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India’s largest Employability Skills Test by Wheebox launched in association with AICTE, UNDP and CII

India Education Diary | 

Leading Employability Assessment Company Wheebox in association with premier consortium partners AICTE, Confederation of Indian Industry (CII), United Nations Development Program (UNDP), Association of Indian Universities (AIU), Pearson Education and India’s leading HR technology outsourcing firm PeopleStrong launched India’s largest Employability Skills Test across 29 states and 7 UTs on the occasion of ‘World Skills Day’. The final year graduates, post-graduates and diploma holders from engineering, polytechnic, ITIs, state-run colleges & management schools can take part in the Wheebox Employability Test (WEST). The registration for online assessment for educational campuses commences on 15th of July on wheebox.com/west and last date of conducting proctored examinations across campuses will be 30th October, 2017. Students can register online at wheebox.com/west and take an online test measuring individual abilities in numerical and problem solving skills along with English, basics of information technology (IT), and behavioral traits. The duration of the online test is 70 minutes and is available in both Hindi and English. The assessment test provides initial transcript and detailed scorecards for each module to the candidate highlighting the strengths and improvement areas. These scores are shared with 110 organizations across 10 Sectors in India aiming to give the candidates a snapshot of their capability.

In a span of 100 days over 5000 campuses and a million of candidates will make it the largest study on employability anywhere in the world. Last year the study encompassed over half a million candidates from talent supply and from demand side over 150 large corporations from 15 sectors participated in the study. The employability test attempts to make a meaningful matchmaking between talent demand and supply for the job market. The study and findings will be part of India Skills Report 2018 which will be published during Global Skills Summit on November. Speaking on this occasion Nirmal Singh, Founder and CEO of Wheebox said, “Last year over 30,000 new employment opportunities were provided to young graduates from campuses as an outcome of the initiative. This partnership brings a new dimension and understanding to the way India and the global world looks at hiring skilled talent. The report provides an insight into the future jobs and skills required by employers also the hiring trends of the market while understanding the needs of the job seeker and organizations”. “Our past reports have been stating that businesses are struggling to recruit the right people, with a lack of general employability skills including soft skills such as communication, learning agility and team work cited as the primary problem (64 percent). This sentiment may dampen business productivity, ultimately threatening future growth and profitability; India Skills report addresses this concern and enables the academia and industry to make informed decisions.” – Courtesy  /    Click here to register for Wheebox Employability Skill Test

Amid IT layoffs, BITS Pilani gets jobs for 86 per cent students with highest offer of Rs 60 lakh

Business Today | BT Online   New Delhi | July 18, 2017  |

At a time when India’s IT industry is facing massive layoffs, it has been reported that one of the country’s top engineering colleges BITS Pilani managed to get 86 per cent of the overall batch placed this year with some of its students getting as much as Rs 60 lakh per annum. According to a report in the Economic Times, BITS Pilani secured an average salary of Rs 11.07 lakh against Rs 10.33 lakh last year. “The highest on-campus international package of Rs 60 lakh was offered by Tokyo-based Works Application, one of Japan’s largest enterprise software companies,” the report said. Another Japanese company Daikin offered a package of Rs 59.5 lakh. For domestic roles, the highest salary was Rs 35 lakh which was offered by California based cloud computing software company Nutanix. Other highest payers include Schlumberger (Rs 32 lakh), Arcesium (Rs 29.5 lakh), DE Shaw (Rs 28.5 lakh), Amazon (Rs 27 lakh) and Directi (Rs 26.8 lakh). Chief placement officer-India & Dubai at BITS Pilani University G Balasubramanian told the ET that the university’s three campuses-Pilani, Goa and Hyderabad-saw a total of 646 recruiters, 38 more than the last year. He further said keeping the overall hiring environment in mind, the institute had advanced its placement season by a week across semesters to gain an advantage.

“Attractive slots in the dream week helped us garner a good market share of our key recruiters. Also, shifting our focus on core engineering and analytics in 2017 versus IT in the previous years proved critical in surpassing last year’s numbers,” Balasubramanian was quoted as saying. Earlier in May, software companies like Cognizant, Wipro and Infosys reportedly laid off employees on a massive scale. The move came after the growth in India’s 150-billion dollar IT industry slowed down more than anticipated. Country’s apex trade body ASSOCHAM had warned about industry’s growth prospect in May and said: “Aggravated by rising rupee leading to lower realizations for software exports, the Indian IT firms may be forced to displace work force. In that case, the chances of layoffs are real.” Barely a week after this warning, country’s third largest software services firm Wipro fired hundreds of employees as part of its annual “performance appraisal”. Wipro laid off around 600 employees, while many predicted that number to go as high as 2,000. – Courtesy

India’s top tech firms lose appeal for engineering students

Money. CNN .com |     July 5, 2017  |

India’s top tech companies are becoming less appealing for the millions of engineers the country produces every year.

Three of the country’s top outsourcing firms all dropped in the latest annual ranking of the most attractive employers for Indian engineering students by research firm Universum. The top 10 was dominated by American tech giants like Google  and Microsoft .  “The growing presence of multinational [companies] in the last few years has seen them replace domestic ones” among the top choices, said Daniel Ng, Universum’s head of research for Asia. Companies such as Facebook and Apple  are perceived as offering a more “creative and dynamic work environment” than their Indian rivals, he added. In the survey, IT firm Infosys fell out of the top 10 for the first time, slipping to 13th from 9th last year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country’s biggest outsourcing company, slid from 14th to 18th. Bangalore-based Wipro sank from 17th to 25th.  In fact, only two Indian companies — infrastructure firm Larsen & Toubro and government-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) — made it into the top 10.

India’s top tech companies are becoming less appealing for the millions of engineers the country produces every year. Three of the country’s top outsourcing firms all dropped in the latest annual ranking of the most attractive employers for Indian engineering students by research firm Universum. The top 10 was dominated by American tech giants like Google  and Microsoft . “The growing presence of multinational [companies] in the last few years has seen them replace domestic ones” among the top choices, said Daniel Ng, Universum’s head of research for Asia. Companies such as Facebook and Apple  are perceived as offering a more “creative and dynamic work environment” than their Indian rivals, he added. In the survey, IT firm Infosys fell out of the top 10 for the first time, slipping to 13th from 9th last year. Tata Consultancy Services (TCS), the country’s biggest outsourcing company, slid from 14th to 18th. Bangalore-based Wipro sank from 17th to 25th. In fact, only two Indian companies — infrastructure firm Larsen & Toubro and government-owned Bharat Heavy Electricals (BHEL) — made it into the top 10.

It doesn’t help that Indian students remain obsessed with working abroad. While most millennials around the world put “work/life balance” as their top career goal, young Indians’ main objective is to work outside their own country, Universum said. Out of the 29,000 Indian students surveyed, 43% said they wanted “to have an international career,” the research firm added. It seems to be getting tougher for firms like Infosys and Wipro to offer them that  opportunity.  More than 60% of the Indian tech industry’s revenue comes from the U.S., where President Trump is pushing his “America First” agenda. Trump has demanded a comprehensive review of the H-1B work visa program, saying it is unfairly used to replace Americans with cheaper foreign workers. Infosys, TCS and Wipro are among the top recipients of H-1B visas, 70% of which go to Indians.  Infosys recently said it will hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years, while TCS has cut its H-1B visa applications by two-thirds.

It doesn’t help that Indian students remain obsessed with working abroad. While most millennials around the world put “work/life balance” as their top career goal, young Indians’ main objective is to work outside their own country, Universum said. Out of the 29,000 Indian students surveyed, 43% said they wanted “to have an international career,” the research firm added. It seems to be getting tougher for firms like Infosys and Wipro to offer them that opportunity. More than 60% of the Indian tech industry’s revenue comes from the U.S., where President Trump is pushing his “America First” agenda. Trump has demanded a comprehensive review of the H-1B work visa program, saying it is unfairly used to replace Americans with cheaper foreign workers. Infosys, TCS and Wipro are among the top recipients of H-1B visas, 70% of which go to Indians. Infosys recently said it will hire 10,000 American workers over the next two years, while TCS has cut its H-1B visa applications by two-thirds.  Other popular destinations for Indian tech workers like the U.K. and Australia have also enacted policies that make it harder for them to move there. Ng said it is “certainly possible” that the opposition to work visas has contributed to India’s tech firms being deemed less attractive as employers.

But it’s not just big outsourcing companies that Indian engineers don’t want to work for. They’re also losing interest in high-flying startups at home in favor of global competitors. Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is also becoming a place where fewer engineers want to work, according to Universum. It ranked 33rd in this year’s survey, a sharp drop from 18th a year ago. Amazon, which is challenging Flipkart in India, broke into the top 10 for the first time, rising to 8th place from 13th. U.S. tech firms also top the list for Indian business students, accounting for three of the top five choices.  Indian students’ preferences contrast with those of their counterparts in China, where a Universum survey last month showed students increasingly favoring homegrown companies over international ones. U.S. tech firms also top the list for Indian business students, accounting for three of the top five choices. Indian students’ preferences contrast with those of their counterparts in China, where a Universum survey last month showed students increasingly favoring homegrown companies over international ones. But it’s not just big outsourcing companies that Indian engineers don’t want to work for. They’re also losing interest in high-flying startups at home in favor of global competitors. Indian e-commerce firm Flipkart is also becoming a place where fewer engineers want to work, according to Universum. It ranked 33rd in this year’s survey, a sharp drop from 18th a year ago. Amazon, which is challenging Flipkart in India, broke into the top 10 for the first time, rising to 8th place from 13th. Other popular destinations for Indian tech workers like the U.K. and Australia have also enacted policies that make it harder for them to move there. Ng said it is “certainly possible” that the opposition to work visas has contributed to India’s tech firms being deemed less attractive as employers. –  Courtesy     /      Take a Loot at – India’s Most Attractive Employers – Trends and Rankings by Universum     /       http://universumglobal.com/

The World’s Most Attractive Employers 2017  :  Results from 2017 survey: Click here to Download the Report–>

AIB’s Video: This clip is for every engineering student who tries to get a job but fails each time

Newsable | By Rushali Pawar | June 20, 2017  |

  • The video series focuses on an average engineering student who struggles to get a job after four years.
  • During campus placement, he is told to speak English, a requirement so elitist in nature that it disregards other skills.
  • The video’s protagonist, Average Mishra, says that he’s realised engineering is a sham and the dream of a high paying job is a bigger sham.
 All India Bakchod’s new video series is a beautiful drama on the frustration and the sheer misfortune of those who don’t get placed during campus recruitment. The three part video series lists bizarre reasons why engineering students don’t get a job no matter how hard they try. The reasons for their rejection does not indicate how qualified or not they are. Instead, they are denied a job because they didn’t pass a written test or talk in a group discussion. In the third part of the video series, Average Mishra (Neveen Polishetty), who spends all his time playing counter strike and being zoned out, basically like any other engineering student, doesn’t get through campus recruitment.

At one point, he gives up, sits on the front steps to what looks like an important building, and rues. He is beyond sad when a college mate gives him a glimmer of hope: he’s actually made it through group discussion. What follows is a series of pointless discussions, technical interview questions that don’t test a student’s skill. He manages to make it through these challenges and finally, he enters a personal interview round which is anything but personal.

Mishra is told over and over again that he needs to speak English. This requirement is so elitist that this college student loses it, argues why he’s not comfortable speaking in a language that’s not native to him, or for many others who are comfortable only speaking their mother-tongue. This average dude in a nameless, faceless engineering college in India isn’t the only one who has gone through this. Almost every engineering student has had to face logic defying questions during interviews and has had to respond them with equally confusing answers.

What AIB does skilfully in their video series is this: they take a humanistic view of the plight of engineering students, who struggle through college to land a high paying job, only to realise that the dream they were sold was a sham. This video series is really a tribute to engineering students in India. It makes them believe that a college education or job in the IT sector doesn’t determine one’s talent. The video series is also a tribute to the engineers, and engineering  drop outs at AIB, who have gone against the norm and pursued a creative career, remaining true to themselves. – Courtesy

Job-starved B.E / B.Tech engineering graduates vie for law degree (LLB course)

The Times of India | Gokul Rajendran | TNN |  Jun 8, 2017 |  Job-starved engineering graduates vie for law degree  |

TRICHY: The waning employment opportunities for engineering graduates have led many of them to look for greener pastures as lawyers. What seems to have lured them as well as graduates from other fields to the legal profession are the growing job opportunities for law graduates in both government and private sector. For instance, 20 % of admissions to the three-year LLB course at Government Law College in Trichy are from among BE and BTech holders. “Around 40 to 60 students with engineering background have been joining the three-year LLB course for the past three years. The trend emerged from the 2014-15 academic year not only in Trichy but all government colleges across the state,” principal of government law college, Trichy, M Rajeswaran, told TOI on Wednesday. The trend has been continuing this year also with a good number of engineering graduates turning up to secure application forms on the first day it was issued, he said.

The attraction towards a law degree, particularly the three-year LLB course, emanated from the bright career opportunities it seemed to offer. At present, the college has 130 engineering graduates enrolled altogether in the three years of the LLB course. Most of them graduated in electrical and electronics, civil or computer science. “People have come out of the perception that the lawyer can only practise in courts for the litigants. They have become aware of the career options for a law degree in private and government sector. For example, many young law graduates have become judicial officers in lower courts. While many take up law for a good income, others choose it for an independent profession and reputation too,” said Principal Rajeswaran stating that IT industries and hospitals are looking for permanent legal advisers.  Some people secure a law degree to strengthen their business. J Hariharan, a BE civil who completed his first year LLB, needed a law degree for his construction profession. “I inherited my father’s construction business which needs legal expertise. Instead of depending on others, I joined the course,” said Hariharan who secured his BE from Anna University, Trichy.

 Female candidates with engineering degree also had an equal stake. “My daughter went for LLB in a private college before joining BE. Later, she joined BE and completed the course. The job she secured after BE was not attractive. So, she joined for LLB in Trichy government law college. She would practise in the court,” said advocate S Raju, the father of R Deepika. Social problems and sufferings of the poor also served as reasons for some engineering graduates to take up legal studies. “I worked for a year in my field but was not satisfied. I have abandoned the plan to pursue ME due to an uncertain future. Above all, the problems haunting the society made me think of pursuing law to empower myself to help others,” said G Suganya from Perambalur who completed her first year in LLB here after BE civil engineering at a college in Chennai.  On Wednesday, 596 applications for the five-year LLB and 283 applications for three-year LLB courses were sold on the first day of sale of application.  Across Tamil Nadu, 1,292 seats are available for the five-year LLB course and 1,502 seats for the three-year course.- Courtesy

IT companies may recruit M.Tech engineers only – T.V. Mohandas Pai

Crazy Engineers | By Kaustubh Katdare in ‘Engineering Jobs & Career Advice’ | 07 June 2017 | Opinion |

IT veteran, former Infosys board member and CFO has a ‘shocker’ for all the graduate engineers. TV Mohandas Pai has said that in near future, IT companies might ‘cold shoulder’ engineers with BE or B.Tech degress and may recruit only those with post-graduate degree. He advised all the engineering students that they should do specialisation, learn coding on their own and may consider taking extra classes to learn it. He reasoned that Indian IT companies are likely to hire engineers on the basis of their coding knowledge. Pai believes that the regular practice of hiring engineering graduates straight out of campus and then training them for several weeks before making them ‘project-ready’ will be done away with. He said that there’s no reason for the companies to invest time and efforts for the companies to train graduate engineers. Rather, they’d only hire those who have the knowledge of coding; and it’s going to be a mandatory requirement for future IT jobs.

Pai termed the non-improvement of engineering freshers salary in the recent years as ‘great tragedy’. The IT industry is not growing at a fast pace. The industry has seen a great increase in the supply of engineers but the demand hasn’t grown in equal proportion. He said that the global IT spending is expected to grow only 2% in the current year as compared to 3-4% in the past; which is bound to have an impact. Not even China can absorb close to a million engineers that India produces every year. The IT industry is expected to absorb only about 150,000 – 170,000 engineers in this year. Some of the reports indicate that the fresher salary in IT industry has grown only from 2.25 lakh per annum to 3.5 lakh in past few years. He further said that the big IT industries are taking advantage of oversupply of engineers by not talking to each other about not increasing fresher salaries. Pai rubbished the rumours of mass IT layoffs and a general slowdown in the IT industry. He referred all the reports in the media as ‘exaggerated’ because every year, about 1-2% of the bottom ( non-performers ) are shown the pink slip. We’d look forward to opinions from our fellow engineers about what Mr. Pai said. Do let us know through comments below. – Courtesy

Not just grades, even soft skills count in job market: Leadburg-MTHR survey

The Times of India | Aditi Gyanesh | TNN |  Jun 7, 2017 |

Bengaluru: Gone are the days when impressive scores alone could land one a job in a multinational firm. Employers are now looking beyond maths and science grades to assess whether a candidate fits the bill. Soft skills like ability to learn and communicate, goal-setting and writing proficiency are as essential as subject knowledge.  HR professionals questioned as part of the latest Leadburg-MTHR Soft-Skills Priorities in Employability Survey said non-cognitive behavioural skills are as important as domain and technical skills. However, prospective employees focus only on domain skills because they think only those are required for a job.  But employers believe otherwise. According to them, domain skills can be imparted through training, but without core behavioural skills like learning ability, adaptability, loyalty and creativity, the process becomes very tough.  Three-fourth of the 100-odd HR professionals and chief human resource officers (CHROs) questioned said the poor quality of education in engineering and technical colleges and faculty affects candidates’ ability to meet the requirements of companies.  “The survey was about entry and mid-level employees. In recent times, both these groups of people have been under immense pressure to show their worth. While at the entry-level, only 5% of the professionals are really employable, the mid-level segment faces retrenchment and relearning pressures. Thus, it is important make beginners realize the need for non-cognitive skills, which they often ignore. The survey shows the demands of companies,” said Sangeeth Varghese, founder of Leadburg which jointly conducted the survey with MTHR.  The deteriorating quality of fresh graduates has been reinforced by other surveys too. Of the 1.5 million students graduating every year, only about 5% (75,000) are really employable. Only around one lakh land jobs.
“The quality of education is deteriorating by the day, including in the engineering field. As far as engineering recruitments are concerned, there should be a national employability test for students who have completed the course and want to get employed, on the lines of GATE for MTech students. This will make students take engineering courses seriously,” said Venugopal KR, principal, University Visvesvaraya College of Engineering.  Experts also regret the lack of creativity and in-depth learning in the classroom. “When it comes to cracking interviews, students often fail because they lack technical knowledge about the product and how it can be improved. Soft skills are as important as other skills and we have a dedicated session on soft skills once a week,” said Dr Sanjay Chitnis, principal, CMR Institute of Technology.   Soft-skill trainer Swathi M said, “Students who are serious about recruitment know the importance of soft-skill training and take it seriously. Many even go for 6-10 months of training before the placement drive.”
Karnataka lags behind
Stakeholders in Karnataka point out the systemic deficiencies affecting the quality of fresh graduates. “We follow the VTU system where the syllabus is the same for students from both rural and urban areas, despite their requirements being different. Rural students are taught everything in the urban context and hence, don’t get a chance to resolve problems specific to them. As far as technological exposure is concerned, we are not on a par with other states like Tamil Nadu or Andhra Pradesh. Our syllabus is very old and needs a revamp. In AP, students get more exposure to technology,” said Nageswara Guptha, vice-principal, SVCE College.
What recruiters want

*Hard skills for entry-level employees, soft skills for mid-level candidates.

*Ability to learn, responsibility and commitment top-three attributes for entry-level candidates.
*Communication skills, credibility and ability to set goals top-three attributes for mid-level employees .  – Source: Leadburg-MTHR survey – Courtesy

Largest IT Companies Planning to Layoff More Than 57,000 Engineers This Year

Business world | BW Disrupt | 05 June, 2017 by BW Online Bureau  |

Automation and digitization will mostly impact mid and senior level professionals with 5-15 years’ experience and 20 lakhs package.

A report from wisdomjobs.  com says technological advancements like automation and digitization are going to affect the careers of IT professionals in the IT and telecom industries. Most impacted will be the mid-level and senior level professionals with 5-15 years’ experience and 20 lakhs package. Digitization and restructuring will be driven by need to adopt newer technologies in artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation and cloud computing. The report further mentioned that half the Indian IT workforce will be treated as irrelevant unless they are reskilled or adapt to new technologies. India’s largest IT services companies are planning to layoff at least 57,500 engineers this year. This number may increase in coming years. Layoffs will be more in Tier 1 and 2 cities.

Extent of layoffs

While the IT industry is shifting towards digital technologies and automation, a majority of the workforce cannot be trained with the required skill-sets or will not be required, and companies warned of high job losses at middle and senior levels. Out of the 24 lakhs employees, only about 50 percent, or approximately 12 lakh, can be re-trained and about 6 lakh can manage with existing skills. The rest, approximately 6 lakh professionals will lose their jobs over the next three years. However, preparing the ground for layoffs, many IT companies have already put a higher number of employees on notice by awarding them the lowest ratings in the appraisal process. Major IT companies in India are looking to implement cost cutting strategies by laying off more employees with high salary packages on account of a “more rigorous” performance evaluation process. The number is at least twice the employees laid off by the companies last year, reflecting their under-preparedness in adapting to newer technologies and dealing with the fallout from US President Donald Trump’s protectionist policies.

Why layoffs?

On average 4.1 million IT employees come from low-grade engineering colleges which do not follow rigorous grading patterns for students in their zeal to maintain good records. Recruitment experts opined that the quality of the students is so bad that many of them are not able to answer even questions from subjects taught in the final semester. The recent study revealed that nearly 81.5 percent of engineering graduates are unemployable. Companies are laying off mid-level and senior level employees with 5-15 years of experience professionals for the roles such as team leads, programme manager, supervisor or engineering managers to hire freshers who come at a cheaper cost. Effect will be on mid and senior level professionals as they should retrain themselves in the new technologies in order to save from the automation. IT companies are giving pink slips for the jobs in manual testing, technology support and system administration since these are increasingly going to be managed by AI and robotics process automation based systems. Recruiting experts believed that it is a challenging task that nearly 60-65% of them are not trainable, as Indian IT sector will witness the largest unemployment in the middle level to senior level grade.  This year, hiring activities saw a 65% decrease in the last fiscal 2016-17, due to increasing automation and thrust on artificial intelligence in its operations and projects.

Layoffs in Tier 1 cities 

According to Wisdom Jobs data, Tier 1 cities like Delhi/NCR, Mumbai, Kolkata, Chennai, Hyderabad and Bangalore saw 30% growth in updating profiles for mid-level and senior level employees. Bangalore saw 15% growth in updating profile for mid-level employees. On average there was 15% mid-level and senior level employees across Tier 1 cities registered with job portal Wisdom Jobs to survive from layoffs.

Layoffs in Tier 2 cities 

Since last week, Tier 2 cities like Gurugram, Surat, Pune, Bhubaneshwar, Chandigarh and Lucknow witnessed minimal 20% increase in updating profiles for mid-level and senior level employees. Meanwhile, only 5% mid-level and senior level professionals registered with Wisdom Jobs for better job opportunities.

Layoffs in Tier 3 cities 

It was reported that Tier 3 cities like Allahabad, Udaipur, Agra, Ajmer, Meerut, Kanpur and Kota saw consistent registrations for mid-level professionals and there was only 10% mid-level and senior level professionals updated their profiles on Wisdom Jobs. Interesting fact is that there was a 10% decline in new registrations of senior level employees in Tier 3 cities. Layoffs in the information technology (IT) and business process outsourcing (BPO) sectors is expected to continue this year with the pace of job creation slowing down. Several people employed in IT and related sectors in Gurugram have already started looking for options in other sectors, including pharmaceutical and smartphone manufacturing. However, media reports predict that job cuts will be more in tier 2 and 3 in cities like Coimbatore or a few remote places for employees earning rupees 20 lakh and above.

Both Indian and foreign-based IT companies have slashed their workforces in Chennai, Bangalore, Hyderabad, and New Delhi. The mass layoffs have been most widespread in the southern city of Bangalore, the Silicon Valley of India also. IT employees in Pune have applied to a smartphone manufacturing facility in Bangalore as there is more stability in that sector. Those layoffs have been implemented for “under-performance,” a term that companies frequently use to cover up its cost-cutting to boost profits. Some IT companies in Bangalore have offered a voluntary separation package to the top level senior executives like its directors; associate VPs and senior VPs, to adopt strategies of automation and digital technology.

Re-skilling to meet the new age technology needs

As many Indian IT companies have been started adopting newer technologies such as cloud computing, they are fast moving from a people-led model, which requires less human interaction. As well as many IT companies have adopted the automation tools to replace the routine, repeatable tasks that were performed by an army of engineers earlier. While increasing automation may kill many jobs, new aged functional areas like cybersecurity, Internet of Things (IoT), robotics, artificial intelligence and machine learning are creating new job opportunities. It is the time to reskill to be relevant and employable in the industry.

However…

Companies continue to invest in developing and up-skilling internal talent to take on better jobs while driving a strong performance culture. It is also an opportunity for IT professionals to upgrade themselves and get into the new-age technologies where demand will be huge. Industry body NAASCOM stated that layoffs number is exaggerated as there were no mass layoffs in the IT industry. It was a regular process of manpower realignment during the appraisal process, now focus is shifted from scale to skill. – Courtesy

Amid IT layoffs, engineering colleges shift focus to skilling

Business Standard | Vinay Umarji  |  Ahmedabad  June 3, 2017 |

Middle-rung engineering institutes are exploring ways to teach their students latest technical skills ahead of placements this year amid reports of layoffs in the information technology (IT) industry.  From roping in agencies to collaborating with companies, especially IT firms, these engineering colleges are looking to students “industry-ready”.  With coding no more the only major skill required by IT firms, middle-rung engineering colleges are exploring areas such as business intelligence, data analytics, automation, and machine learning.  For instance, Coimbatore-based PSG College of Technology has invited IT firms and external agencies to conduct training in the form of one or two credit classes.  Representatives of companies like Cisco Systems and McKinsey have been roped in by PSG College for giving training.
“While we have 38 companies registered for the upcoming placement season, there is a forecast that advanced skills will be required. We are looking at mixing recruiters from software companies with those from product companies. We have also roped in external agencies and recruiters for conducting one or two credit classes on data analytics and machine learning, among others,” said an institute source at PSG College of Technology.  Dharwad-based SDM College of Engineering & Technology has turned to electives ahead of the placement season. While roughly 400 students in a batch of 600 participate in placements with over 50 firms visiting the campus, the institute is leaving no chances to ensure that skilled jobs were available. “We have signed MoUs with leading IT and non-IT resources recruiters, who suggested industry-relevant courses to us. These courses are now integrated with our academics as electives. The courses look to upskill students in business intelligence, analytics, and automation. The need is such that increasingly even mechanical engineering jobs require significant automation skills,” said Ravindra Dastikop, training and placement officer, SDM College of Engineering & Technology.
According to recruitment experts and engineering institutes, while top campuses like Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) may not see much impact, the lower-rung campuses may see a decline in recruitment.  The impact may be on the number of offers as well as compensation packages. The average salary packages offered at lower-rung engineering colleges tend be to ~5-7 lakh while those in top engineering colleges, including IITs and National Institutes of Technology, are on the upper side of ~15-18 lakh.  “It is the middle- and lower-rung engineering colleges that have to catch up. Some of them have begun launching electives since we are getting requests for such training,” said Kris Lakshmikanth, chairman and managing director, The Head Hunters India.  Institutes such as Pondicherry Engineering College (PEC) have reached out to marquee firms like Infosys and TCS for conducting such training at their campuses even as they look to minimise the impact during the placement season. “We have collaborated with some of the top IT firms for training our students in the latest skills,” said an institute source.  IITs are unperturbed. “The situation does not affect IITs like us who see most of our students being recruited at significantly higher positions. Moreover, through various activities and curricula, our students have been graduating fully skilled,” said Bhaskar Ramamurthi, director, IIT Madras. – Courtesy

Engineering colleges eye small IT firms for campus placements amid hiring slowdown

Live Mint | Thu, Jun 01 2017 | Bidya Sapam |

Engineering colleges are also diversifying courses on offer and skill development programmes to help students look beyond IT jobs at campus placements

Hiring by IT firms has fallen by 24% in the last one year, as per the latest report by online job portal Naukri.com. Photo: Hemant Mishra/Mint

Mumbai: Smaller engineering colleges in India are looking at mid-size and small technology firms to do the bulk of hiring in the coming campus placement season after a slowdown in hiring by the information technology (IT) industry. These colleges are also diversifying courses on offer and their skill development programmes to look beyond IT and align students’ qualifications with current job demands. Hiring by IT firms has fallen by 24% in the last one year, as per the latest report by online job portal Naukri.com. Tough business conditions across the globe and increasing automation have led to a decline in recruitment by most software companies. According to human resource consultants and placement representatives, the so-called tier II and III engineering colleges which depend heavily on IT firms for campus placement will be affected for the next few years by the slowdown. The impact on tier I colleges would be less as they continue to be the first choice for campus recruitment by big IT companies, experts said. “There is a major dent on IT campus hiring. Hiring of freshers by IT firms has reduced by half in the last one year. However, demand for new sets of skills is emerging. Most engineering colleges are struggling and looking for new emerging sectors,” Pankaj Bansal, co-founder and chief executive officer (CEO), PeopleStrong HR Services Pvt. Ltd said. However, there are immense challenges ahead for engineering institutes as most are used to large IT firms snapping up the bulk of their students, he said.

“Across all campuses, there has been a dip of around 25-30% (in the intake by large IT firms). The emerging sectors should be able to take some of the engineers. People have to re-skill themselves and universities are trying to tweak their courses,” said a former placement representative with a large engineering college, who asked not to be identified. Some institutes such as the National Institute of Science and Technology (NIST) in Behrampur, Odisha, and SRM University which has four campuses in Chennai and the National Capital Region, are increasing the number of companies they invite for campus placements with a special focus on mid- and small-size internet-based firms, start-ups and non-IT firms. “We cannot heavily rely on these three-four big companies under these circumstances. We have to somehow compensate the slash by increasing the number of partner companies,” said Atanu Dutta, associate professor (computer science) and placement manager, NIST. The institute, which has over 900 students graduating each year, has started focusing on consultancy, research and development companies, start-ups and IT product firms. For the 2016-17 batch, around 47 companies turned up for campus recruitment. The placement cell plans to add at least 8-9 firms more for the next year (2017-18) . “Earlier, we were focused only on Bengaluru-based technology firms. Now, we have broadened our base and shifted our focus to Pune, Chennai, Hyderabad, Mumbai, National Capital Region and even manufacturing companies based out of Gujarat and Madhya Pradesh,” Dutta said. As part of its mandatory summer certification programme, the institute has also incorporated courses on data science, data analytics or other computer-related skills which are in demand among emerging internet-based companies, he added.

At SRM University, the strategy to deal with the slowdown is to reach out to a larger number of newer companies both in the IT and non-IT space. The institute has a total of around 5,000 students graduating each year. “The record number of companies which came this year is a direct result of our effort to try to broaden and widen the base,” said Sriram Padmanabhan, director, career services, SRM University. The institute saw around 400 companies turn up at the recently concluded campus placements. Besides, the institute is upgrading its skill training programmes to give students more options. “We have to constantly fine-tune whatever we are already doing. We will continue tweaking them (courses) in line with industry requirements. We have always done soft skill training. Now, we are upgrading it and making it align with the market expectations,” Padmanabhan said. Similarly, Bengaluru-based BMS College of Engineering plans to add a few more courses and modules with a focus on preparing its students on how to look beyond traditional IT jobs. “We are soon starting a few additional programmes and modules alongside the academic courses. The main objective of this is to bridge the gap with the industry requirements.. Another aspect of the course is to help students to explore careers outside the box,” said Pradeepa S., associate professor (electrical and electronics engineering), BMS College of Engineering. At present, around 60% of the students in the institute are being absorbed by IT and IT services firms. – Courtesy