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From Sunrise to Slowdown: Campus placements drop for technology, engineering graduates

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The Indian Express | Alfiya Khan | Pune | May 21, 2017 12 |

Principal of MIT College of Engineering, L K Kshirsagar, also admitted that there has been a decline in the number of offers for students.

While the latest figures released by the Ministry of Human Resource Development show that one of three IIT graduates didn’t get hired this year, indicating the dismal scenario of campus placements at the country’s premier engineering institute, the situation is not much better for other engineering institutes across the city. Pointing out the 15 to 35 percent decline in the number of students who got placed this year, placement officers say ‘cautious’ hiring by companies and shrinking of jobs in the IT sector is affecting student placements. Most city engineering college heads say that while the average pay package has not been affected, the number of selections has gone down significantly. At PCET’s Pimpri Chinchwad College of Engineering, while 526 students got campus placements last year, 405 students got placed this year.  Shitalkumar Ravandale, dean, industry-institute interaction, who has been overseeing placements for over 15 years, said global factors, including a slowdown in the IT industry, massive lay-offs and automation, are responsible for the situation.

“I wouldn’t say that it is a very drastic change but yes, we are beginning to feel the heat. When engineering graduates are recruited, there are three major sectors in which hirings take place – IT products, services and core jobs. The latter is not affected… in fact hiring is the strongest in these areas, but in the case of IT especially, we are seeing a slump. The bulk hiring at our college has not been particularly affected, as it takes place for core jobs, but there are engineering institutes where bulk hiring takes place for IT-related jobs, and there is some concern,” he said. Campus placements at the College of Engineering, Pune, haven’t been affected much. Training and placement cell officer, Dr Uttam Chaskar, said since over 95 per cent students are hired in the manufacturing sector or core jobs, placements remained relatively untouched. One of the institutes affected is PVG’s College of Engineering, where principal Dr Y P Nerkar admitted to a drastic drop in campus placements. So much so that the college had to consider tying up with the skill development courses offered by the government, to ensure that students get internship opportunities and are not dejected due to lack of offers. “During interactions with company representatives, we learnt that overall weak earnings, visa curbs and uncertainty has forced IT companies to go easy on campus hiring. Among the students who are most affected are IT, computer engineering, electronics and telecommunications graduates. It is difficult to predict what happens in off-campus interviews and that’s why we inked an MoU for skill development sector internships,” he said.

Principal of MIT College of Engineering, L K Kshirsagar, also admitted that there has been a decline in the number of offers for students. “We had the same number of companies visiting the campus… but the number of students selected was fewer. It’s not as if there is any kind of freeze on hiring in any company… but selections are getting choosier. Only the best are getting hired,” he said. At Vishwakarma Institute, the total number of placements dropped from 550 last year to 400 this year, including placements for BTech, M Tech and MCA students. But Dr A S Kulkarni, head of training and placement, said he wasn’t so concerned. “These are the figures for on-campus placements… now multiple rounds of off-campus placements will take place. So far, companies have adopted a cautious approach to hiring, but once the second quarter of the year sets in and they realise that the situation isn’t so grim, jobs are likely to open up,” he said. – Courtesy

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