With its thriving economy and strong jobs market, India offers great career potential - especially since employers are prioritising the recruitment of international graduates
The country's population of more than 1.2 billion means that competition for jobs is fierce. On the plus side, employing and retaining foreign workers is becoming a priority for Indian companies.
You needn't worry too much about settling in and creating friendships either - the main business language is English. So, if you're looking to kick-start your career in a diverse and constantly developing country, India could be the place for you.
Jobs in India
India's growing economy is one of the world's largest, with major industries including but not limited to:
- food processing
Notable growth industries in recent years include tourism, automotive, telecommunications, pharmaceuticals and IT, with the latter suffering from a troubling skills shortage. Mining remains a major industry, but is declining.
Some of the biggest employers of international workers in India are:
- Axis Bank
- Maruti Suzuki
- National Mineral Development Corporation (NMDC)
- Reliance Industries
- State Bank of India
- Tata Group.
Most jobs can be found in the major northern cities, such as the political capital New Delhi and the financial capital Mumbai. However, arts, retail and hospitality vacancies are commonly found in southern tourist hotspots such as Goa.
Search for jobs in India at:
How to get a job in India
Securing employment in India is much easier when you’re already in the country; vacancies are usually discovered through networking and personal referrals.
The application and interview process is similar to that in the UK. Most applications are submitted online, and consist of a CV and cover letter. Successful applicants will then usually be called to interview.
There are countless volunteering, summer job and gap year opportunities in India. Two examples include:
- Lattitude Global Volunteering - An international youth development charity that offers placements for 17 to 25-year-olds.
- Projects Abroad - This organisation arranges voluntary work with children or in conservation.
Search for opportunities at:
English-speaking teachers can fairly easily find voluntary work at international schools in India. For example, the British Council's Teach India programme offers five-month teaching assistant placements in an Indian school, starting every July or August.
However, paid positions are extremely competitive; you'll typically need one or two years of professional work experience before your application is considered. Find out more at TEFL.
Search for teaching jobs at:
Work placements in India are widespread, especially during the summer. AIESEC UK and IAESTE UK both offer internships for students, while the British Council's Generation UK-India scheme provides students and graduates with the opportunity to develop skills in their chosen sector, while gaining experience in the Indian workplace.
You can search for internships by visiting the links in the above 'Summer jobs' section, or alternatively:
To work in India, you'll need an employment visa and a work permit. These can be obtained independently if you're a qualified professional, but your future employer will usually arrange the appropriate documentation on your behalf.
However, if you apply independently, you'll need a letter from your employer and/or financial sponsor. Employment visas are valid for five years and cost £495.
Find out more at High Commission of India in the UK.
The official languages of India are Hindi and English, but many others are spoken throughout the country. The native tongue is usually dependent on the region; find out more at Maps of India.
Naturally, English graduates usually find work in the big cities, where the language is more commonly spoken.
How to explain your qualifications to employers
Higher education in India follows a similar pattern to the UK, meaning that employers usually recognise international qualifications. However, it's always best to check before applying.
To find out whether your qualifications are recognised in India, visit ENIC-NARIC.
What it’s like to work in India
Working conditions vary hugely by industry, location and employer.
The average working week in India is 48 hours, from Monday to Friday. However, overtime can make the reality much longer. Annual paid holiday entitlement usually falls between 15 and 20 days per year.
While living costs in India may be low in comparison to other countries, salaries are a fraction of those in the UK. If you're aiming for a large pay-packet, a multinational company that outsources employees to India is your best bet.
Information on Indian tax rates can be found at HDFC Life.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in India.