With recruitment this year expected to be sluggish, and pay packets remaining stagnant, graduate engineering students are looking to make the trip to universities in the US

Indian students applying to US varsities have risen 20 per cent compared to previous year even as officials of the National Association of Software Service Companies (Nasscom) revealed that with a volatile domestic market, IT recruitments will be lesser by 50,000 this year.

The International Graduate Admissions Survey released recently by the Council of Graduate Schools (CGS) in USA showed that Indian applicants grew 20 per cent while Chinese applicants fell five per cent. Brazil was the only other country from where applicants grew (24 per cent) while the numbers were down for other top countries such as South Korea (-13 per cent), Taiwan (-13 per cent), Mexico (- 11 per cent) and Canada (- 4 per cent).

Uninspiring pay packets on offer

Interestingly, the increase in Indian applicants last year was just four per cent compared to the year before. The huge jump of 20 per cent this year is being directly related to the declining job offers here and also reduced pay packages in campus recruitments.

Recruitments down

“Placements fell nearly 60 per cent this year and this was more in the IT firms,” says V. Uma Maheshwar Rao, Placement Officer, Osmania University College of Engineering.

Prof. Rao also linked the poor placements in India to the rising number of applicants to US varsities.

“The tendency of students is to opt for MS in the United States when they don’t get placed or are poorly placed,” he says. Those who cannot afford US education prefer to do an M.Tech in India and the record number of applicants for the GATE exam this year is a reflection of the same.

Rising enquiries from home, say US students

Senior Indian students in US varsities observed that enquiries from juniors and relatives in India were on the rise.

“I got more than 10 enquiries from people back home seeking advice on US education and all of them were worried about the poor placements there,” said Arun Patlola, a student at Texas Tech University in Lubbock, Texas.

Tier-II colleges take a hit

The impact is not so much on top 30 colleges but others are badly hit. Cognizant has visited just seven colleges in the State this year while TCS has also reduced its recruitment drives drastically. Interestingly, applicants to US varsities rose two per cent in Engineering and Management streams, the two courses preferred by Indian students.

On the pay front, packages offered by IT companies have remained stagnant while core engineering companies are offering more. However, recruitments to core companies are less while IT companies recruit in thousands.

Raghu Korrapati, Higher Education Commissioner, South Carolina, USA also approves the argument.

“Never allow an academic gap if you want to be placed in a good company. In the present situation, opting for higher studies is an intelligent move if students don’t get placed,” he said revealing that he had advised the same to Indian students during his recent visit to some colleges in India.

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