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Engineering Students Hard Hit

The number of campus interviews has come down and many IT majors have put on hold recruitment drive, says D.V.L. PADMA PRIYA


Insecure future: With recession clouds hovering and many companies going slow on recruitments, students are at a loss about what the future holds in store for them.
With ‘recession’ looming large, the impact is being felt the most by aspiring engineers. With industry sources revealing that the current scenario is set to continue for the next year and half or more, placements have been worst hit.
The recruitments schedule usually begins from December and goes on till February. If earlier students of top 20 colleges could easily get placed, now there is no guarantee even for those in the top five colleges.
Cost cutting
“In 2005 and 2006, most major IT companies visited at least 10-15 campuses apart from conducting off-campus recruitment. But in 2007 and 2008, it has been confined to one or two campuses,” says a senior executive of a reputed assessment company.
Massive cost cutting operations carried out by many companies is another factor.
“Earlier, firms could afford to have 40 per cent staff on the ‘bench’ for four months. These days, once a project is finished, either the employee is shifted to a new one or is given the pink slip. Fresh recruitments are the last thing on their minds,” he adds.
“We managed to place many students in July 2008 but the second phase has been relatively slower,” admits N.L.N. Reddy, Placement Officer, Chaitanya Bharati Institute of Technology (CBIT). Recruitments in subjects such as civil engineering too have seen a steady drop.
“Infrastructure and real estate was affected after the IT sector slowdown which has led civil engineering companies to keep on hold their recruitment plans,” says M.V.R. Durga Prasad, placement officer, VNR Vignana Jyothi Institute of Engineering and Technology.
The future is uncertain even for those who had placement offers as 80 per cent of 2008 pass outs have offer letters in hand yet not being informed about the joining date.
“I received an offer letter in third year and passed out in May this year but am yet to get any appointment letter,” says an engineer. “IT was a comfortable sector which made me forgo a chemical engineering seat in IIT. I regret my decision now,” rues another final year student.
Most colleges have already been informed about the change in plans from IT firms leaving the students anxious and worried about their prospects. Some are making alternate plans. “I am looking at doing Masters abroad with the hope that the market would bounce back in two years,” says V. Sandhya, a student. There are many students who think on the lines of Sandhya now. Either doing a Masters in India or abroad is on the top of agenda of many.
Students are hopeful that securing US visas would be relatively easy this time since the US universities expect a drop in foreign students given the recession world over.
“Universities in US will pressurise their Government to make the issue of visas a relatively easy affair since they depend hugely on foreign students for generating resources,” says a consultant.
Moreover, they think it is the right time to tap the best talent in countries like China and India where the companies had been retaining the good students with good job offers.

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