Campus Connect: Rs.10 lakh+ packages, a possibility for industry-ready candidates
Strong placements over the past several years have been serving as the backbone for engineering and management institutions across the country. A look at prominent colleges in Pune to understand trends and influences on this season’s placements reveals a pattern where companies are looking for more specialised and interdisciplinary skill sets.
“The placement trend depends on the repute of the institute to a great extent. However, as compared to the last few years, we have seen that now, more and more corporates are in search of students with specialised skill sets. Gone are the days when freshers with common skill sets were employed and trained by companies. With increase in competition, companies now prefer industry-ready candidates,” says Uttam Chaskar, placement officer at the College of Engineering Pune (COEP).
Elaborating on the demand for specialised candidates, Chaskar adds, “A few years back, companies, especially IT companies, would hire students from different streams, even core engineering streams. These new recruits would then be trained by the companies. But, that trend has changed exponentially. Now, companies do not want to spend their resources training freshers, instead, they are looking for industry-ready candidates, who can bring much more to the table. It is but a way of evolution for the industry, to which institutions also need to respond.”
Agreeing, Akshay Malhotra, deputy director of Symbiosis Institute of Technology (SIT) says, “The need of the hour is interdisciplinary courses, which will equip students with more specialised skills to enhance their job profile and be more valuable to companies. For this, colleges should provide such courses and electives.”
According to the colleges, many of the volume-hiring companies are also seem to prefer candidates with niche skills. “Mass recruiters, like Infosys and Wipro, continue to hire bulk students at a standard package rate - approximately between Rs.3.4 and Rs.3.5 lakh, but are also opening up to expand the package bracket to Rs.10 lakh or even Rs.17 lakh for students with special skills. Last year, we had Cognizant come for specialised recruiting and the same is with the others,” says Chaskar.
While few colleges have been involved in evolving their curriculum to fit industry needs, many still lag behind. This was suggested by a research report by private job portal wisdomjobs.com. It claimed that the lack of specialised courses in a majority of institutions was one of the reasons causing a dip in placements.
“Companies are willing to offer higher pay packages to candidates in niche and emerging technology profiles, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, data science, robotics, augmented and virtual reality among others. But, a majority of private and government engineering institutes are at a disadvantage since they do not offer such specialisations and are unable to provide students with exposure to these technologies,” says Ajay Kolla, founder and CEO, wisdomjobs.com.
According to the report, Tier-I institutes have witnessed an average campus placement of 75%, while it is at a low of 38% for Tier-II and Tier-III institutes. Also, on an average, nationally, campus hiring has dropped by 23% in IT services and 26% in core engineering.