Going by matrimonial website trends and traditional matchmakers, IT engineers no longer continue to be a price catch in marriage markets.
There are a number of reasons why engineers no longer enjoy such a status. Uncertainty and layoffs in the IT sector is one of the primary reasons, while the threat of automation potentially affecting more jobs; and increased protectionist sentiment in the US under Donald Trump are the other main reasons. That means that the Indian companies are hiring more people in the US, as opposed to sending over engineers from back home.
An example of this case was a recent ad placed by the parents of a prospective Tamil bride in a matrimonial column ended thus: “(Seeks) IAS/IPS, doctor, businessman. Software engineers kindly do not call.”
According to Gourav Rakshit, CEO of Shaadi.com, the percentage of women seeking IT professionals for marriages has fallen in 2017. Shaadi.com is one of India’s biggest matrimonial websites.
“We have also simultaneously seen that the number of women looking for life partners in the US has been declining rapidly, especially since November,” Rakshit said. “What’s interesting is that the two may be correlated given political developments in the US.
Indian women are more likely to relocate after marriage, which is why prospective grooms have been hit harder by the change in perception about IT.
At Shaadi.com, about 7% of women are looking for prospective husbands in the USA. The number has been on a decline because of a broader trend, said Rakshit. Opportunities in India have been growing consistently and women today are more hesitant to disrupt their careers and lives to settle abroad. “However, we have seen a sharper decline in November (11%) and February (15%),” he said.
This is the situation all around the country. A Mumbai-based matchmaker who specialises in the Tamil Brahmin community said that there had been a sharp decline in interest in grooms who were working in the software industry.
“People are looking at other professions first, especially those perceived to be more stable,” she said.
“Professionals are aware of the realities of the job market, and realise that what is happening in IT today could happen in some other sector tomorrow,” he added. “But parents setting up matches are another story altogether.”