What will campus placements look like in the COVID era when learning has shifted online?
There was no significant decline in recruitment from campuses in Kerala in the last academic year. However, most of those placements had happened before COVID-19 became a pandemic.
The recruitment drives for March and April were cancelled at most colleges. But, as the academic year got extended, several companies made recruitments virtually.
However, not everyone who got a placement has been able to join the job. While those who got offers from software companies are working virtually, most of them who got placements in companies in the mechanical, electrical and civil sectors have still not been able to enter the jobs. They are waiting for the situation to improve.
What about this year?
The situation that prevailed in the final stages of last year's placement drive continues. Software companies have begun to approach campuses. All the processes are being done online. But it is doubtful whether companies will be ready for as many placements as they offered in previous years.
Non-IT industry companies will arrive on campuses only late. That is because those who were selected last year have not yet been able to not enter the job.
Placements in the financial sector, including banking, are likely to decline this time around. In short, placements are expected to drop by up to 30 per cent this year.
Students need to be prepared to adapt to new situations. You may not get a job in companies in your desired area. You need to understand where the chances are high and make your preparations accordingly.
For IT jobs, for example, you can learn coding and take advantage of open coding platforms such as Hacker Earth.
There is a possibility of more recruitments in healthcare and edu-tech companies this time. Be aware of the future possibilities, technological advances and practices of the major companies in these areas.
The situation the companies are in is more important than the amount of the placement offer. Even the best companies had to withdraw their placement offers last year due to the challenges posed by COVID. Talk to students of the previous year to understand such issues faced by companies.
It is also a good idea to find out through friends and relatives and online forums how notable companies in your field have coped with the COVID period.
“This time the package offered by the companies may be less. Students should not refrain from applying to such companies in anticipation of better opportunities,” said Dr S M Sameer, head of training and placement cell at NIT, Kozhikode. “During COVID, finding a job from the campus itself would be easier. Students should not miss internship opportunities either. They should join even if no stipend is offered,” he said.