“IIT students land plum job offers during placement drives” Is this really true?”
The massive swarm of people near LHC on December 1, the first day of Phase-I, signalled the dawn of a series of cold days which would prove to be the “days of reckoning” for many of our final year students. It is finally that time of the year, the culmination of sheer hard work, determination and perseverance for the thousands of students who will be graduating from the IITs this year. It is one of the most important periods for these students, with most of them embarking on newer (and hopefully, happier :P) journeys once this process is over. Placement Season 2017. And with Phase-I having ended on December 15th, things have not been disappointing so far. In the words of NP Padhy, professor in charge of Training and Placement at IIT Roorkee, “IITs are the hub for tech talent for global companies. IIT graduates not only possess tech talent but also exhibit leadership traits. These two attributes are much desired by any global company for their tech teams. Placements have got off to a strong start and despite the negative sentiment earlier in the market, we are expecting a good season.” It is good to know that this year’s placement season supplements this statement to a large extent.
How is this year different?
Placements seem to have picked up this year after last year’s miserable placement season. One reason can be the fact that global economies are growing at a pretty decent pace and a variety of fields are becoming more mainstream with the growth of industries and their technical infrastructure. It is also evident that both IITs and companies have learnt from last year’s gaffe, which involved the black listing of 22 startups for modifying or rescinding offers made to students.
“After a year of not hiring from Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi, startups Flipkart and Zomato will be back for recruitment at these prestigious institute’s campuses.”
According to a senior placement official at one of the IIT’s, “We have not taken too many startups considering their past history. Only the top four to five companies in the e-commerce space are being called so that students are not inconvenienced by offers revoked or delays in joining dates. Further, there has also been a crackdown on fake companies.” Students of IIT Delhi have also been warned to conduct their own checks before accepting offers from startup companies.
IITD Placement Scenario
The first day of placements saw companies make more than 200 domestic and international offers. Over 35 students bagged international offers spanning a myriad of countries including Singapore, Hong Kong, Japan, Netherlands, South Korea and the United States.
230 companies have visited the IIT Delhi campus in Phase-1 recruiting for over 370 different job profiles compared to 270 organisations offering 400 job roles in the entire placement season last year. There has been a 25% increase in the offers tabled by companies this year. Uptil now, The institute has received around 950 offers leading to 780 unique selections (including 102 PPO’s) upto the end of Phase-I. As per statistics, students of the Computer Science Department are leading in the recruitment process as 95% of them have already got placed. Students of the Electrical Engineering Department have also attracted the attention of recruiters as about 80% of those who registered for placements have been selected. Unlike previous years, students of the Civil Engineering Department were also successful in landing placements with 70% of registered students already placed.
IIT Delhi has seen a healthy increase of 15% in overall hiring across all streams as compared to last year in Phase-I. There has been a trend of increasing PG placements seen in previous years and this year was no different. A growth of almost 20% in PG recruitments was registered this year. According to I.N. Kar, professor-in-charge of the TnP Cell, “While the overall placements have been better than last year, recruitment trends of PG students is especially very encouraging for the future of engineering research in the country.”
The distribution of placements across different streams, including DMS streams, hasn’t changed much this year with 70% of the students placed in Core companies (since companies offering Information Technology profiles are core to streams like Computer Science, Electrical Engineering and Mathematics & Computing). These companies also include those involved in other fields as well, for instance, in Automobiles and Manufacturing sectors. Companies classified under the ‘Others’ category are usually core companies which prefer to not classify their various facets under a single category.
A boom in the Analytics space has been observed in recent years and the trend continued with 16% students getting placed in this field. However, the percentage of students placed in consulting and finance profiles fell to 15% as compared to 20% last year. PPO’s also registered an uptick of 20%, with 197 PPO’s received of which 102 were accepted. These PPO’s were offered by a wide variety of companies such as GlaxoSmithKline, Schlumberger, American Express and Microsoft.
DMS also had a fruitful placement season with 100% placements. Sales, Marketing, Analytics and Consulting accounted for nearly 60% of them, with the average package being around 16 l.p.a. The highest package was just above 27 l.p.a.
The other side of the coin
Although Phase-1 saw an increase in number of placements, some long-standing issues managed to crop up again this year. There is a common complaint in the IITD student community regarding the dearth of companies in the later stages of Phase-I. According to Mrs. Anishya Madan, the Industrial Liaison Officer of T&P, “Many companies were scheduled for the later days but based on student applications received many pulled out last minute. So, it is not a problem of availability but of student response to job postings. These companies are being approached again for Phase-II of the placements season.”
The slotting pattern has also been a major issue for every company since the beginning of time. Slots are fixed according to various factors such as the profile offered, growth prospects in the company, preferences of the students, reputation of the company in the campus and past experience with IIT Delhi. The T&P Cell tries to accommodate as many companies as possible on each day to give each one the best slot possible, while keeping in mind the constraints of the students’ ability to give interviews in a particular span of time. Despite this, the slotting system tends to almost always leave a bad taste in someone’s mouth, be it a student or a company. Come December each year, you will hear of several stories of messed up slotting, delays in company interviews caused by another company and so on.
A glimpse at the placement season elsewhere
Reports from other IITs also showed similar trends. According to Training and Placement Cell of IIT Bombay, “IIT Bombay’s placement season has started off well. Day 1 witnessed the participation of 34 companies. For the domestic roles, the highest number of offers were made by Goldman Sachs, Qualcomm, IBM, Microsoft, BCG, Cairn, McKinsey Knowledge Centre & Tata Steel while the maximum International offers were made by NEC Japan, Microsoft, Optiver, Rubrik and Uber.”
Manu Santhanam, adviser, training and placement at IIT Madras stated, “Last year, we had three international offers on Day 1 compared with nine international offers on Day 1 this year.”
IIT Kanpur has received a total of 950 offers leading to 700 unique selections. Ravi Shukla, media in-charge at IIT-K, stated, “Rubric has offered Rs 1.20 crore each to two students of computer science. On the first day of placements, Microsoft offered a package of Rs 1.39 crore each to four students.“
“Among the leading global MNCs coming to IIT Roorkee were Uber, Goldman Sachs, Schlumberger and WebStaff. Top Indian companies such as ONGC and Indian Space Research Organisation were also among 50-odd companies and start-up ventures offering hefty packages to IIT Roorkee students”, said NP Padhy. Three students were offered Rs. 1.39 crore by Microsoft, the highest in the history of the institute.
Similar to Bombay, Kanpur and Roorkee, IIT Delhi saw its highest package for this season being offered to 6 students by Microsoft, Redmond.
A few suggestions from our end
The whole process of placements is extremely long and stressful and T&P certainly adds to the woes. We understand that handling the placements is a mammoth task in itself and companies aren’t very helpful either. However, there are things that T&P can do better, to make the journey a bit simpler for the students.
- Starting right from the beginning, the CV guidelines and verification: While most CV guidelines do make sense, there are a few irrational ones. For instance, in the second round of CV instructions given out by T&P, the students were not allowed to write the amount of money that they got through a scholarship. Without mentioning the amount of money of a scholarship, the whole importance of that scholarship cannot be weighed and the CV Point becomes much weaker than it is. Further, this particular guideline was not explicitly written in the first set of instructions and a lot of students had to change their CVs because of this later.
- Fixing the T&P portal: We are the best technical institution in the country and it is expected that the website dedicated to such an important task should be up to the mark. That is certainly not the case. When T&P knows that a large number of students will be accessing the portal at the same time, specially around the time of the deadlines, they should design the portal accordingly. Instead, what the students get is the portal crashing multiple times, and their data getting lost in the way. So, making the site more reliable will go a long way in helping the students.
- Managing the company tests: A lot of companies have online/ offline tests before the final interviews. The test timings are usually extremely hectic for the students, with the poor coders out there suffering more than they should in reality. Tests for coding profiles are known to run back to back and well into the night. This is something that we understand T&P can’t do much about, just because of the sheer magnitude of the companies that come to campus. However, notifying the students about tests/GD is one thing T&P doesn’t do well at all. Sanjana Garg, a final year student shares her experience, “I logged into the T&P portal at 11 pm one day to check the tests scheduled for the following day. Next morning, I logged into the portal at 9 am to find out that I had already missed my Wipro test scheduled for 8 am. It is illogical to expect a student to keep checking the portal every half an hour.”
Though T&P does use a phone app called Wisslr, the notification of tests held in the last few days, just before Day 1 aren’t updated on that app. Hence, it becomes very hard for students to keep a track and it is not a rare occurrence that a student misses his/her test/GD. T&P took the decision to make notifications available off campus from this year around. However, it hasn’t proved to be as big a blessing as expected. A primary reason is that it doesn’t display company tests schedule, something that the T&P can look to rectify for future placements.
The “sanctity” of the placement season
Many of us see placements, as not only a starting step to our professional lives, preparing us for making an impact in the world out there, but also as the “final-report card” of the 4 years one spends at IIT. Hence, when the placement season finally does arrive, tension, anxiety and emotions are flying through the roof. The extensive preparation – the mocks, the resume making, the qualification tests- make you secretly strive for nothing less than a Day 1 job. Yet the problem arises, when we let the first job we get, be the sole criteria for judging how successful our college life was. The prevailing perception of the Day 1/2/3 broke some hearts this time around as well, with some of the “stud” people who have slogged throughout their college life not getting that coveted Day 1/2/3 job.
In the end, we would like to remind all our readers what Kumar Sambhava said in his article last year,
“Let us not let the day we got placed decide our worth. Life is and should be much more than that.”