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Educated unemployment, in simple words, is not finding a job in a particular industry despite holding a relevant degree and willing to work at industry standard wages/salaries.

Youth unemployment in India is among the major concerns and is one of the most widely discussed issues, yet it has hardly seen any resolution. Education for us Indians is  finishing schools and colleges. But we fail to understand that that’s not it.

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It’s not the number of years that you spend in schools or colleges, that’s going to land you a job. It’s the quality of education and knowledge acquired during these years, that matters. Most of our childhood and youth is spent in mugging up textbooks and very less in practical understanding and acquiring skills.

According to a report, almost 2 million graduates and half a million postgraduates are unemployed in India. around 47% graduates in India are not suitable for any kind of industry role. Above all, the level of educated unemployment in India increases with higher education. while, at the primary level, youth unemployment is somewhere around 3.6%, it is 8% at the graduate level and 9.3% at the post-graduate level.

Let us have a look at the 5 major reasons for educated unemployment in India:

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1. Population


Population, or as they say, overpopulation, has always been a roadblock for considerable number of issues. This ranges from healthcare, basic shelter, to youth unemployment in India. An economy that has 1.35 billion people living in it, we can hardly expect to see that the demands of each and every individual is met. The population is humongous for meeting basic food supplies and medical treatments, let alone be jobs and placements.

Talking about the youth population and youth unemployment in India, according to a source, every year, India sees 8-9% increase in enrolment at the higher education level. India is among the top 5 countries to have highest number of students going to the universities. The problem here is that there is no equivalent rise in the number of opportunities.

The supply of graduates is more than the demand there is. This gap especially widens in the times of recession, when the companies and organisation find it difficult to cope up with the crumbling economy, resulting in laying off of employees, much less hiring new.

2. Low Institution/University Standards

 reasons for educated unemployment

When we compare our educational institutions with the ones outside of the country, we come to an understanding that the teaching methodology is extremely flawed. Outdated curriculum, inferior teaching resources, lack of basic infrastructure, to name a few, are at the root of youth unemployment. The students are not trained to meet the needs of the economy, or understand the subject to the core, but rather to cram up the syllabus and get the right grades.


The number of engineering institutes in India stood at 337 in 1990, which in 2017 stood at 6427  

Above all, the present education system has become a way of business for most. The fees have sky-rocketed, whereas the quality of education has remained substandard. This tends to leave most youth at the mercy of government colleges, which, by far, are completely lagging behind when compared to private institutes. While increase in the number of institutes in any given field is important in the light of rising population, the quality of these institutes was and has never been touched upon. In India, the rising number of institutes only means compromising on quality of education, probably due to lack of monetary resources and funding. 

3. Lack of right skills

reasons for educated unemployment

Absence of relevant skills is one of the major reasons for youth unemployment in India. To be fit for working in any industry, it is quite important to equip one-self with the necessary skill set and focus on competency. However, most youth today lack the appropriate skills that a job specification requires them to have.

A very high number of graduates do not have required proficiency in English communication. The role of primary education steps in when we talk about skills. It is important to focus on basic skills like communication and language at the elementary level.

4. Job opportunity & qualification mismatch

Educated unemployment in India

The graph typically shows the steady increase in youth unemployment in India

Low salary has been at the threshold of educated unemployment in India. The best colleges and institutes in India have failed to provide jobs that can pay decently.

A report says that 48% of urban youth face the problem of getting a suitable job. Of the ones employed, 38% are dissatisfied. This also means lack of good working environment and conditions.

Lack in decent remuneration, especially in the field of engineering and legal studies, have been widely reported by media. While the companies and lawyers might be making it huge, they fail to adequately compensate their fellow employees and juniors. This acts as a barriers for many graduates seeking employment. They will turn their back to the right opportunity knocking their doors, leaving them idle. 

5. Meeting Societal responsibilities

Societal responsibilities

Women have always been at the center of discussion when it comes to employment and unemployment in India. Most women, drop the idea of taking up a job responsibility upon graduation. This is mainly due to prospects of matrimony.

The idea of a working female is still not very widely accepted in India. While most women do aspire to build their careers, time constraints and family pressure have always been a reason to shun them away from taking up good opportunities. There is a clear need to focus on eliminating female youth unemployment in India by spreading awareness on women empowerment.

Conclusion: Employment and unemployment in India have always been at the centre of discussion for the government and intellectuals alike. Employment in itself comes with some of its own issues, like lack of decent working conditions, exploitation of employees, absence of decent remuneration etc.

Although there are laws that focus on employment and unemployment in India, we have barely seen any implementation. When it comes to educated unemployment in India, Regulation of wages, making private sector more organised, fixing fees for educational institutes are, inter alia, some ways to control it.

Above all, quality of education should be the cornerstone for the government and people alike. Its time we take Skill development initiative undertaken by the ruling government more seriously. 

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