Business Today

IT's future is bright

Shamni Pande | Print Edition: Apr 15, 2012

The future of employment lies with engineering. Many more engineers are recruited yearly than business school graduates. So it is a pity that business schools tend to hog all the limelight.

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Recruitment trends across engineering campuses remained robust for the class of 2012 . However, unlike last year, when the core manufacturing sector had put up a good show, this year saw the resurgence of information technology and business process outsourcing companies.

Cognizant emerged the top dog, thanks to its understanding of Millennials - the generation born after 1980 - and its intense involvement with campuses through the year.

Shankar Srinivasan, Chief People Officer of Cognizant, got some interesting feedback during a campus visit this year. "A student told me she had decided to join us because the company trusted her and did not insist on a bond while making an offer," he says. "She wanted to trust her career with a company that trusted its people."

Company officials also feel that the decision to honour all the offers made at campuses in 2009, when many others were backing off due to slowdown worries, has paid off.

Indeed, it is not just the private sector that has caught the attention of youngsters. Even traditional PSUs such as Indian Oil Corp. Ltd. were in demand.

"We are aware that the concept of lifelong employment is fading. Most youngsters approach the first job as a grooming ground," says Biswajit Roy, General Manager (HR).

Yet, as many as eight students at National Institute of Technology (NIT), Tiruchirappalli, took up offers from the company, which does not feature in our top list. The students were attracted by the PSU'S many benefits.

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In all, 15 PSUs snapped up 102 students at NIT. This trend prevailed across the board. IIT Guwahati confirmed that due to the downturn, interest in PSUS had increased among students.

Coal India Ltd features prominently in our top list. Though it has been visiting campuses since 1975, it faced a recruitment lag between 1996 and 2005. Now, the PSU has come back on track snapping up 1,127 students.

A rise in salaries, compared to last year, was very visible.

International Institute of Information Technology, Hyderabad (IIIT-H) saw average salary offers of Rs 10.3 lakh (domestic). At all other campuses, annual packages were between Rs 6 lakh and Rs 8 lakh. The highest domestic offer of Rs 30.05 lakh per annum was made by Rio Tinto at IT, Banaras Hindu University, while the highest international offer of $150,000 (Rs 75 lakh) was made by Facebook at IIT Guwahati.

"The job market has improved this year," says Jayadev G.A.G., Communication Head at IIIT-H. "It has led all IT companies to lift the freeze on salary hikes, At our campus, we saw almost all companies increase offers by an average of 30 per cent."

The demand for computer science and electrical engineering students was higher compared to other branches.

There were even offers from private universities, such as the Sharda Group of Institutions, Punjab's Lovely Professional University and Rajasthan's Mewar University. E-commerce companies were also prominent recruiters.

Another interesting trend, which began last year in engineering campuses, was the concept of "slot-sharing", in which a group of companies makes offers to students in the same time slot during campus placements.

Companies such as Aricent Group, which features prominently in our list with 160 offers, look for more than just grades. "We look at soft skills such as a student's ability to work in teams, communication, problem-solving and analytical skills," says Satish Chandra, Assistant Vice President, Talent Acquisition, Aricent Group.

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