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What has been the college placement scenario over the past year, and where is it headed?

Ever since the Covid-19 pandemic, the world has gone through unprecedented changes over the past year. The pandemic has impacted the lives of billions of people. From public health to the global economy, everything is adversely affected. With the education sector going through significant changes, there is also an impact on all types of hiring, including college placement.

In this article, you will know the scenario of college placement over the past year.

Covid outbreak in 2020

The Covid-19 outbreak in 2020 created uncertainty among students and recruiters. According to a survey done by Firstnaukri.com in 2020, the pandemic affected college placement at 82% of Indian colleges.

Only one-third of the 1300+ students verified that they have a job offer on the table. Nearly 44% of individuals with employment offers said their start dates were pushed back, while 9% said their offers were canceled. Almost 33% of respondents did not hear back from the companies on their employment offers. Most students quickly moved to internet job sites to look for work. At the same time, another 17% relied on referrals from their college alumni.

According to the survey, employers were delaying campus visits favoring newer technological options such as virtual interviews and online evaluations to attract individuals from different colleges. As the new means of being employed, students needed to start preparing for remote interviews.

During this time, online courses and certifications were the go-to options for students looking to fill any skill or knowledge gaps. 70% of college students enrolled in remote courses. Freelancing is also considered by a huge number of students as a potential future employment option.

College Placements in 2021

After the pandemic, the method of recruitment shifted to the remote mode. Apart from this, many firms altered their recruitment strategies to save money. Companies that used to recruit graduating students routinely are now giving internships instead. The placement scenarios vary in different colleges.

Undergraduate Colleges

Placements are now overcoming the pandemic blues at top undergraduate colleges across the country. The pandemic has hardly had any impact on the placements this year.

St Xavier’s College in Mumbai said that it had gotten the highest salary ever, of 30 lakh per annum, double the maximum offer from the previous year. Similarly, in Chennai’s Loyola College, Adobe has made the highest offer of 21 lakh per annum, up from 10.5 lakh last year.

Similarly, Morgan Stanley, an American financial services firm, gave the highest 25 lakh in the first recruitment phase at Delhi’s Shri Ram College of Commerce (SRCC). AB InBev, a Belgian multinational drink and brewing firm, has offered the highest salary package of over 15 lakhs at Bengaluru’s Christ.

Companies in the consulting, banking, and fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industries are hiring in significant numbers from undergrad colleges this year to bring on new college talent with innovative and analytical thinking.

Engineering Colleges

In 2020-2021, campus placements at engineering institutions plummeted, with only 59,494 students landing employment. According to data from the All-India Council for Technical Education, this was the lowest number since 2012-13, when 63,486 applicants were placed (AICTE). In contrast, placements were particularly good in circuit branches and the IT sector.

Enrolment had also decreased compared to the previous academic year when institutions welcomed an additional 3,000 students. Some colleges, on the other hand, claimed the placement scenario was not too bad.

IIMs

In comparison to the 2020 batch, IIMs have witnessed better and larger payment packages this year. Even after enduring the full brunt of the pandemic, the class of 2021 sees an increase in their placement packages at India’s leading B-schools. While the COVID-19 pandemic’s second wave significantly impacted numerous other graduate schools and colleges, it had no significant impact on tier-1 and tier-2 campuses’ final placements that finished before the second wave.

According to the most recent data from Aon, a professional services firm, the average MBA package for IIMs, tier-1, and tier-2 business schools increased by 2-3 percent in 2021 compared to the previous year. Despite the slowing economy, these schools have seen a 20% increase in pre-placement offers and a 10-15% increase in the number of companies looking to recruit.

More than half of the new job offers at IIM Indore this year came from Amazon and Paytm combined. This year’s IIM placements include firms such as Flipkart, Razorpay, and Grofers.

Although IIMs are among the top options for recruiters, other B-schools’ placement departments have improved in 2021.

Where is it headed?

Leading management schools reported a surge in demand from consulting firms and IT businesses, but they had a different experience. The college placement industry is more dynamic with this pandemic. Here are some key points to consider when turning current difficulties into opportunities for students and successfully getting a college placement.

Digitalization

The digital revolution has arisen in a significant manner during this pandemic. The present dynamics of the corporate world have undoubtedly changed as a result of rapid digitalization. It has increased the need for more technologically savvy management graduates. As a result, there is a greater need for leaders who are familiar with digital transformation.

Companies are seeking management graduates with new-age technological abilities like programming, analytics, tools like R and Python, and data analytics, AI, and Machine Learning. Such candidates can be a valuable asset to a business.

New Skills

Adaptability is the key to surviving in today’s world. Adapters and adopters of new skills thrive in today’s dynamic environment. Graduates with specializations in cloud computing, cyber security, AI, machine learning, process automation, and data science are in high demand due to the global pandemic.

It is also a good idea to brush up on basic management skills while learning new skills. Along with these organizational abilities, managing virtual teams that operate remotely would be beneficial.

Don’t forget to improve your core strengths while working on new abilities. Companies have been more careful in their hiring processes due to the trend of reduced employment, focusing on quality over quantity. The current recession has generated more possibilities for capable and skilled management graduates.

Opportunities

Many obstacles have been broken down due to digitalization, including distance, and professionals are no longer necessary to be on the field or travel regularly to continue working. It has also acted as a catalyst to foreign placements, which were previously only available to a select few.

As a result, recent grads should develop a solid online profile and reach out to firms that interest them. In the era of social media, management graduates and job candidates may network, reach out to new market participants, and share their work online to access additional projects.

Recruiters are automating the entire placement process and using proctored and psychometric analyses to do so. This forward-thinking approach has improved the system’s speed and efficiency, allowing recruiters to evaluate more prospects.

The college placement industry has gone through significant changes over the past year. Students need to adapt to the changes to survive in the competitive environment.

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