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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.
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
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.
Business world | BW Disrupt | 05 June, 2017
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.
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.
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
Business Standard | Vinay Umarji | Ahmedabad June 3, 2017 |
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
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
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
Business Standard | Ayan Pramanik | Bengaluru May 17, 2017 |
Infosys, India’s second-largest information technology (IT) services firm, looks to maintain its annual campus hiring plan of 20,000 engineers this year as well. The company is, however, looking at skills in newer areas such as digital and analytics to meet growing demand for these projects from clients. Indian IT firms have been witnessing technology and business shifts in the last few years, with clients increasingly spending on digital, cloud and analytics as against traditional services. It also coincides with work such as maintenance and testing, typically done by freshers increasingly getting automated. These shifts have forced companies such as Infosys to look at skills in emerging areas. “We have extended over 20,000 offers on campus for this year and the number is expected to remain consistent in the coming season,” an Infosys spokeswoman told Business Standard. The Bengaluru-headquartered company will begin its annual campus hiring season from September and the numbers have been consistent over the last four seasons, she added.
The placement season at engineering colleges in India begin in September and the process goes on till February. IT services companies usually recruit freshers from these colleges third and fourth quarters and absorb them in phases. Even though the company continues campus hiring in good numbers, it would look at “differentiated skills” in areas of digital technology and analytics now, given the increased client demand for digital technology-based services. “Hiring at Infosys has always been driven by business, and over the years we have only increased the spread of roles that we offer on campuses. The hiring numbers in India continue to be in the same range as compared to previous years. Having said that, the IT industry is surely witnessing a change in hiring patterns with unconventional, high-value graduates with differential skills likely to be more attractive,” added the Infosys spokeswoman. Industry body Nasscom says the focus of the IT services sector is “shifting from scale to skill”. M K Panduranga Setty, president at the trust of Bengaluru-based RV College of Engineering, says he has not seen any impact on hiring yet and will “wait and watch” what happens in the upcoming placement season. “So far we have not seen any impact in terms of jobs. This year (2016-17) 95 per cent of our students have already got jobs. We have been reading about employment scene. So far, we have not heard anything from any IT companies. For next year, we will have to wait and watch how the IT companies are going to react recent shifts in the industry,” said Setty.
Infosys early this month announced an aggressive plan to hire 10,000 Americans in the US over the next two years. Infosys said it would also add four new technology and innovation hubs across US on cutting-edge technology areas such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, user experience, emerging digital technologies, cloud, and big data. While the company is focusing on automation improve productivity, it believes the IT services industry will create different type of roles for complex and innovation-led works. “The business model is evolving because of the technology. In some parts of the business, we are driving faster adoption of automation and improved productivity. But there are newer areas where we can be people-intensive,” said Pravin Rao, chief operating officer, Infosys. At least two industry analysts, however, do not rule out a slowdown in hiring from engineering colleges and say that more companies will look at a mix of quality talent from institutions such as IITs. – Courtesy
The Economic Times | By PTI | May 14, 2017 | Opinion|
BENGALURU: Executive search firm Head Hunters India today said the job cuts in IT sector will be between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh annually for next three years due to under-preparedness in adapting to newer technologies. “Contrary to media reports of 56,000 IT professionals to lose jobs this year, the actual job cuts will be between 1.75 lakh and 2 lakh per year in next three years, due to under- preparedness in adapting to newer technologies,” Head Hunters India Founder-Chairman and MD K Lakshmikanth told PTI, analysing a report submitted by McKinsey & Company at the Nasscom India Leadership Forum on February 17. McKinsey & Company report had said nearly half of the workforce in the IT services firms will be “irrelevant” over the next 3-4 years. McKinsey India Managing Director Noshir Kaka had also said the bigger challenge ahead for the industry will be to retrain 50-60 per cent of the workforce as there will be a significant shift in technologies. The industry employs 3.9 million people and the majority of them have to be retrained. “So, when we analyse these figures, it is clear that 30 to 40 per cent of the workforce cannot be retrained or re- skilled. So, assume that half of this workforce can continue to work on old skills, then balance will become redundant. “So, the number of people who will become redundant in the next three years will be about five to six lakhs. This will workout to, on a average, between 1.75 lakh to 2 lakh per year for next three years,” Lakshmikanth explained. However, he said job cuts will not take place in major cities like Mumbai or Bengaluru, but cities like Coimbatore or a few remote places.
Lakshmikanth further said the IT services industry is passing through an uncertain time as the growth in digital technologies like cloud-based services is happening at a much faster pace and the companies are combining learning of some of the new technologies and reskilling. “Because of the changing technology, the most affected will be the professionals aged 35 and above, for it would be very difficult for them to get jobs,” Lakhsmikanth said. Asked if it is fair to blame US President Donald Trump’s policy for job cuts, Lakshmikanth said it is not fair because he has fulfilled the promise after winning the elections. “How can we blame Trump, for he has fulfilled the election promise of giving jobs to local people including IT professionals by tightening H1-B visa norms, which were being misused by companies by paying less to foreign professionals working in US. It is for companies to tackle the situation, and such situation they have undergone in previous years. It is not new for them. They know to tide over it,” he said. Lakhsmikanth also said it is not fair even to target the Indian government as the IT industry grew on its own in India, but at later stages respective state governments and central governments provided them facilities like land or creating special economic zones, among others.- Courtesy