Many students decline the lucrative finance sector to opt for jobs in core-engineering sector as it offers job security and good pay.
Larsen & Toubro chairman A M Naik has a recurring complaint: students of India’s biggest engineering colleges traditionally give the manufacturing sector a miss. “No one wants to dirty their hands in the shop floor; everyone seems to be interested in fancy consulting or informational technology jobs,” he says. That’s the reason why one of India’s biggest capital goods giant go to the campuses of lesser known institutes for recruiting talent.
Naik would be happy to know that things seem to be changing — at least this year. Many students, say IITians, are declining lucrative finance jobs and opting for jobs in the core-engineering sector. At IIT Bombay for instance, of around 500 students remaining to be placed, most are waiting for an engineering company of their choice to visit the campus for placements.
“This year, we have seen that many students are waiting to join engineering companies. Even our brightest of students whom consulting and finance companies would have picked up easily, have decided not to sit for an interview with finance companies,” said Ravi Sinha, IIT-B placement head.
A total of 1,383 students have registered for placements with IIT-B where 200 companies will participate. Last year IT and management consulting was among the best options at IIT-B. This was followed by finance, both of which offered big bucks. During 2010-11 placement season the number of offers in the finance sector went up from 70 to 91, and 95 offers were made by the consulting sector to IIT-B students. Sixty nine offers were accepted from the research and development (R&D) firms, up from 54 in 2009-10. At IIT Roorkee, around 650 students of the 1,200 have been placed so far. The institute said of the 650 students, around 150 of them opted for a non-finance job profile. “A lot of our students this year decided not to sit for job interview with finance companies. The students, I think are looking at this from a stability point of view. Many say they would join a financial organisation post a management degree. Many know that the market situation, especially with the finance sector is not good enough,” said P K Jain, placement chairperson at IIT Roorkee.
At IITs over 140 companies will be on campus to recruit over 1,200 students. The IITs have seen students opting for jobs in technology, auto and engineering sectors at companies including—Microsoft, Shell, Schlumberger and Facebook, etc. Facebook made the biggest offer at Rs 65 lakh on the campus. Indian IT majors — Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys Technologies and Wipro Technologies would be visiting the campuses shortly.
The IITs have a placement rule wherein the students are allowed to sit for placement only if the student wishes to take the job. So if a student sits for placement with a consulting firm, if selected, he cannot decline the job offer. “We do not want students to waste the company’s time and also waste a job offer. This spoils the institute’s name as well,” added a placement chairperson.
At IIT Kharagpur, it’s the same story. The institute’s placement head says students are largely applying for jobs in core sector companies. “Students say they prefer waiting for the right engineering firms to come on campus for placements but they are not ready to join a financial sector player even if the pay package is much better than what an engineering company has to offer,” said the placement head at IIT Kharagpur.
Facebook made the highest offer of $1,25,000 at Kharagpur.
The IITs, by and large, have seen good placements on the campus this season. “We have decided to wait for good engineering companies be on campus and sit for placements. We interacted with a few of our seniors and learnt that the finance sector may not be a safe bet. Engineering not only offers you a good package but also job security,” said a student from IIT Madras where a similar trend is seen.
At IIT Madras, companies from Korea and Japan will also participate in this year’s final placements. Over 1,200 students will seek jobs during the placement season. The IITs say they have seen a 10-20 per cent increase in salary levels for students. The premier institutes began their final placements on December 1 which will go on till June 2012.