Jobs for engineering graduates are precious few this year. Techies passing out of new engineering institutes, along with renowned ones like National Institute of Technology, Patna (NIT), are finding few takers.
At the NIT, only 30 per cent of the students have been offered jobs (see graphic) since the recruitment process began in August. "Compared to previous years, the number of companies coming to the campus to recruit our students has been fewer this year," said a senior official of the institute who did not want to be named.
Asked the reason behind this phenomenon, the official said: "The economic slowdown has forced many companies to freeze the recruitment process or shelve new projects. As a result, students are finding it difficult to get jobs this year."
Last year, Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) had offered jobs to nine NIT students. One of them was offered a pay package of Rs 10 lakh per annum. This year, neither IOCL nor other core companies like Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited or NTPC have come to the institute. Private companies like Wipro and Accenture, which had offered 26 and 36 jobs to the NIT students last year, have also given the institute a miss.
Experts believe that the public sector units are keeping away because they are planning to hire candidates based on their Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) scores. The GATE is an all-India exam conducted by Indian Institute of Science and the seven IITs. The scores of the exam are essential for students to pursue postgraduate courses like ME, MTech or PhD.
This year, GATE would be a bit more difficult for students. "We found out that around 7.7 lakh students have registered to take the test this year. In 2008, only 1.8 lakh candidates had taken the test," said a source.
He added: "It seems many students who have not found jobs through campus placements are taking the GATE."
In such a situation, students passing out this year are a worried lot. Sashi Sekhar, a final-year computer science student, said: "The low recruitment is worrisome. What shall we do if we don't get jobs?"
NIT authorities have some relief to offer though. "On Monday, Navi Mumbai-based Rancore Technologies is coming to the institute to hire," said an institute official.
He added: "A number of other companies have also evinced interest in recruiting our students. We hope the situation will improve soon and more students will get jobs."