Only 24 percent of the respondents in China and 39 percent in India described themselves as satisfied with their careers and employers--well below the 68 percent each of respondents so reporting in Europe and North America. Consequently, about one-fourth (24 percent) of respondents in China said they were actively exploring opportunities at other companies, and an even greater number (39 percent) expressed the desire to switch careers. Among the Indian engineers polled, 35 percent are seeking a job change, but only 13 percent are considering a career change.
Only 5 percent of engineers who took the survey in North America said were pondering a career change. And in Europe, 13 percent are looking for new jobs, but only 7 percent are exploring opportunities outside the industry.
The depth of the dissatisfaction among China's engineers could spell trouble for its industry down the road. Only 42 percent of Chinese respondents said they "would recommend engineering to my kids," compared with 74 percent of respondents each in India and North America, 65 percent in Europe and 54 percent in Japan.
It's not that employers in China and India aren't trying; the average base salary percentage increases over the past year reported by engineers in China (6 percent) and India (7.9 percent) exceeded those for respondents in Europe, Japan and North America. But employers in the two countries have their work cut out for them if they hope to ensure an adequate pool of qualified workers going forward.
Meanwhile, in many cases the surveyed engineers who are paid the least also aspire to scale the corporate ladder the highest. Most of the respondents in China and India said they hoped to ascend through the management ranks, with many aiming for positions as lofty as chief technical officer, entrepreneur, president, CEO or similar top management roles. Almost 30 percent of Indian and 26 percent of Chinese respondents hope to set up their own businesses, compared with 10 percent and 16 percent, respectively, of European and North American engineers.
In India, 25 percent of respondents hope to rise to the position of president or CEO, vs. 13 percent in China, 11 percent in Europe and 9 percent in North America. But more Europeans, by far, than any other group--33 percent--aspire to the position of CTO, while 22 percent are looking for promotions to senior engineer and 13 percent seek to become consultants.
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