97% engineering graduates cannot speak English fluently: Survey

  • Apoorva Puranik, Hindustan Times, Mumbai
  • Updated: Aug 08, 2015 21:26 IST

As many as 97% engineering graduates in the country cannot speak English, which is required for jobs in corporate sales or business consulting, revealed a new survey. Engineering remains one of the most popular choices among aspirants for under-graduate courses.

The survey also found that 51% of them are not employable based on their spoken English scores and of the 6 lakh engineers that graduate annually, only 2.9% candidates are the fluent while speaking English. Pronunciation and fluency were found to be major barriers in effective spoken English.

The survey, conducted by Aspiring Minds, an employability evaluation and certification company, took into account almost 30,000 students across 500 engineering colleges in the country.

The findings were based on the results of students who took a test on an automated tool that measures listening and speaking skills.

According to the results, engineers show larger gap in elements of spoken English, pronunciation and fluency. Only 6.8% engineers show ability to speak or respond spontaneously. These candidates can speak fluently, with good pronunciation and proper sentence construction.

Academicians agree that not being fluent in English has posed a hurdle to many during recruitment. “Since the basis of the admission in engineering colleges is limited to maths and science, English skills which are missing right from school are not tested nor honed,” said GT Thampi, principal, Thadomal Sahani Engineering College (TSEC), Bandra.

The survey also showed that while Delhi, Mumbai, Pune and Bangalore do the best in speaking in English, engineering students in Hyderabad and Chennai need maximum improvement.

“Recruiters and HR managers around the world report that candidates with English skills above the local average stand out from the crowd and garner 30-50% higher salaries than similarly-qualified candidates without English skills. The trends in India are no different,” said Varun Aggarwal, co-founder of Aspiring minds.

A HR manager with Syntel said, “We employ people who are capable, however, students with good academic records as well as language skills make a good asset to the company and may also be offered a better profile.”

(Inputs by Misbah Mansuri)


# 97% of engineering graduates in the country cannot speak English required for jobs in corporate sales or business consulting

# 6.8% engineers show the ability to speak or respond spontaneously in English

# More than 51% engineering graduates are not employable based on their spoken English scores

# Around 61% engineers possess grammar skills no better than a Class 7 student

# 7.1% engineers can speak English fluently

# Women score over men in writing in English while men show better abilities of speaking English

# The survey was conducted across 500 engineering colleges and 30,000 students

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