The placement season for graduates is nearly over and the buzz is that among the country's premier Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), it is the younger lot - all established about a decade ago - that are having the last laugh. Till just a couple of years ago, they were being dismissed by professors, recruiters and often aspiring students as not quite the engineering schools the world expected them to be.
But now, according to The Economic Times, the IITs in Gandhinagar, Mandi, Hyderabad, Bhubaneswar and Ropar are enjoying their best placement season ever, having placed 90-99 per cent of the batches already this year. Since placements at the newer IITs close after those at the established ones end, some recruiters are still closing last-minute hiring there.
Over the past three years, the scramble for slots at the older, more-established IITs like Delhi, Mumbai, Kanpur, Kharagpur et al, have compelled recruiters to turn their sights towards the newer IITs. The latter, in turn, have been consistently scaling up, both in terms of infrastructure and academics and, hence, have been able to instill confidence among recruiters.
In the bargain, the younger IITs are not only catching up with the older ones in terms of attracting marquee names but also in terms of the salaries being offered.
The number of companies visiting IIT-Mandi has reportedly gone up from 31 companies last year to 58 this year, hence, close to 90 per cent of its students have already been placed. IIT-Ropar has posted an identical placement figure for this year.
But IIT-Indore fared even better, having placed 99 per cent of its students so far. The institute received 100 offers and 52 companies visited the campus this year, up from 45 last year.
Meanwhile, IIT-Hyderabad received 268 offers with 100 companies making a visit so far. The highest domestic offers here were made by Qualcomm and Goldman Sachs.
Interestingly, the report adds that companies like Deloitte, Publicis.Sapient and Mahindra & Mahindra (M&M) are banking more on these newer IITs for their fresh recruits.
"There is a mad rush of recruiters at old IITs and top talent vanishes in the first few days itself. With equally good tech talent available at new IITs, we have started making inroads to newer institutes," SV Nathan, chief talent officer at Deloitte India told the daily.
Similarly, about 40 per cent of fresh engineering graduates at M&M now come from new IITs, compared with just 15 per cent until recently. "Over the past few years, we have brought down the B.Tech hiring from old IITs to nil due to high attrition rate," said chief people officer Rajeshwar Tripathi.
That's not all. Even global giants are increasingly turning their sights on the younger IITs. Consider Samsung, a major recruiter at the established IITs. The Korean consumer durable majors has reportedly hired nearly 60 students from new IITs this year for roles in Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, machine learning, big data and biometrics.
"It is incorrect to think the new IITs are different from the older ones. The only difference is probably the rich alumni [at the old IITs] who invest back into internship options or industry connects," Naveen Narayanan, vice president-hiring at Publicis.Sapient, India & APAC told the daily, adding, "Overall, students pass through the same performance toll gates".So many other big names like Amazon, Capgemini, Goldman Sachs as well as domestic biggies like Reliance Jio Infocomm and Maruti Suzuki have all stepped up hiring from these colleges, while the likes of Wipro, Infosys, Oyo Rooms and Toppr visited their campuses in for the first time this year.
The salaries being bagged by the students of the newer IITs have also jumped up significantly in the past couple of years. Citing officials, the daily added that the highest salary offered at IIT-Gandhinagar has doubled from last year.
The average salaries at Gandhinagar, Mandi and Indore IITs have increased about 18 per cent year-on-year to Rs 11-16.3 lakh in the latest placement season. Gandhinagar also received two international offers, whereas last year it had bagged none.
The recent surge in placements among the newer IITs can also be explained by the increasing research-thrust among the older institutes. "One of the main reasons that placement at new IITs is on a rise is because they are adding more seats at undergraduate levels and focusing only on placements, since they do not have enough infrastructure to focus on research and start-ups," a placement official from IIT Delhi told DNA last December.
This is in line with the government's thrush to push up the IITs in the international rankings - and filing patents is an important criteria.