The Future of Campus Placement in India.

My casual coffee conversations with Training and Placement Officers found a sense of uncertainty among college management about the future of Campus placement in India. Unfortunately, most of them have very less understanding of the changing dynamics in the Industry with regard to Campus placement and fresher’s hiring. With that myopic information, most of the colleges are into firefighting mode, wasting money on chest beating training programs, without any well-planned strategy. So, I thought of sharing a crisp perspective along with actionable steps to address this issue.

Why is Campus Placement Reducing?

  1. Protection Policy – A major chunk of IT sector employees were being dumped on offshore assignments to the USA. But, the American government has been feeling the heat of unemployment among its own population, so it has brought major changes in policies to curb the immigrant workforce ( mainly Indians). It’s aimed at achieving the objective that Americans can get their share of jobs which is currently being poached by immigrants from other countries. With the new American administration, there is a lot more restriction on HB1 visa now. Besides reducing the no of visa, the minimum salary bar has also been increased drastically to make it difficult for American employers to hire outsiders. So, Indian companies are already overstaffed with the people who would have been otherwise working on offshore assignments.
  2. Technology Shift – Most of the IT sector jobs were low end and were outsourced from developing countries. It was repetitive and predictable in nature and hardly involved any creativity or innovation. Meanwhile, due to the advent of AI, RoboticsData ScienceMachine Learning, etc many new tools have been developed, which can execute the same low-end work at much faster speed with better accuracy and at a lower cost. The so-called “Vanilla B. Tech fresher” is not worth any value for these organizations anymore and has led to a reduction in Campus placement.

Understanding the Topography of Fresher Hiring

To understand the solution, it is very important to understand the topography of Campus placement and fresher’s hiring. Broadly this hiring is divided into four categories.

  1. Large Product Companies
  2. Service Sector Companies
  3. Mid / Small Product Companies –
  4. Funded Startups

In each of the above-mentioned category, the hiring has been growing at a decent speed, except large size Service Sector Companies like Infosys, Wipro, TCS, etc due to reasons mentioned above. Typically 40% to 70% hiring from tier 2 / 3 college used to happen from these large service sector companies.

What’s the Solution:-

If you dig at the statistics, you will find that there is no requirement for freshers anymore therefore, there has to be a drastic change in approaching the cycle of training and placement in colleges. Any TPO/ College Management not shifting its gear will find it pretty hard to do a large number of placements. They need to understand and implement the following aspects pretty quickly

  • Start Early – Earlier these large service companies just wanted manpower, so they could train them and deploy them on a project. Now the same companies are looking for a real engineer who can think creatively, build solutions, solve problems, agile in adopting new technologies etc. With the current practice of doing the refresh course of C with a sprinkle of Communication Skill classes in the final year will be a sheer waste. Inculcation of these traits requires time and constant mentoring.
  • Faculty Development Programs – As most of the faculties don’t have industry exposure, colleges have to engage them with industry professionals aggressively to upgrade the faculties by conducting Faculty Development Programs. Any investment done in this direction in a structured manner can yield multi fold results to a college.
  • Project Driven CV – CV of a student must carry multiple projects/product developed by him during his engineering degree. Candidates are going to be filtered based on the hands-on activities and challenges solved by a student. A hollow patchwork of connecting few wires in the name of the project will churn out those CVs very easily. Companies are looking for real talent to be worthy of deployment at a very short briefing.
  • Specialization is the Key – Build a small pipeline of 20 to 50 students on different technology track. Branch wise list of technology tracks is available @here. Identification of the track should be based on your Industry PR, Geographical location, etc. Students must develop at least 1 complex project in the area of their specialization to be worthy of being considered for a selection.
  • Online Learning – It is almost impossible to engage with Industry Professional on a regular basis especially for colleges located in a small town. The colleges must start adopting the technology to engage with Industry Professionals, make use of online resources by giving the timelines to students to upgrade themselves.

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