Agree with it or not, but we live in an English-dominated world. It is the language of the air (all the pilots are required to communicate in English) and the language of the land as well, since more than half a billion people in the world use English as their primary or secondary language.
India is no different from the rest of the world when it comes to the use of English language. It is a status symbol, and an ‘uber cool’ way to communicate. This elite status and wide expanse of English makes it one of the most sought after languages in the world. However, poor spoken English may be keeping a large number of India’s engineers from landing some of the best paid jobs in the country.
The National Spoken English Skills of Engineers Report’ conducted by Aspiring Minds found that an overwhelming 97 per cent of engineers in the country cannot speak English, required for high-end jobs in corporate sales and business consulting. The report also revealed that about 67 per cent of engineers graduating from India’s colleges do not possess spoken English skills required for any job in knowledge economy.
Vikram Bajaj, MD of inlingua New Delhi, a reputed language school chain in the capital, said the English-speaking is not restricted to IITs, but is prevalent across the country. “Over the years, the focus in the education system has shifted to chemistry, math and physics. Focus on soft skills has reduced. Students may lose out on good job prospects as many companies come to campuses for global positions as well,” he said.
The key problem faced by engineers is pronunciation, followed by fluency skills, grammar and sentence construction. Engineers show a larger gap in elements of spoken English, pronunciation and fluency, followed by grammar, though they do relatively better in vocabulary and understanding English. As per the report, only 6.8 per cent engineers show the ability to speak or respond spontaneously.
According to experts at inlingua Delhi, proficiency in English can often help you find the job you’re looking for. “Many job ads and recruitment websites are in English, and good oral English is great for networking and job interviews. Many of the world’s top business newspapers are in English, so being able to read papers like the Financial Times or the Wall Street Journal gives you the most up to date information on new opportunities,” said an inlingua New Delhi faculty member.
He added further, “Even if you’re working for a company that does most of its business domestically, you never know when English might become necessary, especially as the global economy continues to grow. English-speaking employees are able to advance quickly in international divisions. Moreover, if your company ends up being bought by a foreign firm, they will definitely be looking for English speakers they can work with.”
Learning English language to a high level not only helps you get a better job; it also provides you with a higher degree of job security as you’ll become more useful to the company where you work. Even if most people in your firm don’t speak English, proficiency in the language means you’ll be well placed for any new opportunities, whether working with foreign clients or going abroad. According to linguistic experts at inlingua New Delhi, fluent English can help get Indian engineers some lucrative job prospects.