Corporate jobs, entrepreneurship opportunities and research-cum-teaching are at the top of the wish list for Indian students in the US keen to return to their homeland to pursue careers, suggests the most comprehensive study yet of this community’s future plans.
The study, conducted by researchers from the Tata Institute of Social Sciences (TISS), Pennsylvania State University and Rutgers University is the largest effort yet to look at diverse aspects of future plans of Indian students in the US and factors driving their decisions.
TISS political science professor Venkatesh Kumar and David Finegold, Dean of the Rutgers School of Management and Labour Relations are the authors of the study, released in the US today.
The researchers calculated the average interest of students in diverse work areas on returning, on a scale of 5. Corporate jobs topped the list with a mean score of 3.75 followed by entrepreneurship at 3.53 and research-cum-teaching at 3.37.
“More worryingly from the perspective of strengthening the Indian state, far fewer individuals are interested in returning to India to pursue careers in the public sector or politics,” the authors have said in the study. Politics – with a mean score of 1.92 – figured last on the wish list of students keen on returning to India.
Strong research opportunities were a key factor for PhDs and post-docs in deciding whether they would return, the study found.
Among those keen to teach and pursue research on returning to India, the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), the Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs) and the National Institutes of Technology (NITs) were top preferences.
Central universities followed by state universities, deemed universities, private universities and colleges were less preferred destinations.
But the study findings also show that a majority of those willing to get back to the higher education sector were willing to do so without a research component.