Education today is undoubtedly an investment, both, for parents and their children. Universities are chosen on the basis of their placement track records and colleges go all out to woo students using big brand-names that have done their campuses proud, year after year. Potential employers too, have become choosy, going for multiple interview rounds, group discussions and personal interviews.
Vivek Sane, director, Symbiosis Institute of Business Management (SIBM), Pune, says summer placements are an acid test for students. Students get a real-life exposure of working in the industry during the two months of summer internship that usually take place from April to June. Companies on campus scout for students with good domain knowledge and are clear about job profiles to be offered along with the salary structure, he says. In today’s world of cut-throat competition, academic expertise alone does not suffice; non-academic skills hold equal if not more weighting. Sane says that value added courses offered by colleges are much sought-after by top honchos. When it comes to academic prowess, top institutes have their benchmarks already set. Sifting takes place during admission and companies are aware of the quality such institutes have on offer.
N Ramgopal, associate director, MIT School of Business, Pune, says there are two distinct aspects when one talks about placements: first, is what the companies expect when they come on campus and the second is the perspective of students. Today, not only students, but parents too, have high expectations. Every parent wishes that his/her child is rewarded with a good placement and looks at minimum starting salaries of between 30,000 and 40,000 per month, he says.
He adds that for companies, group discussion (GD) is the first stage where they shortlist students with potential. The industry today has become very choosy as compared to how it was, four or five years back. In addition to asking for a good academic record throughout, companies use aptitude tests, multi-layered GDs, psychometric tests and so on, to evaluate candidates. In short, they want students who are industry-ready with good domain knowledge, a balanced emotional condition and more importantly, good communication skills, explains Ramgopal. Echoing a similar sentiment, P. N. Razdhan, vice-chancellor, D. Y. Patil University, Pune, says, Good communication is one of the main skills that companies look for. Then comes the overall personality of the student; she/he should be able to conduct himself/herself well in a professional environment. Razdhan adds that be it IT, management or courses like biotechnology, expertise in the chosen field is also essential.
The selection criteria for companies differ, depending on the stream the students belong to. For example, in case of engineering students, a BE or B.Tech is enough to land him/her in a good job. For others in areas such as soil studies, environmental engineering, civil or electrical engineering, where one learns the usage and management of alternative energy, an M.Tech degree is preferred since these are highly specialised subjects. For graduates of arts and humanities there are a wide variety of opportunities in content writing, editing, copy writing, corporate communication, NGOs, etc.
All industries look for vibrant, energetic individuals who are ready to accept challenges, are attentive, with a consistent academic background and who are fast learners and are open to learning even at work, explains Siddhartha Bhattacharyya, officer, placement and training, Jadavpur University. Talking about M.Sc agriculture students, A Mohan Rao, co-ordinator, placement cell, University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore, says, Different companies look at recruitment differently. For example, a company may accept a student with 75% marks, but not someone with 90% marks. Banks require students with a higher percentage. Most companies look at the overall performance from senior secondary school level onwards. The overall placement process includes submission of resumes, an entrance test, group discussions and personal interviews one round at the college and one at the company.
Courtesy: Times of India