Welcome back dear reader, and a happy new year to you. As another spring semester begins, we at The Scholars’ Avenue focus on two important events from last month – the first round of campus placements and the inter-IIT sports meet. Both saw intense competition among students, were critical to the Institute’s reputation, and saw the gamut of human emotion at play.
While the job one gets on campus is rarely one’s final (or in many cases, even initial) destination, the placement season is serious business for most of the 1600-odd registered students because it’s the easiest, most secure opportunity to bag a job for most students. The buildup to December 1 is significant, beginning with multinational giants making presentations about how their companies will bring you happiness and riches. Next, final years toil away at MS Word’s door, trying to encapsulate four/five years of their lives in one or two pages of their Resumes’ crowded text. Endsems are shrugged away like never before, as a slew of aptitude tests and more CV submissions, presentations and GD/PI preparation take over the average final year student’s life. And when you see an unrecognizably clean-shaven, groomed and suited-up friend cycling frantically into the Vikramshila complex on a nippy December 1 morning, you momentarily wonder if you’ve seen it all.
Click though the graphs to see a larger image
As the stats show, the placement scenario was by no means a bed of roses. Job opportunities are not bountiful in every domain, with a heavy skew prevalent towards the IT industry and a surplus of foreign-educated grad students in the more niche fields. Consequently the placed cannot be not equally distributed among all departments and programmes. Among post-graduate students, the scenario is not optimistic, with only 32% of registered students in the various post-grad programmes managing a job so far.
The stats appear particularly biased department-wise, with most of the students in departments like CS, ECE and EE getting placed, while many 2-year M.Sc programmes drew blanks. Another disadvantage is Kgp’s location affecting the number and quality of companies coming in to recruit, especially new companies considering hiring IITians on a trial basis. A comparison of Day One companies at IITs like Delhi and Bombay elucidates this problem, a regular thorn in the side of the Placement Committee when they try to get new companies to recruit from our campus.
But all said and done, this session was one of the best in years and the numbers speak for themselves. Over a hundred people landed jobs at the Day 1 companies (via placements or PPOs).
As the chart above shows, there is a healthy distribution of GPAs that get placed every day, so there is hope for any candidate provided they work on their profile hard enough. Also, at 882 people placed (about 53% of registered people) as of this writing, we are currently leading all the IITs in terms of raw number of placed candidates.
Looking ahead, the most ominous challenge lies in the numbers. The pressure of burgeoning batch strengths will be felt with an ever-increasing crunch in the coming years. With approximately 2000 students expected to sit for placements next year and the economy in doubt courtesy a turbulent Europe, the percentage placements should take a hit. Professor SK Srivastava, Professor in-charge, Training and Placement Cell, said, ‘Increasing competition, not only within but among IITs, means that students will need to work very, very hard. Do not take placements lightly, for a job is by no means assured.’
To ensure a level playing field for everyone appearing for placements, the Training and Placement section plans to instate several measures in the near future. An increase in infrastructure should help increase efficacy by making extra rooms available to conduct tests, GDs and PIs. In addition, an ERP system is being planned to compile lists of position-holders at the Gymkhana and Hall levels, and forward these to the Placement Cell. A feather may also be drawn from the cap of places like IIT-D or IIM, wherein candidates freeze a verified Master CV for all recruitment purposes.
It was a solid showing for placements at Kgp, one that has lessons for both prospective job-seekers as well as the administration. The final semester lies ahead of some of us. To those who have a dream job or a place in IIM ahead, congratulations. And to those sitting for placements in the second phase, to the academically inclined praying for an Ivy League acceptance, and those looking to carve out new paths for themselves, we wish the very best of luck!