‘Current placement system to blame for IIT grads’ burnout’

MUMBAI: Around 55% of IIT-Bombay’s graduates placed with various companies two years ago have switched jobs and 35% are unsure whether to stay on. This, revealed in a survey by the institute’s students’ media body, indicates that IIT students aren’t making the right choices during campus placements.

Over 50% of the respondents say the placements process is to be blamed, not just in IIT-B, but all engineering institutes in the country. The pressure to land a job in the first few days and societal expectations are leading to students making wrong choices. One of the drawbacks of the system is to invite non-core companies in the initial stages of the placement process, which creates the perception that high-paying, non-core jobs are ‘dream jobs’.

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The survey was of around 220 respondents from the 2011, 2012 and 2013 batches and was published in the latest edition of the students’ magazine Insight. It reports that around 35% of those who switched jobs thought while making their initial pick that it was a perfect fit for them.

Over a third of the respondents claimed that they moved jobs within three years, including some who quit within a year, as reported by TOI on Thursday.

An editor of the magazine said, “The placement process is currently aimed at placing a maximum number of students. This has to change to a system where the focus would be more on placing students in the right jobs. A lot of non-core companies come to the campus in the first few days and pick the best of the lot. The institute can, in future, call the core companies before the process begins.”

It has a lot to do with the student culture too, said a student. “The Day One hype is mainly due to high-paying non-core sector jobs, which most students perceive as (glamorous jobs),” said the report. “Students want to get placed at the earliest, making them pick up jobs that might not be of their interest.”

Avijit Chatterjee, professor-in-charge of placements, said the process is complex. “It is not possible to call non-core companies later. They might refuse to come if they are not called on the first day. This will mean denying a chance to interested students. But from this year, we have also started calling core firms in the initial days.”

He said the reason for graduates quitting their jobs in three years could be due to the plethora of opportunities available today. “These are signs of changing times. Students want to quit and start their own ventures. Otherwise, we have known of people who stayed in a single company for decades.”

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