Concerns are rising among students at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) as final placements for the Class of 2024 show a 15-30% decline in job offers.
The placement season, which began in December, is proving challenging due to a slowdown in the tech sector affecting hiring.
The placement teams at several IITs, including Delhi, Bombay, Kanpur, Madras, Kharagpur, Roorkee, Guwahati, and Varanasi, have reported a decrease in job offers compared to the previous year.
Even computer science engineering students, usually quickly placed, are experiencing delays this year.
The situation is particularly concerning as these IITs are considered top choices for engineering placements, and many students see admission to these institutes as a pathway to lucrative jobs.
Despite their historically strong performance, the current challenges stem from factors such as reduced intake per recruiter, few companies opting out of placements, and an overall subdued hiring sentiment due to the tech slowdown.
According to an IIT-Kharagpur student, recruiters who used to hire multiple students are now taking only a few, and some are leaving without recruiting anyone.
The impact is felt across various sectors, including technology and consulting.
The decrease in job offers is attributed to a changing hiring pattern; previously, companies competed to hire students when there was high demand. Now, with the slowdown, companies are reevaluating their hiring needs.
Even the conversion of pre-placement offers, where job offers are extended to students who have interned with a company, has declined this year.
Placement cells are actively reaching out to more recruiters to secure placements for as many students as possible.
IIT-Kharagpur and IIT-BHU, for example, have experienced a reduction in offers compared to the previous year. However, they remain optimistic, expecting more recruiters to participate in the placement process.
Despite the challenges, students and placement cells are hopeful that more recruiters will join the placement process, helping offset the reduced number of offers and ensuring successful placements for the Class of 2024.
Campus Placements Uncertain Waters
As major tech giants and corporate entities announce a slowdown in hiring, the trend is especially evident in premier institutions like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs), where the placement season has already started.
Last year, IITs experienced a reduction in offers from prominent U.S.-based tech companies such as Amazon, Meta, Twitter, and Google.
This year, there is a collective hope for an improved placement scenario; however, the global economic situation has led to a decline in the workforce of significant companies like Infosys, Wipro, and HCL.
The possibility of more companies adopting the trend of refraining from bulk hiring through campus placements could be linked to the fact that some freshers hired in the previous year are yet to be fully utilized.
Challenges Amid the Slowdown
Many companies have scaled back their hiring plans due to reduced growth and internal restructuring.
Hence, even premier tech institutes, traditionally insulated from negative hiring trends, are feeling the impact of the ongoing tech slowdown.
Pre-placement offers (PPOs) have become a saving grace for many students, providing them with job security even before the formal placement process begins.
However, placing large batches of students is proving to be a significant challenge in a year where many recruiters are cutting back on hiring numbers.
The IT services industry, including top exporters like TCS, Infosys, and HCLTech, has witnessed a substantial fall in headcount this fiscal year.
Infosys, in an unusual move, declared a complete skip of hiring from colleges this year, while TCS expressed a slowdown in fresher hiring.
Shifting Dynamics And Considerations
Experts anticipated slow growth in this year’s placement season; however, the potential positive impact of an institute’s reputation and the skills acquired by candidates in established institutions were expected to have a better chance of attracting recruiters even in challenging times.
This is not the case in the present as some prominent companies hesitate to visit engineering campuses; still, students and experts were optimistic about the prospect of increased hiring in startups, but that too hasn’t fared well as startups are facing severe funding crunch.
Reflections On Previous Placements and Future Expectations
In 2022, some IITs witnessed a decline in the number of placed students, reflecting the broader economic challenges.
However, the situation varied among different IITs, with some experiencing an increase in the number of companies participating in placements.
The Last Bit, In the face of economic uncertainty and a slowdown in hiring by significant players, the campus placement season is proving challenging this year.
Traditional recruitment patterns are being disrupted, and students and institutes grapple with the changing dynamics.
The hesitancy of established companies to hire in bulk from campuses is prompting a reevaluation of career choices among many students. At the same time, some choose to ride the wave, hoping the scenario will be better in the new year.