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Posted at: Feb 14, 2018, 12:50 AM; last updated: Feb 14, 2018, 12:50 AM (IST)

Life beyond campus placements

Life beyond campus placements

Jaskaran Singh

The cut-throat competition that engineering students have to face to secure admission in a reputed institute is just the beginning of the story. The competition becomes fierce by the time students reach the seventh semester and start appearing for campus placement interviews. Most engineering institutes get employers on their premises who promise job offers and lucrative pay packages. University Business School, Panjab University, recently set a new record with its two MBA students getting a package of Rs 46 lakh per annum. It sets off a contest among students as to who would crack the best deal.

While the institutes tom-tom the pay packages offered to bright students by top employers and advertise the placement percentage of students even before they have got their degrees formally, the fact remains that there is a significant percentage of students who don’t walk home with a job offer. It might be due to several reasons — a mistake in the interview or a flaw in the resume or the candidate not getting  the profile he/she aimed for. 

Prof BS Saini, placement in-charge, Punjabi University says, “Not all students aim for immediate employment after completing their degree.” He divides such students into three categories — those who plan to pursue higher studies, those looking for immediate employment and those who have average grades.

All said and done, not getting a job offer or a placement is not the end of the road or a measure of ones caliber. There is a lot that students can opt for and get into to add weight to their resume till the time the right job opportunity knocks at their door.   

“Students must not lose hope if they don’t get placed through campus,” says Sarbjeet Singh, Head, Training and Placements, Panjab University. While adding that the students who are left out have to face a lot of challenges, Singh reiterates that these situations can be dealt with if students proceed in a planned and organised manner.” 

Faculty in charge of the campus placement cells in professional colleges maintain that there are ample options for students even if they do not manage to bag a lucrative package in campus interviews. “Such students can still apply for off-campus opportunities in both core and non-core companies,” says Divya Bansal, Head Career Development & Guidance Centre, PEC. 

Core Companies

Companies filling up the positions related to core engineering disciplines. For example, a mechanical engineering student opts for an automobile company or a manufacturing-related firm. An electrical engineering student prefers some instrumentation or automation company. Some renowned core companies are Ashok Leyland, Coal India, John Deere, Mahindra, ONGC, SAIL etc.

Non-core companies

There are companies that are not related to any of the core engineering disciplines and are thus called non-core companies. These companies shortlist students for various profiles such as business and data analyst, marketing manager, operation manager.... These companies focus on students with high aptitude, logical reasoning, communication and presentation skills. A few popular non-core companies are Infosys, Ernst & Young, Goldman Sachs, Mu Sigma, banks, investment firms etc.

Higher education

Civil and mechanical engineering students tend to go for higher studies. Options for Masters in Civil and Mechanical Engineering are available. After Masters, students can pursue PhD in the interested field, which can help them make a career as a professor or lecturer. 

“Many students prefer to go for civil services or seek jobs in public sector undertaking. They prepare for competitive examinations, which again can prove to be a great career option,” says Divya Bansal.

Role of parents

Some parents focus on getting their children into an engineering course without exposing them to other career options. Rather, they should let youngsters pick their own field of interest. Role of parents should be of a supporter or a facilitator. In case the ward fails to secure a job through campus placement, parents must understand, there are many options left to be explored.

Be proactive and take risks

“Some students are very enterprising. They prefer to set up their own ventures and start-ups,” adds Divya Bansal. For example, Sachin Bansal, an Indian Institute of  Technology alumnus, and Binny Bansal, the founders of Flipkart, began their own venture after gaining some international experience.

Opt for internships

“Students may also look for internships as these can help hone skills and offer the experience one needs to become a valuable candidate,” says Divya Bansal. Internships play an important role in shaping students’ career, who can prove themselves with their talent and skills. The duration of an internship is minimum 16 weeks and maximum 24 weeks, enabling the students to get exposure in tackling problems. The performance of the candidates is closely monitored and evaluated by their mentor. 

Apply on job portals

Graduates should apply for job profile of their interest through professional networks like LinkedIn, National Career Service or job portals like,, etc. These portals are updated timely for new job vacancies.

Check out other institutes 

Students should keep their eyes open for placement drives and job fairs at other nearby institutes in the region. Navneet Singh, Deputy Director, Placements, Chandigarh University, Landran, says, “Our university is conducting a Joint Placement Programme (JPP) since 2010–11, which is an ongoing process every year since then. There are more than 450 companies visiting Chandigarh University campus every year and students have unlimited opportunities to prove themselves and get the desired jobs in market.” Students from any institute can come and apply. Navneet says if any of the university student fails to get campus placement we have a Training and Placement Programme, through which we train the student for upcoming job opportunities. Navneet adds, “The JPP programme is run because there are some courses which our university does not run, so we look forward to other institutes to provide students for any such disciplines.”


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