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Join the Elite League: IES vs PSU Jobs

Last Updated - October 04, 2017

There is not an inch of doubt in the fact that India has produced a lot of world-class engineers through its education system. With huge increase in the spread of engineering education through establishment of IITs, NITs, IIITs and many other governments and private colleges. Many big private corporate houses are always keen to hire engineers from India.

But despite the huge packages offered by private companies, some candidates are rather interested in working in government departments and companies. The reasons can be anything, Job security, desire to serve the nation, more respect or anything else, but the fact is that the inclination towards government jobs is definitely increasing day by day.

Two major government level jobs for engineering candidates in India are – IES and PSU. A lot of candidates are desirous of these jobs and a lot of competition exists for both the jobs. But a lot of candidates are also confused that for which job should they try. Both have their benefits and limitations and are not easy to get.

To ease out the confusion, we bring you a detailed analysis of both the jobs, so that you can decide that which way you want to go.


What are IES and PSU Jobs?

Rather than moving on to the comparison straight away, let us discuss in brief what these two jobs actually are. Take a look below –

Indian Engineering Services (IES)

  • IES is probably the most prestigious engineering job in the country.
  • IES officers are considered equivalent to IAS, IRS and top-level government job with ‘Indian’ tag.
  • Like all other jobs with the prestigious ‘Indian’ tag, a person posted in Indian Engineering Services also gets a lot of respect and responsibility.
  • To get this job, a candidate has to clear ‘Engineering Services Examination’ or ESE conducted by UPSC. Know more aboutIES 2018

Public Sector Undertaking Job (PSU)

  • A PSU job means working in a company which is either wholly or partly owned by central or a state government.
  • As there are a lot of companies which are established by Indian Government like BHEL, SAIL, ONGC and many others, the number of jobs available in these companies is also high.
  • Majority of candidates for PSU jobs are selected on the basis of GATE Score obtained by them.

The Level of Competition

Before deciding that which one of the two you are going to go for, you must also know that how difficult it is to get either of the two jobs.

  • Firstly, if you are looking to be an IES officer, just make sure that you are ready to face an immense amount of competition and are also ready to do a lot of hard work.
  • Since this exam is conducted by UPSC and everyone knows these exams are the toughest exams, becoming an IES officer is never an easy task.
  • Moreover, the success ratio in IES Exam is as low as 0.05%, which defines the level of difficulty of this exam.
  • On the other hand, competition level for PSU jobs through GATE is much lower.
  • The success ratio in this field tends to be 12-13%, which is much higher than IES.

Opportunities available under both the jobs

The next big question in the list is that what kind of jobs under which kind of organizations I can get after clearing either of the two exams. Listed below is the answer to the same question – 

Indian Engineering Services

As we have mentioned repeatedly, that IES jobs are amongst the most respectable jobs in the country. You can get into various departments and get high-level positions in these. Some of the popular departments in which a candidate can get job after clearing IES are –

  • Indian Railway Service of Mechanical Engineers,
  • Geological Survey of India,
  • Indian Defense Services of Engineers,
  • Jobs in Engineering Department of Indian Army,
  • Central Water Engineering Services,
  • Central Power Engineering Services,
  • Indian Telecommunication Services and many other departments.

All the candidates who clear IES get A grade jobs in these departments. CheckCareer Opportunities after IES

Public Sector Undertakings

Many public-sector undertakings employ candidates on the basis of GATE Score. According to the popular division, many top companies from the groups of Maharatna, Navratanas, Mini Ratnas offer jobs to candidates. Some famous PSU companies are – 

  • BPCL,
  • NTPC,
  • PowerGrid,
  • IOCL,
  • SAIL,
  • BHEL,
  • GAIL,
  • HPCL,
  • BSNL and many others.

Jobs in PSUs are definitely not as prestigious as IES, but there is a fair chance of promotions in the early days.


Benefits of being an IES Officer

There are a lot of benefits of being an IES Officer. Listed below are the same –

  • Firstly, you get the rank of a gazetted officer, which increase your respect and importance in society by a huge level.
  • Secondly, the appointment letter you are going to get is going to be on the behalf of Honorable President of India. Imagine how great it would feel to get an appointment letter with the name of president of the country in it.
  • Third, you will get all the luxury which other officers like IAS and IRS get. Bungalow, servants, four wheelers and many other benefits will be given to you directly.
  • Fourth, your pay will come under the pay commission of India, which means you will be getting increments every year. Although IES jobs are more about pride and respect rather money, this point still exists in the list of advantages.
  • Fifth, you will get a job with high responsibility from Day 1 itself. Therefore, an IES job is never going to get monotonous throughout your life.
  • Lastly, the level of job security is immense. Since you will get selected after a lot of hard work and will clear one of the toughest examinations, the government will not let you go easily. So, the level of Job security is immense. 

Benefits of a PSU Job

A job in public sector undertaking also offers a lot of benefits.

  • The first benefit is the ease of work. You will get more holidays and less challenging work that an IES officer.
  • Second benefit is promotions. If you are hardworking and talented, you can get to higher ranks in a short period of time.
  • Third benefit is money. PSUs generally pay more than central government. As you keep on going higher in your ranks, the money you will get will keep on increasing.
  • Fourth benefit is the perks. PSU employees get a lot of perquisites like a house, healthcare facilities, easy loans, transport subsidy, food subsidy, shift allowance and many other benefits. Although it depends from company to company, still benefits are a lot.
  • And lastly, job security. Although it is not a government job, still the level of job security is high. Until unless a big structural reform happens in Indian PSU sector, the PSU jobs are one of the most secure jobs in the country.

Drawbacks of being an IES officer

Although an IES tag is probably one of the most desired jobs in the country, they too come with their own limitations.

  • First problem is level of hard work one has to do become an IES officer. This means that if you have even decided of targeting this exam, you have to do a lot of hard work right from day one of taking this decision. Many candidates prepare for 2-3 or even more years to crack the exam. It’s like you start feeling the pressure even before joining the job. CheckIES Exam Pattern in order to crack the exam
  • Second is the challenging nature of job. Some people do not take it as a drawback, but this can become a bit difficult sometimes. You can have unusual work hours, continuous working days, lesser holidays and many other difficulties while doing this job.​
  • Third drawback is the transfers. You do not know when you will get transferred to any other place, which makes it a bit tough.
  • And last drawback is seniority-based promotions. No matter how good you are, you will get the promotion only when your whole batch’s turn comes. This is one of the biggest problems in government jobs and it decreases your motivation level to work hard.

Drawbacks of having a PSU Job

A PSU job also comes with a lot of drawbacks. We will look at problem of PSU jobs in general and will not be comparing it with IES as both of these are totally different and their problems are also different. So, let’s see,

  • Firstly, your job can get monotonous. Like if you are appointed in a factory, that routine level work in pre-decided work hours may tend to get monotonous very easily. Therefore, the job can get boring.
  • Second but a major problem is that many PSUs are located in remote areas. If you have lived in a metro or even a tier 2 city, living a remote location of which most of the people do not have even heard the name of can become very difficult.
  • Another thing is that working conditions are PSUs are not very attractive. Old building and furniture can make your life less glorious as compared to your peers. Therefore, a PSU job may not prove very satisfying in nature.

Everything in the world has its own limitations and advantages, and so are these two jobs. But there is no doubt that many aspire to be one of them. If you are looking follow a path from one of these two, just make sure that you know every aspect properly. All the best!


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