college, IIT, India

Do all IITians go abroad and should they go abroad?

Many a time, most of us would have heard of the disdainful retort for any IITian “You will leave the country and go abroad and use your talent there”!! We have all heard of the word “brain drain” and how India’s top rated and best talent go abroad in search of better educational and business opportunities. Is it really true? Do, all IITians really leave India at the stroke of midnight in their final year? And once they leave, do they never come back?

Well, to be frank, I have seen many, many IITians stay back in India and start many fine entrepreneurial ventures.

Without taking the pandemic years(when student aspirations had to be put on hold) into account , here are some interesting statistics about IITians:

  1. Only about 40% of IIT Gandhinagar graduates are supposed to have received an opportunity to study abroad or pursue an internship abroad in 2019(Source: https://www.livemint.com/education/news/iits-to-hold-entrance-exam-in-us-with-eye-on-students-faculty-1568704075085.html)
  2. In January 2017, fewer than 200 of the 10,000 of the IIT graduates went abroad (Source: https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/city/mumbai/indias-brain-gain-fewer-than-200-iit-grads-went-abroad-last-year/articleshow/56578855.cms)
  3. In the year 2016 -2017, only 4 percent of IIT students opted for positions outside India( Source: https://www.businesstoday.in/latest/story/reversing-trends-in-placements-fewer-iitians-opting-for-international-job-offers-156506-2019-01-09)
  4. According to IIT, Tirupati, Director, only 10% of the graduates want to go abroad for higher studies. This can be compared with 70% of IIT graduates going abroad in 1984 (Source: https://www.edexlive.com/people/2019/aug/15/less-iitans-are-opting-to-study-abroad-they-want-jobs-iit-tirupati-director-7472.html)

From the above statistics alone, it can be figured that many IITians are opting to stay back in India and pursue ventures within the country(of course, this is only a small research done by me)

So, why are not many IITians leaving the Indian shores?

Some of the reasons are listed below:

  1. ‘Entrepreneurship’ is the name of the game for youngsters in India today. Many IITians do know what they are going to do once they graduate from college. They may already have a business idea and get to work on it as soon as possible.
  1. Many IITs do foster and encourage students to start their own company and achieve their business goals. As an example, IIT Roorkee has an entrepreneurship cell which is open to students to start their business venture(https://www.ecelliitr.org/)
  2. We all know of many successful ventures started by IITians. Some of them are Ola, Zomato, Flipkart, Snapdeal, Razorpay, Dunzo and more
  3. Salaries within India are as good as in foreign countries(and after having been adjusted for cost of living factors)
  4. Many also think of pursuing a higher education within India (IIM)
  5. In addition many also pursue UPSC exams as well

These may just be a few factors why IITians do not think of going abroad(now, many will go abroad – not everybody stays back but the proportion of students staying back might have increased)

In spite of all these factors, should IITians and other graduates go abroad?

My thoughts on this:

I would definitely say it is good to experience life outside India to have a 360 degree life experience. Staying abroad for 14 years had definitely made me see things in a better perspective!

It is also good to experience the foreign education system(US/UK) and other work practices as well.

After all it is one life to live – might as well experience it all and live it well!! 🙂

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