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What IT Majors Want In Their Hires

April 11, 2024 10:44 IST

Companies now require more than just academic marks; they seek students with internship experience or extra certification courses.

IMAGE: Kindly note the image has been posted only for representational purposes. Photograph: ANI Photo

India's engineering talent is in a quandary as campuses struggle to get companies to hire them.

This is true for campuses that are part of the mass recruitment of the IT services industry, as well as the elite institutes.

First the good part: Bulk hirers that represent the IT services sector are back at campuses to recruit from the graduating class of 2024. But these companies are not hiring with the same frenzy as they did a few years back.

Companies that have hit the campuses to hire include some of India's largest IT services players Tata Consultancy Services, HCLTech and global firms like Accenture, IBM, and Cognizant.

Wipro is yet to visit campuses. While Infosys has started the process, it has not shared any numbers with campuses on its hiring target.

Some of the campuses that confirmed the presence of the above firms include Vellore Institute of Technology (VIT), Anna University, Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT) and others.

Among those who have finished their placements process at VIT are TCS, Accenture, IBM, and HCLTech. Cognizant's placement process is underway at the institute.

While these companies are visiting campuses to recruit from the batch of 2024, typically this process begins in August-September of the preceding year in a normal cycle.

TCS has given offer letters to over 900 students at VIT. It has three categories of hiring -- Prime, Digital and Ninja.

TCS hired 103 in the Prime category with a salary of Rs 9 lakh per annum (LPA), 546 in the Digital category with Rs 7 LPA and 314 in the Ninja category with Rs 3.6 LPA.

The second highest is Accenture with 181 hires for a salary of Rs 12 LPA, followed by IBM hiring 95 with a salary of Rs 4.5 LPA and 10 with a salary of Rs 9 LPA.

HCLTech gave offer letters to 24 students of VIT with a salary of Rs 8.5 LPA. MIT also confirmed that TCS and Infosys have visited the campuses.

Muted Campus Placements

But some campuses have not seen much activity for the batch of 2024.

"We have TCS at campus but they have taken very few students this year. For each of the three categories they hire, they have taken only 1-2 students," said a senior faculty at NIT Rourkela.

The macro uncertainty and over-hiring in the previous years is also hitting premier institutes as well.

Earlier in the year, reports stated that the IIMs have seen a drop in companies participating in placements.

IIT-Bombay also reported that the number of companies that visited this year for placements is lower than last year.

Over 300 companies have visited till date this year, compared to an average of 340 companies that visited in the past two years.

"We have 1,308 students placed to date out of 1,973 students who participated in the placement season of 2023-2024. Therefore, 33.7 per cent of students remained unplaced so far," said Sameer Jadhav, professor-in-charge of placements, IIT-Bombay.

This also has meant that there has been a marginal drop in the median salaries compared to last year.

The fall in the number of companies, Professor Jadhav said, is because of reduced hiring in the non-core IT/software sector, which reflects a global trend.

Core Sector Dominance

The bad news: Engineering institutes have confirmed that while the number of students hired from campus has dropped, the process of hiring has become stringent.

Companies now require more than just academic marks; they seek students with internship experience or extra certification courses.

"Companies are focussing on skill-based hiring. They give more weightage to those students who have done certifications like AWS, Salesforce, Oracle, Microsoft etc," said V Samuel Rajkumar, director, career development centre, VIT Vellore.

A faculty of a leading engineering institute from southern India said that psychometric tests, which would be part of the test much later in the process, have now become part of the aptitude test.

"Earlier," he said, "if companies were fine with 60 per cent, now they want students who are in the 70 per cent range. One of the reasons for this could also be because the 2024 batch was the one that had to undergo online teaching for two years."

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Shivani Shinde
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