The downturn in placement coincides with the economic slowdown which has marred the industry across the world. Several city colleges, which offer degrees in science, commerce and engineering, admit that this year, the number of jobs being offered has dropped, and so have the pay packages. Also, some companies have postponed the joining dates of selected candidates up to a year.
At IIT-B, the placement exercise is an extensive, year-long process, conducted for all students in their final year of engineering. Over 270 organisations visited the IIT-B campus between October 2012 and June 2013. However, of the 1,421 students who registered for the placement programme, only 1,099 (77%) got jobs. This figure is inclusive of students who opted out of the programme to pursue higher studies.
As compared to 2011-12, this year, there were 10-15% less job offers for BTech and MTech students, believed to have the highest demand in the industry. The situation was worse for MDes (Master of Design) and MSc students, as nearly half of them didn’t get job offers through campus placements. This year’s campus placement record has been the worst in the past four years.
A professor said, “Qualifying for JEE or JAM and getting a good job are two different things. Employers have their own selection procedure to judge the candidates on a range of skills apart from academic knowledge.”
Top Indian and multinational companies shortlist students with higher GPAs and then conduct their own written tests, group discussions and interviews.
Several students failed to get a job due to poor communication and English skills. Two years ago, the institute started special training courses to address these issues. However, any improvement doesn’t reflect in the placement.
Dean of IIT-B’s placement department Prof Avijit Chatterjee said, “If a few students don’t get jobs through campus interviews, it doesn’t mean they don’t get jobs at all. They can approach companies directly after completing the course. Till now, no one has come back to us saying s/he didn’t get a job.”
However, Chatterjee admitted that the institute doesn’t track the progress of the students once they graduate. Students also said it is tougher to get a job outside of campus placements as the competition isn’t restricted to classmates.
Chatterjee denied impact of economic slowdown on placement. “Placement has been good all these years,” he said.