EDUCATION PLUS

Campus interviews: boon or bane

Jobs come calling: Campus interviews is the buzzword in colleges. –

Jobs come calling: Campus interviews is the buzzword in colleges. –   | Photo Credit: Photo: Shamasunder

SUMIT BHATTACHARJEE

Some say that the trend is healthy and is the order of the day while others feel that a ‘not so healthy’ culture is seeping in

Going by the present trend, any idea how a college markets itself? In typical campus lingo the answer would be, ‘campus interviews- boss’. Colleges, big or small, reputed or no repute at all, seem to scramble for this marketing cue. Today, colleges have full-fledged PR and placement departments, thanks to the booming job market. Before the students in professional courses like engineering or MBA settle down in their final year, companies make a beeline to acquire fresh talent. The trend has started a decade ago and at present ‘campus interviews’ has become the buzzword in the colleges.

Some say that the trend is healthy and is the order of the day, others feel that a ‘not so healthy’ culture is seeping in.

“More than the academics the colleges seem to focus on this culture. For the companies this is the best option to tap fresh talents. However, they also feel that the colleges should take up more skill oriented tasks to make the students directly employable, as they have to spend a lot of time and money to groom them,” says Kishan Kaza the placement of officer of College of Management, GITAM University. A few like-minded placement officers feel that the concept of campus interviews is infusing bad blood among the peers and is polluting the overall campus environment.

“A couple of years ago the students were ready to take up any kind of a job. But today, the expectations have gone up and they have become choosy and demanding. The trend is also setting up a huge disparity among the students when it comes to the pay scales. A sense of animosity is creeping up between the students who get thicker pay packets and the ones who get average scales,” says the placement officer from GITAM.

Disturbing factors

Supporting the issue, the Principal of Andhra University College of Engineering (AUCE), Allam Apparao, adds that the worst thing to happen is the drastic change in the attitude of the students. “The ones who get recruited, which normally takes place during the fourth semester of the third year, tend to loose interest in studies and they even keep away from the classes in the final year. They feel as if they have conquered the world. And the students who fail at the interviews get depressed and develop a rebellious attitude towards their peers and management of the college. We are finding it difficult to cope with the situation. A psychological war seems to be setting in,” says he. While the good news is that the students tend to land in a decent job even before they complete their graduation, the ‘feel good’ factor is restricted only to the MBA and engineering students, and for the others, especially for the students from arts and pure science, the scene is pathetic. Observing the trend closely for the last couple of years, Mr. Kishan is of the opinion that it is weakening the foundation of the students. “The students are virtually spoon-fed and since they get a job without much difficult they do not realise the importance of a job. This is not the case in the west. In the foreign universities the students are imparted the required employability skills and it is then up to them to acquire a job. The universities and the colleges do not indulge in the practice of campus recruitments.”

Corruption is another issue that is creeping into the campus recruitment culture. Both Dr. Allam Apparao and Mr. Kishan say that most of the colleges bribe the HR people of the companies to see that more number of students are recruited for higher salaries. They then turn that event to an USP in coming years. “There are umpteen number of cases where the candidates have been sacked for lack of potential after recruitment,” says the principal of AUCE.

While the IT companies dominate the recruitment scenario in the engineering colleges, financial sector heads the pack in the B-schools, followed by the FMCGs and others. The IT companies are bullish and they recruit any engineering graduate, irrespective whether he or she is from computer science, electronics, mechanical, chemical or civil faculty. This trend has not only hit the core sector but also the higher studies. “Today we rarely get quality students for higher studies and the research arena is starved of good brains. The same is the case with the core sector. Irrespective of the specialisation the students are dragged into the IT segment. But it has done one good thing, it has forced the other sectors to enhance their pay packets to match the competition from the IT sector,” says Dr. Allam Apparao.



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