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Suicide among Software Engineers | Heavy stress in Indian IT Industry

BY: Bharat | Category: India | Post Date: 2010-01-19

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Written and Emailed by Ajay Arora.

Do you still believe that becoming a Software Engineer is COOL! The perception that IT employees have a Super-Good lifestyle and less stress compared to other industries is totally wrong. Although its true that Software Engineers enjoy hefty salaries, but nothing in this world comes complementary. Most IT companies know very well how to take out the "juice" of a person who they are paying so well.

In early 2000, there was truly a shortage of IT professionals in India and IT companies did every possible thing to keep employees happy. But today, every other good student aims to become a Software Engineer. Thanks (unfortunately), to a sudden growth in number of Engineering Colleges in India, you can find multiple engineering colleges in any mid-sized Indian city. These sub-standard colleges are not making "True" software engineers, but they are just admitting students and rubber stamping them as Engineers. Most education institutes have simply become factories where Software Engineers are being manufactured in mass.

This over supply of Engineers in the Indian market has led to increased pressure on both existing IT employees and those looking to get a job. Today, companies do not care too much if a Software Engineer leaves them because they can find several more desperate candidates for replacement, probably willing to work for a much lesser pay.

According to the National Crime Records Bureau, at least 35 in every 100,000 people in Bangalore commit suicide. Experts say most suicide cases in the city are related to stress; its citizens are unable to cope with Bangalore's quick growth. Did you read these suicide stories lately ..

Examples of some people who committed Suicide:
- Prince Singla (Year 2010): Software Engg, Age: 27, A native of Rajasthan.
- Lakshmi Nair (Year 2009): Software Engg, Age: 23, A native of Thiruvananthapuram.
- Vikas Sharma (Year 2009): Network analyst, Age 26, A Native of Bihar.
- Ram Kumar (Year 2009): 32-year-old software engineer.
- Vishal Yadav (Year 2009): IT Engineer 29.
- N/A (Year 2009): Software engineer , Age 35, A Native of Delhi.
- Muthyala Purushottam(2009): 27 year software engineer, A native of Anantapur.

I am surprised that parents still insist their daughters and sons to blindly jump in the IT industry. A large percentage of of people who enter the industry do so because everyone else around them is doing the same. If one person in IT industry goes to USA and settles there, he provides inspiration to at least a dozen kids in his neighborhood to pursue IT (blindly).

There is no doubt that IT companies (particularly MNC's) offer a much better work culture, but they form just a small percentage of the entire industry. People who are super-good in IT will still do well, but lets accept the fact - Most people find it harder and harder to remain in Software Industry as years pass by. Most people, somewhere or the other fear getting displaced by younger generation as IT is known to be a young-blood industry. Several people who work in IT has zero family life and they are totally fed up of office politics.

So what is my suggestion:
Explore other industries before jumping in this field. Sign up your life for Software Industry only if you have a true compassion for it. I know there is no field which offers an easy path but IT seems too saturated particularly in India. Moreover, IT jobs are easiest to transfer to other countries. In future if cost of doing business keeps rising, India will probably see a loss in its share of IT market.

About me:
I was a Software Engineer and have made several trips to USA through my greedy IT company. I have changed my career, and even though I am a professor in an MBA institute I am a lot more happier person even though I earn about 70% what I use to earn. My wife also works part time and we enjoy a nice middle class family life.

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Comment Comment By Comment Date
Suicide doesn`t mean a death of a person alone but it is the collopse of the very first social institution- `the family ` as it destabilises the family in toto.
Dr. J.Edwin Thomson Ph.D. 2010-02-12

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