I have gone through some of the posts on the Students of MIT, Manipal group in Facebook, in recent times and can sense the despair among students and the wrath towards the authorities, regarding placements.
While the recent downturn in the economy and rapid depreciation of the currency can partly explain why the placements haven’t been up to the mark this year, the over-dependence on placements have been rather surprising and disheartening.
I would like to illustrate a few points that would help the kids in understanding the short and long-term implications of jobs, which a majority of them would get just after graduation. This is coming with 13 months of the so-called work-experience, with big multinationals like Volvo, Haier, Accenture and Tata-Cummins. Yes, I have changed 3 jobs in the past 13 months.
1. First and foremost, most engineering jobs are IT-related.
This effectively means that a considerable fraction of people would not be working in their core domains like electrical, mechanical, civil, etc. In effect, your subject knowledge goes down the drain, just for a Rs. 20,000 monthly salary. Even interest in particular subjects take a backseat, for the sake of jobs.
I can very well understand the lack of core jobs in the market, but only a minority of the students would have projects or research work that would interest prospective employers in core domains. Research is literally unheard of at MIT, Manipal, where even assignments are taken care of by Xerox annas and akkas. To get a good core job, you need to back it up with a strong CV, that has credible research work mentioned. With a strong CV, you have brighter off-campus job prospects. For those without an IT background who still wish to be a part of the IT sector, it is a different thing.
2. Once you are placed in an IT company, you gradually realize a lot of things when you start working.
Though many of you will like the job profile, a lot of you might not be happy with the Associate Software Engineer tag. Job Satisfaction goes for a toss, you work in herds ( they call it teams/projects) where you find it difficult to carve a niche for yourself, your learning curve gets stagnated and you find it difficult to figure out what exactly is happening to your professional career.
Trust me, if you plan an MBA after two years of so called work-ex in IT sector, you might find it difficult to explain the switch from an IT background to that of management. Yes, I was rejected at the XLRI interview, as I could not connect my work-experience ( which ranged from IT to Automobile to White Goods) to an MBA, and how these two varying degrees would be complimentary to my career. In any case, your work experience might be irrelevant after all, if you switch to management.
3. In case of a core job, you might be subject to extreme working conditions, unfamiliar terrain, odd working hours, physical exertion and foreign languages (ranges from Kannada to Swedish to Mandarin).
Venture into core jobs, if it interests you or you have credible knowledge. A core job is a better option if you intend to create a career in this domain or vertical. It is also suited for those who wish to pursue a M.Tech or specialize in some subject.
4. I am worried at the trend of job-seeking.
Bright students from MIT have not ventured into entrepreneurship with a few exceptions! This is surprising. Plan a start-up, think of a business venture, if you are good in something. It can be engineering-related or even unrelated. Making money is a talent, and if you have it, go for it.
5. If you intend to continue higher studies, at any point of time, make sure that your work-experience is concurrent to your future academic plans.
This will help you align your goals and perspective in the longer run. Basically, you won’t have questions asked, to which you have no answers.
6. If you think, engineering was a mistake you shouldn’t have committed in the first place, then you can easily start afresh.
A Masters in Economics, a degree in Law are some of the options available to an engineering graduate, apart from MBAs and M.Techs. You can also prepare for Civil Services (UPSC), various Public Banks Jobs (PO), Reserve Bank of India(RBI), etc. which need a degree as eligibility.
7. Finally, be a master of yourself. Take your decisions. Stick to it.
Do what you intend to. Defy stereotypes. I am sure, a Mass Recruiting Company (MRC) job is not your dream job. So pursue your interests, test yourself.
Manipal has made life easy for all of us. But unfortunately, all good things come to an end. This scenario requires you to act, act fast. You will gradually realize that life is not a piece of cake, something that Manipal unfortunately did not teach us.
I am open to questions and queries.
Thanks and ALL THE BEST.
(Views are personal.)
About the Author: Kumar Shaurya is an Industrial and Production engineering graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology (MIT), Manipal batch of 2012. He is currently working at PCL as a Graduate Engineer Trainee. You can contact him at email@example.com.