There are people saying that the Indian IT sector is going through a slump. And there are people who are denying this as well. However, a new report from ET which is based upon sources the publication spoke to at various colleges across the country, paints a worrying picture of the future. According to reports, the lower rung Indian engineering and business colleges are likely to see a smaller turnout of IT companies this year.

In the Indian education system there are colleges, and there are colleges. On the top you have the IITs and the IIMs, which attract the best companies with the best packages. These places don’t really attract bulk hirings as IT companies prefer bulk hiring through lower rung, Tier 2 and 3 colleges — because the salary they need to offer is significantly lesser than what is offered at the premium institutions.

So, while the tier 1 colleges are likely to survive through what is being hailed as a tough period for the Indian IT industry, the lesser known colleges could well take a hit as a lower turnout of IT companies — which form the core of employers at such institutions — takes place.

Speaking on the topic, Pinaki Dasgupta, dean-placement and corporate relations at International Management Institute, said:

One thing has emerged very clearly: jobs in the lower end of the value chain will not be outsourced. More skill-oriented ones will be outsourced, which in effect will mean only colleges with a better name, better teaching pedagogy and better knowledge capital can survive.

Indeed, many colleges are also encouraging their students to opt for higher studies. Well established colleges like the NITs are also worried by developments, considering that the IT sector is one of the biggest employers of engineers in the country,

Indeed, some of the smaller IT firms have already started pulling back job offers made earlier. While the bigger firms are sticking to the offers they have made so far, pundits believe that fewer of these could be made this hiring season.

Speaking on the topic, a Wipro Spokesperson told ET:

We take a multifaceted approach toward hiring. We hire talent from colleges and train them on new and emerging technologies, train existing talent on new technologies to fulfil demand and also hire senior level laterals from the market. We will honour the offers that have been made and will continue to hire from campuses. We do not provide hiring guidance.

Infosys said something similar, adding that placements are driven by business needs.

There are signs in other places as well. Many researches conducted across the past few months believe that the IT sector may be seeing a 20+ percent fall in hiring over the recent months.

There are those that deny these reports as well. For instance, Indian Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad recently stated that he did not believe there was a slump in the market. Regardless, IT companies are not hiring as many people as they did last year. This may be a temporary thing and could pass, or this could point to a worrying future for college students, a majority of whom start off their jobs as IT professionals.

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