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No slowdown at IITs as jobs and internships continue to flow as usual

Not just older IITs like Bombay, Delhi, Madras and Kanpur, newer ones like Mandi also recorded a good placement season in 2018-19.

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New Delhi: IITs bucked the fears of an economic slowdown and job cuts to register some of their best placement stats ever in 2018-19, spurring hope that students will have enough offers when the institutes open their doors to companies this year as well. 

However, there are fears of a slight dip in international offers.

Not just older IITs like Bombay, Delhi, Madras, Kanpur and Roorkee, newer ones like Mandi also recorded a good placement season in 2018-19, when signs of a slowdown in India had begun to emerge amid a downturn around the world.

Their confidence also stems from what the institutes have described as a successful internship season, which is currently underway. Placements begin in December.

“The economic slowdown did not hit the placement season in 2018-19 and it is not hitting the internship offers that students are currently getting,” Mohammad Anas, a placement coordinator at IIT-Kanpur, told ThePrint. “At Kanpur, in fact, students are getting some really good internship offers.”  


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The numbers

According to official IIT statistics, 1,186 IIT-Bombay students were placed in 2018-19, up from 1,117 in 2017-18 and 1,114 in 2016-17. 

At IIT-Madras, meanwhile, 1,151 students were placed in 2018-19, against 971 in 2017-18 and 935 in 2016-17. 

Graduates of IIT-Delhi also got more than 1,000 job offers in 2018-19, which was 15 per cent higher than the 2017-18 placement season. 

 

According to placement officers at IIT-Delhi, 2018-19 was the best placement season for the institute, but they said the institute refrained from releasing exact numbers.

At IIT-Kanpur, out of the 1,045 students who appeared for placement, 813 got placed, which is around 78 per cent. As many as 804 students were placed in 2017-18 and 630 in 2016-17.

IIT-Roorkee has registered over 1,000 job offers in the last three years — 1,127 in 2018-19, 1,022 in 2017-18, and 1,167 in 2016-17. 

 

Among the newer IITs, Mandi maintained the same performance as last year. According to their official website, 85 students were placed in 2018-19 as well as the season before that, out of just over 100 applicants. 

“The internship season has just begun and we are expecting a good response from companies,” said a placement coordinator at IIT-Mandi. 

All these statistics were either obtained from the institutes’ websites or their placement cells.

‘All about perception’

Explaining why the slowdown hadn’t impacted placements at the premier engineering institutes, a senior faculty member at IIT-Bombay said “companies that have been associating with IITs traditionally will continue to do that”. 

“The offers are mostly based on the perception about the institute,” the member added. “If a company thinks graduates from IIT-Bombay or any other IIT are good, they will continue to hire, economic slowdown or no slowdown.”

Economy experts said the slowdown was likely to first impact the informal sector, which was the worst hit by the twin blows of demonetisation and haphazard GST implementation, before beginning to reflect in the formal job sector.

“The economic slowdown must be there. but it will not affect the formal job sector so soon,” said Devendra Pant, chief economist at credit rating agency India Ratings & Research. “We will have to wait to see its effect. Also, when it comes to IIT graduates, they will always be in demand, especially when automation is on the rise. Things like Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence are booming and technical experts like IITians are needed to work for companies.”

When it comes to international offers, however, the IITs do fear a change from last year.

Utkarsh Agarwal, a placement coordinator at IIT-Delhi, said the institute received good offers from both domestic and international companies last year, but they were expecting fewer foreign offers this placement season. 

“If the economic slowdown is affecting the placements or not will only be more clear in December,” Agarwal said.

IIT graduates are considered the cream of India’s engineering talent. Even the global QS Employability Ranking for this year identified graduates of IIT-Bombay as India’s most employable, with the IITs in Delhi, Madras, Kharagpur and Kanpur also finding a place among the top 10.   


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