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MNC jobs, fat salaries — after IITs, IIMs, lesser-known pvt colleges are acing placement game

With offers of Rs 40 lakh and above as starting salaries, students from such colleges are getting placed in top companies. Industry experts say firms today put 'skills over pedigree'.

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New Delhi: If you thought hot jobs with fat salaries at some of the top global companies went only to IIT and IIM graduates, think again. A handful of lesser-known private colleges are rising to the top of the placement game, with their young graduates being offered starting salaries of Rs 20 lakh and above.

Billboards of such private institutes, complete with pictures of smiling students, advertising their placement programmes can be spotted across India.

The GL Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management and the Noida Institute of Engineering and Technology (NIET) are two such colleges in Delhi-NCR. Located in Greater Noida, their advertisements this year claim their students were offered starting salaries in the range of Rs 40 lakh and above.

Such packages for students from lesser-known private institutes might make one wonder if the claims are authentic. After all, they’re no IIT or even a well-known private engineering college like BITS Pilani, where starting pay packages offered to graduates range from Rs 10 lakh per annum to Rs 1 crore.

ThePrint looked into the claims and found that it is not just GL Bajaj and NIET, but many others that have achieved a similar feat this year.

A look at the private engineering colleges ranked between 140 and 200 on the central government’s National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) shows that at least 10 of them have recorded their highest packages as being in the Rs 20-45 lakh range, according to information sourced from these institutes.

The biggest pay packages in most of these institutes have been offered by Amazon, which has hired students as software development engineers. According to news reports from September 2021, Amazon had plans to plans to create 20 lakh job openings in India by 2025.

ThePrint reached Amazon by email, but was yet to receive a response at the time of publishing this report. This article will be updated when a response is received.

Talking about placements, Ajeet Singh, head of NIET’s career management cell said that the institute recognises that it will will not have the name recognition of an IIT or other elite colleges, so it works extra hard on its students.

“We pay a lot of attention to the soft-skills training of our students and preparing them for the job. We run a lot of programmes in association with the industry so that students get first-hand experience of the work they are going to do. We also have a tie-up with Coursera to get relevant skill certificates for our students,” he told ThePrint.

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The placement game

Ranked 145 on the NIRF, NIET mentions on its website that four of its students received a package of Rs 44.5 LPA (lakh per annum), all of them placed with Amazon. It has touted the same on several billboards in the NCR.

Anurag Shrivastava, an NIET student who landed a job with Amazon this year, said the institute helped him and three others get an internship with the online retail giant, after which they were hired.

“We were hired by Amazon after we successfully completed our internship there. Our college helped us with relevant skills that helped us at our job,” said Shrivastava, who is working as a software developer, earning Rs 44.5 LPA.

The Velagapudi Ramakrishna Siddhartha Engineering College in Andhra’s Vijayawada, at no. 141 in the NIRF rankings, has listed Rs 44 LPA as the highest offer from Amazon on its website. The average pay package for the institute, however, was Rs 4.8 LPA.

Anurag University in Hyderabad (ranked 140) also listed its highest package at Rs 38.5 LPA from Amazon on its website.

GL Bajaj Institute of Technology and Management (ranked 195 on NIRF) had four students land pay packages in the range of Rs 44-47 LPA, also from Amazon.

According to Arvind Kumar Bhatt, media and public relations coordinator at GL Bajaj, they focus on making students industry-ready so that they can get good placements.

“We consult with the industry on what their requirements are and train our students accordingly. We get them certifications, apart from the regular courses. We also work on their soft-skills and communication skills,” he told ThePrint.

Vardhaman College of Engineering in Hyderabad (ranked 162 on NIRF) listed one Rs 42.6 LPA package from Walmart Global Tech, and one from Amazon at Rs 39 LPA on its website.

The Silicon Institute of Technology in Bhubaneswar (ranked 161) listed Rs 33 LPA as its highest package from Texas Instruments, and the second highest, for Rs 25 LPA, from Amazon.

At rank 179, DIT University in Dehradun, listed its highest packages at Rs 30.64 LPA from Commvault and Rs 30 LPA from Amazon.

Shri Ramdeobaba College of Engineering and Management in Nagpur, Maharashtra, ranked No. 146 on the NIRF, has listed its highest package at Rs 33.6 LPA by ServiceNow, while Chennai’s RMK Engineering College (ranked 154) listed it at Rs 25 LPA from with Amazon.

Most of these institutes have also claimed on their websites an overall increase in their placement numbers in 2021-22 as compared to the previous years.

‘Skills over pedigree’

Industry experts aren’t surprised that it’s raining offers for students from lesser-known colleges because the way companies are hiring now has changed.

Kamal Karanth, talent specialist and co-founder at XPheno, a specialist staffing firm, told ThePrint that companies are going for skills and not pedigree these days. “Over the years, companies have realised that the kind of investment they were making in graduates from elite colleges was not really paying off and hence the value of the premium colleges became questionable. It was the start-ups that began the trend of hiring from lesser-known colleges in the past couple of years and the word has spread since then.”

He further said: “Companies are looking for people with specific skill-sets and more industry readiness rather than pedigree, hence it’s not surprising that students from lesser-known colleges are getting big placements.”

Rituparna Chakraborty, co-founder and CEO of staffing firm TeamLease, said, “I am treating this as good news in terms of campus hiring because there is demand in the market and hiring is happening. However, I am not so sure what to make of the huge pay packages. The average salaries for engineers have remained constant, between Rs 6 to Rs 10 lakh,” she added.

(Edited by Zinnia Ray Chaudhuri)

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