Tuesday, May 5, 2009

IT placements to be delayed

I went to my college for collecting the security deposit after an eternity. The day was hot and sunny with a few cool breezes to ease the heat. Apart from the changed weather, quite a few changes had taken place this time. The placements, which normally began from sixth semester i.e. at the end of third year will now be held in eight semester i.e. the end of B-tech programme. A letter from a top IT company, which was put up on the notice board read that students don't work hard after they get a job and hence the placements would now begin just before the graduation finishes.

The letter reads...
I am sure you will agree that over the last several years, given the tremendous opportunities that have opened up for students, there has been a visible shift in focus of students from acquiring knowledge and expertise in their areas of study to getting a lucrative job offer on campus. Also, owing to increased demand across industries, and pressure from students on college managements, placement seasons have been advanced drastically and today it starts as early as the 6th semester in many colleges.

Based on feedback shared by the academia in various forums, we understand that students lose the motivation and interest in their continued education the moment they get an offer of employment. While this not only impacts their academic performance, the complacency, and poor grasp of concepts & fundamentals become impediments to their performance during training and performance on the job. This results in increased lead times, cost over-runs and delays in project delivery to clients.

As a first step to address these issues, you may have received a communication from NASSCOM urging you to organize campus placements for your students only during the 8th semester. This communication is aimed at ensuring that students focus on acquiring knowledge, and present themselves as better professionals when recruiters assess them during the 8th semester. Further, the proximity of campus recruitment dates to that of their actual joining would help eliminate lack of focus and complacency. This also provides the industry with more time to crystallize their plans considering rapid changes to the global business landscape.

Although the shift may affect the state of minds of the students, it will also give good time for students wishing to prepare for CAT , GRE , GATE and other exams. The positives would be that the results of these exams are out in the earlier part of eighth semester making the choice easier for them to avoid sitting in campus placements and giving others a good chance. On the negative side some of the most important and interesting things of engineering would get lost in this kind of future planning and preparation. These things are the final year subjects (inc optional ones) and the project work. My favourite subject was mobile communication and I ensured I took it in both seventh and eight semester. This ensured a job in a telecom company.
Anyways, this change is going to give a few anxious moments and the increased number of seats, and market slowdown might make the going tough this year.