IIT placements decoded: Rosy picture doesn't really reflect state of Indian economy, and other takeaways

The placement season in the various IITs across the country is showing much promise with students bagging jobs in marquee firms in the first two days of placements at the institutes. For instance, at IIT-Kharagpur more than 335 students were offered jobs in the first two days, while IIT Bombay saw over 150 students and IIT-Madras a record 195 students respectively being offered jobs on Day One itself.

Blue-chip companies made their presence with Apple Inc making its debut at the Kharagpur campus. It picked five students from the campus for its Bengaluru office. Microsoft offered the highest package of Rs 1.4 crore for a student, with an IITian from Delhi bagging that offer. IIT Delhi also had three other students who received salary offers over Rs 1 crore. At IIT-B, a total of 1,114 jobs were offered with an average gross salary of Rs 11.41 lakh a year, according to the institute.

Asian companies were the top recruiters with companies from Japan and Singapore making the cut. Some of the international recruiters were Murata Group Japan, NEC Japan and Schlumberger Asia Services, among others at IIT-B, for instance. Companies such as Microsoft, Uber, HSBC, Goldman Sachs, GE, etc., were the top companies that made offers. The number of companies taking part in placements across IITs have gone up 25 percent, media reports said.

Over the past few years, the IT sector has been facing severe challenges globally and in India with automation taking over many jobs. The once sunrise sector is seen to be cutting between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh jobs per year in the next three years, according to an analyst.

The truth is there are not many avenues open that can cushion the layoffs in the sector in such a massive scale.  In these trying times, Year 2017 job placements at IITs is better than before. So, what are the takeaways from this scenario:

Jobs being offered are by product companies and not services sector: Samsung, Uber, Microsoft and others who are offering jobs are product companies and not service sector firms, says Kris Lakshmikanth, Founder, Head Hunters India. With automation taking over, the requirement for people in companies have been drastically reduced. "We have the best talent in our IITs and they are in demand for product development", he said.

IIT Bombay. AFP pic

IIT Bombay. AFP pic

India is more attractive than countries abroad: With the tightening of visa rules in the US and the focus on local hires in US and Europe, many techies want to return to India and work here. This has led to many top-notch techies taking up jobs in India, said Gaurav Seth, Partner, Odgers Berndtson, an executive recruitment solutions firm. In such a scenario, IIT-ians are rather keen to take up jobs in companies that are located in India, he said.

High-end technology jobs: Jobs in data analytics and cutting edge technologies like Artificial Intelligence, high-end manufacturing, app development are attracting candidates who are being offered high salaries. Microsoft, Facebook, Google and others continue to be favourites with job seekers, and not the services sector which is losing flavour with large-scale retrenchments. Besides tech firms, investment banking and consulting are areas where IIT and other graduates are being offered salaries that are more (or equal) to an Indian Institute of Management (IIM) graduate. “The fact that top companies are hiring in India giving US equivalent salaries is a big draw,” said Neeti Sharma, Senior Vice President, Learning Services, TeamLease.

Global firms setting development centres in India: With many global firms not willing to take on third party services but setting up their own captive development centres in India, there is a demand for top rate talent from within India, which is available in the IITs, said Seth of Odgers Berndtson.

Startups seen as risky ventures: A lot of startups are being avoided by freshers from top institutes given the fact that many of them have closed down, says Sharma of TeamLease. The shutting down of many like Housing.com, for instance, among many others have created suspicion in the minds of IIT graduates about the sector. They prefer to go to established companies and organizations instead, she said.

Job offers at IITs do not reflect state of economy: The current placement offers at IITs, however, are not a mirror of the economy. There are three parts to the job sector: there is the top creamy layer consisting of high qualified jobs which requires talent from world-class institutes like the IITs and the NIITs, the mid-level jobs that are fraught with risks and the menial jobs like construction, etc, said Madan Sabnavis, Chief Economist of CARE Ratings. "The IIT-ians and those in the top level are the outliers. They do not reflect the state of the economy", he said, adding that one only hears of the crème-de-la-crème at the IIT getting these plum offers. “What about the next rung at IIT? What kind of salaries do they get?”

Updated Date: Dec 05, 2017 20:15 PM

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