Trends in the Indian Engineering Fresh Graduates Job Market

A quarter has passed since Mr.Som Mittal, NASSCOM president mentioned, “..market is really uncertain. But I think the fundamentals of our industry are also very strong…. It is true that economic environment is uncertain and we will watch the next two quarters,”

On employment in the IT industry, he said “..projections were that 160,000 to 180,000 jobs should be created this year. We have given offers to more than 100,000 students in engineering colleges,” he said.

Last year, NASSCOM had predicted that 200,000 new jobs would be created in the industry.

However the recent predictions from NASSCOM are quite gloomy. In its article in the Economic Times, November 13, 2012, Indian IT outsourcing growth seen at lower end of forecast: Nasscom, the industry is expected to grow by 11% than the earlier predicted 11-14%. While Infosys and WIPRO struggle to retain their growth percentages, TCS and HCL have done well. Overall the industry is slowing down, which is a cause for concern in the job market and especially for fresh graduates.

It is reflected in the fact that there has been relatively lesser number of campus recruitment visits and intakes from IT companies across colleges in Eastern India. Usually during this time, a few large off-campus drives take place, which has not happened in this part of the country.

In such situations, what are the options for fresh Engineering graduates? Higher studies definitely are an option with the two most popular streams being MTech and MBA. Both these examinations require long term serious preparations. Public sector unit (PSU) recruitments are slowly moving towards the GATE score route. It will be worthwhile to pursue the GATE option which will not only open up opportunities for MTech but also recruitment in public sectors. The course structure is also similar to the central and state level government engineering services exams.

The entrance examinations for MBA, that is CAT and CMAT have question patterns which have similarity with Bank PO examinations. Engineers getting into Banks are not something new and the opportunities in terms of remuneration and growth are handsome in the banking sector. Hence when you prepare for MBA entrance, you may keep your options open for these all India level recruitment exams as well. Students have asked me whether it is a good idea to pursue Engineering studies or move into MBA. I tell them the choice is entirely yours; it depends on your aptitude and career goals. I would like to take up this discussion another day.

As far as the core non IT industries are concerned, we will not see any significant growth across India and not many large projects taking off in the Eastern region. Forced applications into these companies do not yield much result unless it is a small company. The best way to pursue these opportunities is to look for advertisements in the newspapers and online. Visit the websites of these organisations and place your CV if they are calling for people.

However, all said and done, IT will remain as the largest employer of fresh graduates in India and the sector will be the largest employer at least for the next 5 years. Another advantage of this sector is that it absorbs graduates from any engineering stream. While the large organisations have their in-house talent building mechanisms, the smaller organisations look for graduates who have studied some of the IT subjects or worked on good IT projects. Basically medium to smaller companies want job ready graduates. During my interactions with many of the CEOs and senior managers of such companies in Kolkata, I have found that they would be happy to take in fresh graduates who have dedicated some time to educate themselves on IT and especially carry out meaningful industry projects. Hence the bottom line for students who have missed out on the campus interviews and looking for jobs in the IT sector – Prepare yourselves through training courses and live projects.

About the Author: Ranjan Kumar Majumder is the Managing Director of Constellation Training & Placement Services. He is a BTech, IIT Kharagpur and a MBA from IIM Calcutta with more than 19 years of work experience. He was with Tata Consultancy Services for 17 years. Constellation specialises in training for students and working professionals. We have been working with students of Jadavpur University, IIT Kharagpur, BITM Shantiniketan under Camellia group and a host of engineering and management institutions. Visit www.constellationexec.com.

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