With a strong job market and thriving industry sectors, working in India holds unlimited potential for foreign graduates hoping to expand their career horizons
International jobseekers are attracted to work in India thanks to the country's growing economy and varied culture. However while opportunities may be plentiful, with a population of more than 1.2 billion, competition for jobs will be fierce.
That said employing and retaining foreign workers is becoming a priority for Indian companies so you've already got that on your side. You needn't worry too much about settling in and creating friendships either as the main business language is English.
If you're looking to kick start your career in a constantly developing and diverse country, India could be the place for you.
Job market in India
Over the last decade India has gone through a state of advanced economic development, making the country's economy one of the largest in the world.
Major industries in India include:
- food processing;
Jobs can be found in recent growth areas such as banking and finance, engineering, IT, media and film, telecommunications and textiles.
It's difficult to identify shortage occupations as due to the continued growth of the country opportunities are available in all industry sectors.
Some of the biggest employers in India are:
- Axis Bank;
- Reliance Industries;
- Tata Group;
- Google India;
- Maruti Suzuki;
- State Bank of India.
While you're advised to head north for nation wide job opportunities to cities such as New Delhi and Mumbai, the political and financial capitals respectively, seasonal vacancies can be found in the south in tourist resorts such as Goa, which has seen an upsurge in areas such as arts, hospitality and retail.
It can be easier to secure employment in India when you are already in the country as vacancies are usually discovered through personal referrals. This makes networking and building relationships once you get there vital.
Most applications are submitted online and consist of a CV and cover letter.
There are several resources that have job listings for India, including:
Teaching in India
There are numerous opportunities to teach English as a foreign language in India, find out more at:
Internships and work experience in India
Opportunities for work and gap year placements in India are plentiful, especially during the summer. Internships will be competitive to secure as you will have to contend for positions with lots of other candidates.
A list of internships and more information can be found at Indian Internship.
Internships and summer work placements for students can be arranged by:
- AIESEC UK - for students and recent graduates;
- IAESTE UK - for science, engineering and applied arts students.
Students and graduates also have the opportunity to develop skills in their chosen sector while gaining experience in an Indian workplace thanks to the British Council Generation UK - India Work Placement scheme.
Volunteering in India
Voluntary work is a great way to build your skills and learn a new language, it also looks great on your CV. It will help to have some money saved before you set off as the vast majority of voluntary positions are unpaid.
To volunteer in India you will need to research what you would like to do and apply to organisations directly.
- Lattitude Global Volunteering - An international youth development charity offering placements for 17 to 25 year olds.
- Projects Abroad - Offering placements in 28 countries, you can volunteer to work with children, do conservation work and internships.
For volunteering opportunities in India, go to Volunteering India.
While a second language is always useful in this case it's not absolutely necessary.
The official languages of India are Hindi and English and there are hundreds of dialects and various other languages that are spoken throughout the country.
English speakers will have a better chance of finding work in big cities where English-speaking organisations and international businesses can usually be found. However, if your work takes you to more rural settings you may need some knowledge of Hindi to communicate.
Indian visas and immigration
If you wish to work in India you will need an employment visa and work permits.
You can obtain these independently if you are a qualified professional applying for a job, but it is normal for your employer to arrange them on your behalf.
To apply for a visa to work in India you will need a letter from your employer and/or sponsor. Visas and work permits are given out at the discretion of the Indian government.
Get in touch with the Indian Embassy in the UK to discuss visas and work permits at High Commission of India in the UK.
How to explain your UK qualifications to employers
Since higher education in India follows a similar pattern to that in the UK, employers will usually recognise UK qualifications, however it's always best to check with potential employers prior to applying for a job.
Find out more about the recognition of qualifications see ENIC-NARIC.
Working culture and conditions are extremely diverse in India and can vary depending on the industry you work in, the location and the type of company you work for.
The average working week in India is 48 hours, Monday to Friday, however in reality with overtime, this can be much longer. Holiday entitlement usually falls between 15 and 20 paid days per year.
While living costs in the country may be low in comparison to other countries, salaries are still a fraction of those you'd find in the west. If you're aiming for a salary comparable to your UK counterparts, try securing work with a multinational company that outsources employees to India as they are more likely to pay a UK equivalent salary.
In general foreign workers often earn more than their Indian counterparts but this depends on whether you work for an international or Indian company.
Find out more
- Discover what it's like to study in India.