Science and tech degrees flood in India
As per a recent report, India has beaten all other countries of the world in creating engineers and science graduates. As per the numbers from a 2014 study, which was released now, 25% of world’s science and engineering graduates are from India.
India leads the world in the number of students getting bachelor’s degrees in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects, according to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD).
UNCTAD’s Technology and Innovation Report 2018 that was released recently revealed a great statistics that out of 5 million students who received their bachelor’s degrees in 2012 in STEM subjects worldwide, 29.2 per cent were from India.
A 26 per cent of the STEM graduates have been registered by China. Of STEM graduates that year and the US for 6 per cent, the EU accounted for 9.5 per cent according to the report.
The total number of bachelors-equivalent degrees awarded that year was 20 million with respect to the statistics from 2012 according to the reports.
The wide gulf in the numbers of students graduating in STEM explains why the US relies on such a large number of foreigners, especially Indians, to fill its technology workforce needs.
“In the fields of digital technologies and many employers report difficulties in filling high-skill vacancies, a lot of countries are witnessing skills shortages” UNCTAD said, citing a 2016 worldwide survey by ManpowerGroup on talent shortage that found that 40 per cent of employers reported difficulties in filling positions.
There are about 10.7 million students were studying science as reported by a survey conducted by India’s University Grants Commission, engineering/technology or computer science in 2016-17, although it did not give a breakdown between undergraduate and postgraduate levels or by year of study.
They made up 36 per cent of those studying in universities and colleges, UGC statistics showed.
Role of UNCTAD
Taking a look into to the future, UNCTAD cautioned that “With technological advances during the current transition period, there were indications that educational institutions were not keeping pace”.
To the rapid pace of technology and the labour market changes, It urged educational institutions to “react with agility” and said this may require “significant transformations” in the education and training systems.
With the widespread use of artificial intelligence and robots looming on the horizon, the report said that “rapid technological progress required the labour force to develop a broader range of skills, focusing on humans’ comparative advantage, to increase employability”.
UNCTAD called for broadcasting education and said: “In the new technological landscape, there is a need for generic, core or fundamental skills such as literacy, numeracy and academic skills, together with basic financial and entrepreneurial skills and increasingly, basic digital and even coding skills.”