 2002) has recently been 8% - 9% per year in real terms and of 14% - 15% in nominal terms.
  • When compared to the United States, 30% of IITians who graduated during 1964 and 2001 moved to the United States whereas only 9% did so – or will do so – during 2002 and 2008. However, in both cases, among those who moved – or will move – approximately 68% did so to pursue higher studies, whereas 17% of the respondents considered the United States as an attractive destination in terms of employment opportunities.
  • The drop in the number of IITians who believed the US offered a “better standard of living” has been remarkable, from 13% to almost zero.


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