Mumbai: Despite the recent mass layoffs at big multinational software firms, things are looking up at campus placements at the city's top engineering colleges. Most colleges saw around 10-20% increase in salary packages, with some of the graduating students getting salaries as high as Rs. 62 lakh.
Amid the reports of the global tech downturn, the Information Technology (IT) and Information Technology Enabled Services (ITES) sector continue to be the biggest recruiter on campus.
Placement data from various colleges accessed by FPJ indicates that students from the 'circuit' branches such as Computer Science, IT and Electronics continue to be high in demand and command higher compensation.
However, some of the colleges found software placements slowing down during the last couple of months, with some of the companies trying to cut down the salaries promised earlier and even rescind offers made to students.
At Veermata Jijabai Technological Institute (VJTI) in Matunga, over 90% of students in CS and IT departments were placed within the first two months of the placement season last year.
The average annual compensation (cost to company or CTC) offered to these students is Rs 18.16 lakh and Rs. 17.05 lakh, up from last year's Rs. 16.48 lakh and Rs. 15.61 lakh, respectively.
One of the IT students accepted an offer of Rs. 62 lakh by a United States (US)-based software firm for their Mumbai office.
Similarly, the average salary offered at Sardar Patel Institute of Technology (SPIT), Andheri, which exclusively offers tech courses, rose from Rs. 13 lakh per annum in 2022 to Rs. 15 lakh per annum in 2023. The average salary
Thadomal Shahani College of Engineering (TSEC), Bandra, which offers Chemical engineering in addition to circuit branches, also witnessed a growth in annual package from Rs. 10 lakh to Rs. 12 lakh. The global e-commerce giant Amazon hired one of the students at the institute for Rs. 55 lakh, though the same company had made a Rs. 1.17 crore offer last year at the institute.
Around 80-90% of final year students at these colleges have so far found jobs on campus.
These figures stand in contrast to the grim situation of the global IT job market. Last month, Google's parent Alphabet Inc. was revealed to be eliminating about 12,000 jobs or 6% of its workforce. Microsoft also confirmed that the tech giant would lay off 10,000 of its workers, while Amazon decided to cut more than 18,000 jobs.
According to colleges, they have managed to buck the international trend as most of their recruiters are Indian companies, which are yet to be impacted by the Silicon Valley job cuts.
"We are susceptible to the global downturn, as most of our IT companies cater to US consumers. However, we are still able to perform well due to the availability of skilled manpower at a lower cost than in other countries. Besides, US investors prefer pouring money in a stable country like India, instead of other South and East Asian countries like China and Taiwan," said Gopakumaran Thampi, Principal, TSEC.
But some colleges in the city did feel some impact of the slowdown in IT sector since January this year. An engineering college in the Western suburbs found that several software firms that offered attractive packages at the beginning of the placement season in June 2022, became jittery.
"They would call up our students, telling them that they won't be able to honour the jobs or salary packages offered to them," said a college official.
On the other hand, placements at manufacturing, infrastructure and other 'core' engineering sectors remain stagnant. While many of the students from these 'core' branches have found jobs with IT companies, others are still waiting for an opportunity.
"Lack of export opportunities has resulted in shutting down of manufacturing units in various parts of the country. There's a reduction in manpower requirements in core industries. We had a lukewarm response for Chemical engineering, with only about 20% of students from the department getting placed so far. Similarly, other core sectors are also affected," said Thampi.
According to colleges, the rising increasing automation and digitisation in the core fields means that students from mechanical, civil and electrical branches can no longer remain constrained to their disciplines.
"The companies are looking for a multidisciplinary approach among students. Even mechanical engineering students are expected to have knwoledge about coding," said Zahir Aalam, Training and Placement Officer at Thakur College of Engineering and Technology (TCET), where around half the core engineering students found opportunities within their chosen discipline while others opted for software and other companies.
However, some colleges like Sardar Patel College of Engineering (SPCE), Andheri, see the core sector hiring pick up in the second half of the academic year. The college has been able to place 34 students out of a batch of 76, at an average salary of Rs. 7.1 lakh.
Other colleges also assert that more students from core branches will find jobs in the days to come. So far 75% of students in core branches have been placed. We will find opportunities for the rest of the students as well," said Dr Nitin Gulhane, who heads placements at VJTI.
"The core companies mostly visit in the second half of the year," adds Shubha Pandit, Principal, KJ Somaiya College of Engineering.
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