When four years ago, 20-year-old Ryan John made up his mind to join a prestigious university in London for an MBA course, the UK job market was booming with opportunities. He had high career aspirations, and the aim was to bag a job and settle there. He got an education loan approved, pursued the course well, and came out with flying colours.
He also got a job as the production manager of a reputed optical company which makes lenses for mobile phones all over the world. The company had a garage with less storage capacity. A team of employees rectified the problem, expanding the capacity of the garage, within the existing facility. Ryan was the brain behind the project, and his superiors even recognised this. But this comfortable situation didn’t remain for long.
Soon, he found his superior, a British lady harassing him for no valid reason. Ryan was taken on a temporary basis. She reported to the managers that Ryan was incompetent and duly his contract was cancelled and he was forced to leave the country.
The story of Ryan is not such an exceptional one. The number of students aspiring for a coveted foreign degree has been falling in the last few years, for various reasons. Many students after completing their studies in countries like USA, UK are unable to find a well-paying job there. And those who do get a job, face several issues. Many do not get their due salary hikes while others are dismissed for trivial reasons.
Jithin Mathew Panicker, who left his job in UK as a construction manager last year, says that after the economic downturn of 2008, foreign students seeking a job abroad are facing a hard time. “I did my masters in construction management from Leads University, UK. And fortunately I got a job before recession period hit the market. As the job scenario was excellent then, I urged some of my friends to join there. None of them got a job.”
According to him, the most affected employees abroad are those in the construction, retail, real estate and banking industries. Some of them who did professional courses in these fields are now forced to do jobs in restaurants and shops.
Praveen, who did his masters in Journalism from Sheffield University in UK, shifted to Kochi some time back and now works in a city newspaper.
He says, “It is difficult for a foreigner to get a job in mainstream newspapers there. They prefer specialised personnel. Recession has dramatically affected the job scenario.”
Rizwan Ahmad, logistics manager of a company in USA, returned back to India to apply for a new visa. His application was rejected for no particular reason. Rony Antony, who left UK after dabbling in some unsuccessful ventures, is now working in Kochi in an IT firm. “It is better to work in India itself. There is no guarantee for us abroad,” he says. Majority of those who have completed their studies in foreign universities and are now back in India, share Rony’s sentiments.