Seats for B.E. Information Technology, the most sought-after course around four years ago, are being reduced in number by many engineering colleges this year.

Some will not be offering the course at all.

Last year, in the single window system, of a total of 16,466 seats, almost 10,000 seats remained vacant. This year, it is expected that only around 8,000 seats will be on offer, an official from Anna University told The Hindu.

The colleges say the decision has been taken mainly because the IT industry is doing badly, but according to industry experts, there is still a demand for the course among the companies.

“Two years ago, we had increased the number of IT seats from 120 to 60, but this year there is absolutely no demand from students, so we have decided to go back to 60 seats,” an official from a private engineering college in Tiruvallur district said.

Other colleges have decided to go ahead and merge the IT stream with the computer science engineering stream. “The IT stream itself was created only as a way to admit more students into the field, so it is not surprising that many colleges have decided to merge the two,” S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, dean, planning and development, SASTRA University, said.

Former vice-chancellor of Anna University E. Balagurusamy feels that although there is still a demand for college freshers from the IT industry, the industry has now refined its selection process and only admits students who have additional skills in line with industry needs.

Speaking on the issue, K. Purushothaman, regional director of NASSCOM, said the IT and ITeS industries still had high recruitment rates. Till date, around 2,00,000 people have been recruited from engineering colleges across the State, the same number as last year.

The difference, he said, was that IT and ITeS firms were looking for students who are ‘ready for deployment’ on projects.

Also, on-campus recruitment had reduced and been replaced by the practice of recruiting as and when required, he added. “It is expected that by the year 2020, there will be one crore people employed in the IT and ITeS industries. Currently, there are 31 lakh people, so it is unlikely that the recruitment of engineers from the IT industry will reduce,” he said.

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