Career in ITI after 12th Standard in India
Skills India, Make in India and a host of other initiatives launched by the Indian government since the last three years are causing a shift in traditional preferences for higher education. Rather than striving for studies in medicine and engineering, students are opting for job oriented diploma courses that can get them quick employment and open vistas for entrepreneurship.
Under Skills India, the Central government hopes to train over 400 million women, men, transgender and persons with special needs in various vocational skills by the year 2022. This manpower will propel the Indian industry as well as provide skilled manpower to foreign companies opening businesses in India. Additionally, India also hopes to export skilled manpower to foreign countries, through this initiative.
At forefront of Skills India and Make in India initiatives are the Industrial Training Institutes or ITIs. Anyone looking to benefit from India’s ongoing industrial and economic boom can consider doing professional courses after completing their 12th standard, generally called Higher Secondary Certificate or its equivalent.
Why ITI Courses?
Not everyone qualifies for engineering courses. Further, such courses are often very expensive and outside the reach of a majority of students. Yet others are unable to pursue even ordinary graduate courses for Bachelor degrees in Arts, Commerce, Science, and Law.
Employability of engineers in India remains low. This is because some 1.5 million engineers graduate from nearly 3.450 state-run and private colleges and universities every year.
Given this scenario, ITI courses provide the best option.
According to the website of Directorate General of Training (DGT) at the Ministry of Skills Development and Entrepreneurship, Industrial Training Institutes across the country offer 73 engineering and 48 non- engineering streams and five courses exclusively for visually impaired.
These courses are of one to two years duration. According to the ministry, there are 11,964 ITIs in India, of which some 2,284 are state-owned while the remaining 9,860 are privately owned but operate under the DGT’s aegis.
Upon successful completion, ITI graduates are awarded the National Trade Certificate, which is recognized in India and abroad. The degree is conferred by the National Council for Vocational Training (NCVT), a Central government body.
Hence, you graduate from an ITI fully qualified in theory and practice, for work.
Due to these inherent benefits, the demand for seats at ITI centers is very high. Hence, the Indian government holds an exam for students who opt for higher education at ITIs.
After the launch of Skills India, the Indian government has relaxed some basic qualifications for women and men to study for ITI courses.
Basic Qualifications for ITI
Under new directives issued by the Ministry of Skill Development and Entrepreneurship, basic qualifications for women and men wanting to study ITI courses include:
- Minimum academic qualification from Class VIII (standard eight) to Higher Secondary Certificate (HSC) or equivalent, depending upon the course selected.
- Minimum age of 14 years, maximum 40 years, again based on the course selected.
- Former personnel of Indian Armed Forces, as well as widows of servicemen martyred in action, get a five-year relaxation on the maximum age limit.
- Widows, women separated from husbands or destitute are eligible to join until the age of 35 years. However, they can also avail admissions at the government-run Craftsmen Training Centers in India.
- The maximum age limit for persons with special needs (physical disabilities) is fixed at 35 years.
- A total of 25 percent seats at ITIs are reserved for women as part of gender equality and empowerment of women initiatives of the government.
- ITI centers adopt the Central and state government policies on the reservation of seats for students from Scheduled Castes, Scheduled Tribes, Other Backward Castes, ethnic minorities, ex-servicemen and their dependents, war widows and their children and children of active personnel of the Indian Armed Forces.
Those who wish to study for engineering and non-engineering courses at ITI have to pass the entrance exam and figure in the Merit List to be considered for a seat in the preferred stream of study. The ITI entrance exam varies in every state.
ITI Entrance Exam
Syllabus for ITI entrance is somewhat standard and uniform in all states. Keeping in mind the low basic qualifications required for an ITI course, the exam is rather basic. It consists of questions from your school subjects and a bit of general knowledge.
The four main elements of an ITI entrance exam are:
- General Knowledge: On India and its history, geography, politics and other general aspects.
- Mathematics: Here too, the exam is very simple and consists of topics you learned in primary and secondary school.
- Basic English Language Skills (Verbal and non-verbal): Since some ITI courses are specialized, you will need a fair level of fluency in verbal and written English
- Verbal and Non-Verbal Intelligence: For technical jobs, you need the high degree of problem-solving skills. This exam tests you for such skills and creativity.
All ITI entrance exams are of three hours duration and held in the months of April and August every year, with results declared in 21 days to one month.
Merit List for ITI
Since there is a shortage of seats for some courses, admission is given to students on the basis of merit. This means you should not only pass the ITI entrance exam the scores you obtain have to be very high as well.
Failing to get on the merit list does not disqualify you from studying at ITI. You can get a seat for the desired course at an ITI located away from home, which has vacancies. Or, you can choose for another course.
Jobs after ITI
Most ITI graduates get jobs while studying the course or almost immediately upon completion. Every ITI student has to take internship or work as a trainee with a business related to the field of study. This enables them to acquire and fine-tune skills vital for a career.
Hence, upon graduation, every ITI student is well qualified and geared to take jobs. For example, ITI graduates who reside in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh can apply for work through one of the dozen Hyderabad-based job consultancies. Often, companies where they worked as interns and trainees, hire ITI graduates as full-time employees.
ITI and Entrepreneurship
Completing an ITI course successfully also opens the doors for your entrepreneurship. Once you have acquired the necessary education and skills, you can open a small business in your native village, town or city.
The government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi launched on April 8, 2015, the concept called Micro Units Development and Refinance Agency (MUDRA) Bank scheme. Mudra Bank is not a ‘bank’ but a system under which participating Public Sector Undertaking (PSU), private and cooperative banks as well as Non-Banking Financial Companies (NBFCs) offer loans to small entrepreneurs to launch their own ventures.
Consequently, ITI graduates with sufficient skills and experience can avail a loan under the MUDRA Bank scheme from any participating bank or NBFC to launch their own enterprise.
ITI and Foreign Jobs
ITI centers in certain states offer courses in hospitality, healthcare, safety and other fields. Some of these skills are in high demand among foreign employers. For example, ITI hospitality graduates are hired by large hotel groups for working at properties in abroad or on board cruise liners. Those trained in healthcare can work as caregivers in Europe and the US where this profession is in high demand while safety technicians can find jobs in oil and gas companies in the Middle East.
Jobs in ITI
In stark contrast to engineering, there is a shortage of ITI trained graduates in India for junior and middle-level positions at companies.
Further, ITI centers in India are also facing a shortage of trainers and instructors. This means you can also find teaching jobs in your profession at an ITI. Due to the demand, several private investors are opening ITIs in various parts of India, by procuring licenses from DGT and other concerned authorities. With some luck, you can find a teaching job at these upcoming ITI centers.
Facts presented above clearly indicate that making a career with ITI courses is a great option for females and males in India after completing 12th standard, which is HSC or its equivalent. Studying at ITI is also much cheaper than opting for an engineering college.
While an ITI engineering course can be completed in as little as Rs.50,000 for two years, engineering studies cost Rs.150,000 or more per year, depending on the college and location. Non-engineering courses like hospitality and healthcare, logistics and safety qualify you for jobs abroad. Hence, ITI is a great career option after completing your 12th standard studies.