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India’s Graduate Skill Index 2023: Driving employability in a market driven by AI-led disruptions

AI & Future of work | 6 Min Read

India’s Graduate Skill Index 2023: Driving employability in a market driven by AI-led disruptions

Mercer | Mettl has launched India’s Graduate Skill Index 2023, a study highlighting the employability of Indian graduates for jobs and skills of tomorrow. According to the study, 45% of Indian graduates who apply for jobs are employable. This points towards a massive shift taking place in the Indian talent landscape, offering a wave of opportunities as well as challenges for organizations at large.




It highlights the key jobs and skill sets that Indian companies are prioritizing in their recruitment endeavors. Furthermore, it rigorously assesses the degree of employability among Indian graduates with respect to these high-demand skills.


Trends reshaping the future of work

The world of work is set for an overhaul and experiencing rapid changes in technology use, automation, green transition, and diversity. Understanding this changing nature of work is the initial step toward evolving and mitigating skill shortages.

  • As AI continues to evolve, jobs are increasingly shifting base from static routines to dynamic and versatile responsibilities. Moreover, the collaboration between AI and humans opens opportunities for advanced technology use.
  • The value of soft skills like cognitive skills and learning agility has become more pronounced than ever.
  • Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) also play a crucial role in leveraging the strengths of people from different backgrounds.


Employability of Indian graduates

Mercer | Mettl analyzed skill readiness data of young graduates from across 2500+ campuses in India, including 440,000+ learners. The key objective was to understand the skill readiness that companies require in fresh graduate students.




  • Non-technical roles have higher demand with relatively high employability. Sixty-one percent of graduates are employable in MS Office skills and 57% for numerical ability skills.
  • Conversely, the demand for technical skills is quite diverse, with low demand for individual skills. For example, the employability rate is 36% for big data and 33% for machine learning, highlighting very little demand and employability for these skills.




  • The employability of different college tiers is similar and has minimal variations. Tier 1 colleges have 46%, Tier 2 colleges have 44%, and Tier 3 colleges have 43% employability.
  • The graduate employability for technical skills is less than non-technical skills for every college tier. When talking about technical skills, Tier 1 colleges recorded 45% employability, but non-technical skills recorded 53% employability.


Employability for technical skills

The report’s dedicated analysis for technical skills underlines that 48% of Indian graduates are employable in ML and AI roles.

Regardless of the overall employability percentage, the employability of graduates across different tiers of colleges turns out similar for roles such as data scientist, back-end developer, QA automation, and data analyst. Therefore, it can be inferred that graduates from different tiers of colleges receive similar opportunities for learning technical skill sets through online courses or distance degrees.




For example, Indian graduate employability for ML and AI roles is 48% from Tier 1, 49% from Tier 2, and 46% from Tier 3 colleges.

However, it is interesting to note that Tier 1 and Tier 2 colleges still have high employability rates for traditional technical roles, such as Python. That’s because of the mature curriculum designed according to the conventional jobs demanded by the industry.


Employability for non-technical skills

Non-technical skills are becoming prevalent as they improve efficiency, decision-making, and organizational processes. Further, skills like numerical ability, project management, data interpretation, and critical thinking aid both technical and non-technical job roles.

According to the report, Indian graduates have strong critical thinking, MS Office, and numerical ability skills with high employability above 50%. Other skills like project management and data interpretation still have low employability, highlighting improvement areas.

When explored across different tiers of colleges, Tier 1 colleges have the highest employability for cognitive skills, including making informed decisions and critically solving problems. Tier 3 colleges, on the other hand, have 57% employability for critical thinking skills.


Building a workforce for the future

The above analysis clarifies that the skills gap in academic curriculum and organizational requirements is widening with the advent of AI-led disruptions. Job roles are dynamically evolving, increasing the need for employable and adaptable skills. Organizations need to grasp opportunities to hire talent from different college tiers with preferred employable skills. It also highlights the need for alternative learning, upskilling and reskilling pathways to improve graduate preparedness for the job market.

Since Tier 3 colleges have the potential to offer comparable skills, companies should expand their talent search. They need to prioritize talent with high cognitive skills and learning agility to improve adaptability on the job.

The Mercer | Mettl Community is a transformative initiative in this direction, allowing learners to seek career growth, upskill, and succeed in the job market. It is a learning and growth ecosystem that empowers learners to identify and build their employable skills by engaging in community hackathons.




It has a wide network of a 1.2M user base and 3000 colleges, offering a powerful medium to learners, helping them build skills for the future. Mercer | Mettl’s campus champions further guide learners to become a part of the community, using its potential for professional and personal growth.

Originally published August 28 2023, Updated August 28 2023

Written by

Vaishali has been working as a content creator at Mercer | Mettl since 2022. Her deep understanding and hands-on experience in curating content for education and B2B companies help her find innovative solutions for key business content requirements. She uses her expertise, creative writing style, and industry knowledge to improve brand communications.

About This Topic

The accelerated pace at which businesses are rushing toward digitization has primarily established that digital skills are an enabler. It has also established the ever-changing nature of digital skills, and created a need for continuous digital upskilling and reskilling to protect the workforce from becoming obsolete.

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