Engineers, especially Electrical Engineers, are facing a job crisis in Pakistan. They normally have above average intelligence levels and are high scorers in High School; a fact, in my opinion, which in itself has played a major role in the unemployment issue at hand.
About a decade ago a Dr. Atta ur Rehman, Ex-Federal Minister and Ex-Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC), made a decision to follow India and send a humongous number of Graduates for PhD abroad. The decision was approved by the then one man show/regime of President General Musharraf; following which: hundreds of graduates were sent abroad without proper planning.
More or less anyone and everyone who applied got a scholarship from the Pakistani government. There were no checks and balances as to which field of study they were applying for. No one analyzed which field of study was required and would give benefit to Pakistan in future. The result was total chaos and young people went abroad rudderless; deciding specialization areas purely on their whims. Most successful in getting scholarships were people who had excelled in academics (which was the only criterion set by the HEC) and had the will to keep on studying. Primarily, these were Electrical Engineers, who excel far above all; followed by Computer Scientists.
Planners never bothered to make sure that the people who went for PhDs abroad were either evenly divided among all fields of study or were at least concentrated in an area in which we could see Pakistan excel above all other countries and develop trademark excellence. In fact it wouldn’t be wrong to say that there was a complete void of technical planning while investing such huge amount of resources.
The result was an enormous amount of PhDs coming back to Pakistan, in an attempt to fulfill their bonds (set by HEC). Most of them belonged to Electrical Engineering and its sister field Computer Sciences. Even among those who were related to these fields came back with a specialization in Telecommunications; why, because Telecom was the buzz word when they left Pakistan. The result was a huge investment in the Telecom sector with no need of research and development, as Pakistan could only afford service-providers and system-integrators here. Vendors never did any manufacturing in this country because of the volatile/hostile terrorism-filled environment and huge power shortage issues that all governments miserably failed to address. It needs to be mentioned here that Pakistan still suffers from a huge void in PhDs in fields like Power Engineering and Electrical Machine Design. Hence this huge investment failed to fulfill even the holistic requirements of Electrical Engineering let alone other departments of Engineering or for that matter: Sciences, Arts, Humanities, Medical Sciences, Defense Studies, International Relations, and Business Studies etc.
These highly qualified PhDs were forced to work in Universities due to a lack of Research and Development centers in Pakistan. When investors realized that education was becoming an industry, everyone started opening up Institutes with Electrical Engineering as their primary field of study owing to ease of faculty availability and a very small investment required to start the program and an abundance of naive parents who wanted their children to be Engineers. Even universities with a primary focus on learning of Languages opened up departments of Electrical Engineering and Computer Sciences. With no proper check on the quality and utility of graduates produced, these Institutes became the makers of jobless electrical engineers and computer scientists. No less than 20-30 Universities/Institutes in Islamabad alone produce a batch of 100 to 200 electrical engineers and computer scientists each, and that too within a year.
Unfortunately the problem was not limited to young graduate engineers not getting jobs because of a lack of Industry which could utilize their skill set; it also trickled into joblessness for Mid-Career Engineers. Firms employing Mid-Career/middle-managerial staff saw these entry level engineers as a way to bring down OPEX. They fired middle-management, raised an experienced lower management resource on a lower salary and then hired a fresh graduate; all this because the level of technical work required was not very advanced.
All in all, as far as my assessment goes: this ill planned program started by the government decades ago has brought nothing but unemployment to Pakistan.