NIT, IIIT placements see job offers drop 30-40%, salaries slashed, offers revoked

IIIT Bangalore’s placement dropped by 10 points; NIT Delhi’s BTech CSE students had offers revoked; NIT Puducherry’s average package fell over 50%.

Job offers and salary packages have shrunk dramatically at NITs, IIITs and CFTIs  (Representative Image: NIT Delhi Official Website)Job offers and salary packages have shrunk dramatically at NITs, IIITs and CFTIs (Representative Image: NIT Delhi Official Website)

Sheena Sachdeva | April 12, 2024 | 01:40 PM IST

NEW DELHI: Amit Sharma, in final year of BTech computer science and engineering at National Institute of Technology Delhi , landed a job on the first day of the NIT placement season in August. “A cloud-based integration platform hired five students on the first day… Because we got offers on the first day, we weren’t allowed to sit for any other interviews throughout the season,” said Sharma (name changed on request). Months later, closer to the joining date, the offer was revoked.

While it was an “extremely difficult” time, Sharma and his group were placed in new jobs within 15 days, but this time the salary packages were slimmer – Rs 15.5 lakh per annum in place of Rs 21 lakh.

Like the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT), engineering institutes across the board are facing similar challenges with placing students this year. There is around 40% decline in offers from last year, said KH Johnson Singh, faculty coordinator, training and placement cell, NIT Manipur. Similarly at International Institute of Information Technology (IIIT) Bangalore, the placement rate has decreased.

“Around 60-70% of students have received offers where students are expecting to join from July onwards. But this number was 70-80% [last year], despite being a tough year, with around 10-20% more students being placed till this time of the year. And two years before, the number was at least 20% higher in terms of overall placements,” added Dinesh Babu Jayagopi, professor-in-charge, internships and placements, IIIT Bangalore.

Institutes are trying to draw more and different types of companies to their campuses, but the overall salary packages have decreased. Engineering colleges away from the metropolitan areas are in bigger trouble as fewer recruiters are willing to visit.

BTech Job Offers: NIT, IIIT, CFTI

At NIT Manipur, around 147 students were placed in the 2022-23 placement season. This year, most of the IT companies have not turned up, said Singh. Over the past two years, the market situation has grown tougher, added Jayagopi. “While many students have received internships, they are still waiting for their final offers due in April and May, after the financial year gets over,” he said.

At NIT Delhi, 65% of students from the 2023-24 batch have been placed till now. However, by this time last year, the figure was around 97%, said Arshita, placement coordinator, NIT Delhi. Again, many recruiters who were present last year have not returned impacting placements but despite that, the total number of companies to visit increased to over 70 from around 60 last year.

Madappa VR Sivasubramanian, professor-in-charge, training and placement, NIT Puducherry, said: “So far till March, 123 students have been placed this year and 83 students are left. Last year, 180 students were placed overall. Further, the number of companies has decreased with 27 companies visiting the campus until now. Last year, 56 companies paid a visit.”

North Eastern Regional Institute of Science and Technology (NERIST), a deemed-to-be-university and centrally-funded technical institute in Nirjuli, Arunachal Pradesh, has had a slightly different experience. “Compared to last year, this year is good. So far, 84 students have been placed and two more months are still left. Last year a total of 83 students were placed,” said M Chandrasekaran, professor-in-charge, placement cell.

But there are other issues. “As we are receiving a majority of non-tech roles like sales and others, many students are not showing interest. The companies are similar this time. The economic slowdown has impacted our placements slightly but we are trying to get companies from different industries. The IT companies did not come in large numbers. It's the same for this year,” he explained.

Engineering salary packages shrink

Along with the general lull in hiring, salary packages have shrunk. “As intake per company has decreased this year, the overall offers have also decreased. While last year’s average salary was Rs 8.7 - 9.7 lakh annually across all departments, this year, it has decreased to Rs 7 lakh,” said Singh. In the previous year, the highest package at NIT Manipur was around Rs 47 lakh; this year’s highest has fallen to Rs 17-18 lakh per annum.

“A clear half of the salaries have been slashed by the companies,” added Singh.

Similarly, at NIT Delhi, last year’s average salary was around Rs 17 lakh and the highest was Rs 82 lakh per annum. But this year’s highest package has fallen to Rs 62 lakh per annum and the average salary to Rs 14-15 lakh annually. “A few companies have not turned up this year with a few revoking offers at the last moment. This has impacted the overall scenario. While students have received internship offers, the salaries are still lower than last year’s,” said Arshita.

At NIT Puducherry, the average package for this year is Rs 9 lakh per annum with the highest being Rs 24 lakh. Last year, the average was Rs 20 lakh.

More data engineering jobs

With regard to recruiters, the trends differ across engineering colleges. NIT Manipur is still drawing core engineering companies. “While these are limited to core departments like mechanical, civil and others, they are still showing interest. Companies are coming up but are very limited to IT,” Singh added. Things have come to such a pass that the institute is encouraging students to be multidisciplinary and accept positions in analytics, finance or education technology even if the CTC is lower than in core IT. “Once the recession is over, they can shift to IT companies,” reasoned Singh.

IT companies are practically missing from NIT Puducherry. “We are receiving only the business development roles and very few core engineering roles. Core roles have declined by 50% this year,” said Sivasubramanian.

Since the institute is computer-science focused, IIIT Bangalore placements get mostly computer science, software developer or VLSI roles. “Electrical and communication engineering students get into VLSI technology companies. And more recently, in the last two years, the trend has been of increasing roles in data science. So, we are seeing an uptick in interest in data science which is our core areas like software developer and hardware engineering. Though there is a decrease in the number of offers, in terms of relative distribution, two years back if the data science offers were 10%, now the offers have increased by 20-30%,” said Jayagopi. Salaries at IIIT Bangalore have, however, remained the same. The only difference is the speed at which placements occur. Earlier, 100 students would be placed in two months. “This speed has reduced,” he stated.

At NERIST, most of the students are from the northeastern states and interested in government jobs. Chandrasekaran explained, “Our institute is dedicated to the northeastern region with northeastern students and many students are disinterested in the jobs coming on campus…. The majority of companies that come to the campus are private and only two or three are government. Due to this, many don't sit in the placement interviews. Further, many go for higher studies. But we are trying to get more companies on board by connecting with organisations beyond the northeast and also alumni working in different industries to get some attractive offers for the students.”

Computer science and engineering jobs

At NIT Delhi, when the cloud company revoked the offer, many students had a hard time getting another opportunity. “Students have been impacted immensely. Overall, students were struggling to get even one offer during this year which was not the case last year. Some students didn’t receive even one offer,” said Arshita.

Because of low salaries and limited participation of recruiters, the hopes of many students were shattered, added Singh. “They are hoping that once they are nearing the end of semester, good companies may come with good packages.”

Even internships are a struggle and converting them into pre-placement offers, even more so. “Only a handful of companies have offered PPOs. But still, around 10% of students are without any internships,” added Arshita.

Note: This story will be published in the forthcoming issue of the Careers360 magazine.

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