With its economy continuing to grow at a rapid rate and graduate employability also on the rise, India is becoming a tempting prospect for international jobseekers
The country's population of more than 1.36 billion means that competition for jobs is always fierce. On the plus side, employing and retaining foreign workers with sought-after skills 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. During your free time, you'll find the country captivating - its mix of traditions, world-renowned cuisine and areas of natural beauty are just waiting to be indulged and explored.
So if you're looking to kick-start your career in a diverse, multicultural and constantly developing country, India could be the place for you.
Jobs in India
As the world's fastest growing major economy, India's expanding consumer market along with increased digitisation has provided the conditions for an exciting future in both the public and private sectors. For instance, there's been a significant rise in the number of technology start-up businesses to around 5,200.
Major industries include:
- food processing
- information technology (IT)
Mining also remains a major industry, but it is in decline. Notable growth industries in recent years include tourism, automotive, financial services, telecommunications and pharmaceuticals.
Some of the biggest employers of international workers in India are:
- Axis Bank
- Boeing - India jobs
- 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 India's political capital New Delhi and the financial centre of Mumbai. However, southern megacity Bengaluru is home to the country's high-tech industry, while arts, retail and hospitality vacancies are commonly found in coastal tourist hotspots, such as Goa in the west.
Search for jobs in India at:
- Indeed - Jobs in India
- Monster India
- Naukri.com - Jobs in India
- Placement India
- Randstad India
Popular graduate jobs
- Financial services
- Information technology
How to get a job in India
Securing employment in India is much easier when you're already in the country; vacancies are often discovered through networking and personal referrals. However, you can also secure work through Indian job websites and national newspapers.
The application and interview process is similar to the UK. Most applications are submitted online, consisting of a CV and cover letter. Successful applicants will then usually be called to interview.
There are countless summer work, volunteering and gap year opportunities in India. For instance, you could embark on a Goa summer camp programme, help out at an elephant conservation centre in Jaipur, or engage with street children in Delhi as part of a community outreach project.
You can search for summer jobs at:
English-speaking teachers can fairly easily find voluntary work at international schools in India. For example, the British Council's Teach India programme, in partnership with The Times of India, offers teaching volunteer placements in an Indian school based in Mumbai, Ranchi, Dehradun, Jaipur and Delhi/NCR. In addition to eight days' compulsory training, you'll need to pledge to teach for two hours per day, over three alternate weekdays for a total of 100 days.
However, paid positions are extremely competitive - you'll typically need to have gained one or two years of professional work experience before your application is considered. Find out more about working as an English teacher at TEFL Org UK - TEFL Jobs In India.
You can search for advertised teaching jobs at:
Work placements in India are widespread, especially during the summer. You'll find that AIESEC UK and IAESTE UK both offer internships across the globe, with the latter focused on securing work for science and engineering students.
You can search for internships at:
- GoAbroad.com - Jobs in India
- Go Overseas - Internships in India
- Pave Internships
To work in India, you'll need an Employment Visa (E) 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 yourself, you'll need a letter from your employer and/or financial sponsor.
In terms of costs to apply for visas within the various categories, a Business Visa is valid for between one and five years and the fee is £495. To get an Employment/Project Visa, it costs £314 for up to six months, £341 for up to one year, and £407 for up to two years.
Find out more about Indian visas and immigration for UK nationals at the High Commission of India in the UK.
You can also explore what it takes to work in India for at least a year by visiting the Bureau of Immigration.
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 - you can explore these languages at Maps of India.
English-speaking graduates usually find work in the big cities, where the language is more frequently spoken.
How to explain your qualifications to employers
Higher education in India follows a similar pattern to the UK, so employers will usually recognise international qualifications. However, it's always best to check before applying.
To discover whether your qualifications are recognised in India, visit ENIC-NARIC - Asia and the Pacific.
What it's like to work in India
Working conditions vary hugely by industry, location and employer. However, the Indian work environment is typically very formal, with people often treated according to their management level.
The average working week in India is 48 hours - 10am-6pm, from Monday to Saturday. However, overtime can make the reality much longer. There are 15 to 20 paid public holidays in the country, with these varying according to region. Annual paid holiday entitlement for expatriates can fall between 18 and 30 days per year.
Explore working practices further at Just Landed - Working conditions in India.
Living costs in India may be low compared to other countries, but salaries are a fraction of those in the UK - although they are rising significantly (by 12-14%) every year. If you're hoping to receive a large pay-packet with benefits, a multinational company that outsources employees to India would be your best option.
Information on Indian income tax rates can be found at HDFC Life.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in India.
- Explore living and working in India with advice from the Expat Network.