Are government jobs stealing a march over Indian private sector in 2017?
The government job as a profession, which was for long frowned upon by job aspirants from metros, has a different story to tell in recent times.Updated: Jun 15, 2017 14:13 IST
With most companies having finished their appraisal cycles by March, employees would have received their fresh pay packages from May of 2017. However, that may not be the case for many in the information technology sector. Due to visa curbs laid down by the Trump regime in the United States, stocks of IT companies in India have come crashing down in recent months. In line with this, many employees have been handed out pink slips instead of appraisal packages in the last month.
The Indian IT sector, as we all know, has been heavily dependent on the West for its fortunes. The sector primarily focusing on services has grown over the years by exporting software. While this was bringing in a steady flow of dollars for a long while, it also made us vulnerable and dependent on decisions made by the recipient countries for the sector to succeed.
Adding to this, Artificial Intelligence and robotic technologies have also made its presence felt in pruning the number of jobs available. Set against this backdrop is an emerging segment that has suddenly become exciting. There is spiking euphoria in the government sector ever since the 7th pay commission was announced. The commission has recommended a steep revision in pay packages and perks bringing them on par with most private sector jobs. In fact, the revision in many cases is as high as three times the existing package.
Our current database with more than a million subscribers records maximum government job aspirants from the North with a share of 42%, followed by the South which records 25% of the aspirants, East with 21% and West with 12%. Uttar Pradesh and Delhi record the highest number of aspirants in the north, at 25% and 17% respectively, while West Bengal and Bihar occupy the maximum share of aspirants in the east, at 37% and 21%. Tamil Nadu, followed by Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh and Telangana account for 29%, 23%, and 36% aspirants in the south respectively. Maharashtra accounts for the highest subscribers from the west at 79%.
The government job as a profession, which was for long frowned upon by job aspirants from metros, has a different story to tell in recent times. There are scores of examples of PhD’s and MBA graduates applying for government jobs these days as their first choice of profession.
Two of the most priced professions within the government sector have been those under the UPSC or the Union Public Service Commission and jobs in the banking sector. One can attempt examinations such as the UPSC CSE, RBI Grade B, IBPS PO and SBI PO to apply for such jobs.
There are many reasons for the rising popularity of government jobs. In fact, they have a lot of qualities in common that make them so lucrative.
Young job aspirants today are mavericks
Most job aspirants today are not like their counterparts from a few decades ago. They want to challenge tradition and embrace what is available. Being extremely aware of the pros and cons, they are more than willing to take the plunge. They have moved from the conventional thinking of the past in simply being attracted to remuneration or foreign travel as perks for instance. Youngsters today want to discover the country and hence don’t mind postings in far flung areas wanting to embrace the country’s inherent culture.
Government jobs offer various perks ranging from holidays, leave, PF, bonuses, gratuity, medical and travel allowance, etc. Depending on the level or grade, one can even avail of accommodation, education for children, leave travel, and much more such benefits. Most such perks are unheard of in the private sector and can be really gratifying for a working professional.
One of the biggest advantages of being in this profession is the power one yields. A government job is considered to be very prestigious and commands a lot of respect. It is accompanied by increased status appeal and societal respect.
Flexibility is a fundamental quality of government jobs. It allows families to plan their lives conveniently by allowing them to factor in children’s school, their holidays and other personal demands. This, in turn, results in overall job satisfaction.
While the press generally covers a lot of news about how officers are being transferred about by politicians and the looming job uncertainty, the reality is that a government job is highly secure unless someone does something to jeopardise their position and responsibilities.
All in all, government jobs have grown in stature today to assume epic proportions. What was normally considered a small town phenomenon has breached all bastions to populate even metros as a job opportunity of choice. This trend is only bound to grow as existing myths and barriers disintegrate such as low pay parity, the vibrancy of the profession, challenges that they provide, etc.
I have personally been a witness to this trend in the UPSC and banking jobs in recent times. Three years ago, 16% of MBA aspirants also prepared for banking and other government exams. In 2016, the number of MBA students preparing for them showed a steep increase to 43%. We have also observed an increase in requests by colleges to provide their final year engineering students, preparation modules for bank and government exams in addition to the campus placement modules (for Infosys, TCS, Accenture etc.)
(Patil is the chief executive, co-founder and spokesperson at Oliveboard. Views expressed here are personal.)