Thursday, August 07, 2014

Placements in colleges: now a history

All the folks in your graduation or post-graduation, please get ready to read this news in the media very soon. A lot of students have pinned their hopes on colleges for their lives ahead. All your hopes might come crashing down once this news becomes a reality soon. Prevention is better than cure. Instead of relying on the past record of history it would be quite helpful if students start relying on their own strengths and skills. Some of you might be wondering as to why this would happen very soon. Let me explain…

Few decades ago, there was nothing called as placements in colleges. Schools and colleges were meant to be places for pure education. They were just limited to teachers and students and a few other technical staff who would manage and run the entire show. Parents expected that their children would come out as the brightest students from the respective institutions and chose them based on the quality of teaching alone. Few years back, when the concept of placements was introduced into colleges, when few companies started recruiting people even before their graduation was complete it was a bonus for those students who performed really well up to the penultimate year in colleges. Since companies also could save time on interviewing a bunch of candidates just to select few, and hence save time, they collaborated with colleges to do the job of filtering the applicants. Even the few colleges chosen by companies, got the reputation amongst public for developing their students so well that they would be recognised by corporates even before convocation. So, it was a win-win situation for all. Unfortunately, as time passed this bonus no more remained a bonus; everyone wanted to make this bonus a part of the curriculum itself which started to ruin things in all directions for everyone. Applying facial make-up products at times can help you look better but applying them day and night shall only ruin your skin. The same started to happen in our education system.

Colleges were meant to concentrate to bring in good teachers, get good lab facilities, and conduct programs for overall development of students. Instead their focus shifted to getting companies to their campus to conduct placements for students. Naturally, the focus on earlier aspects reduced, and hence, the quality of education took a back seat. Companies also had to select students, no matter whether they were employable or not, only to maintain their good relations with the colleges due to past records and future hopes. On the contrary, students who chose colleges based on quality of education earlier, now started to blame the lack of quality, but still joined the same only with the hope for placements. Now, the students, who needed to concentrate on studying well and scoring good marks in tests, projects and exams, instead postponed their seriousness to the final year exclusively for placement tests and interviews. Obviously the subject knowledge went down in them. Hence the students’ quality also started decreasing cumulatively. Companies, who had tied up earlier with colleges depending on quality of education provided by the college and the quality of students graduating from the college, started losing hope on getting the best students from the college. Hence they stopped coming to colleges and students hopes went crashing down. Everyone was only losing in all directions. Colleges and companies started blaming students for lack of seriousness in studies and lack of skills while students started blaming colleges for lack of proper infrastructure and under-quality teaching. It only became a more vicious loop day by day as years passed by.

This has to end somewhere and equilibrium has to set in at some time in the very near future. As people say, ‘History repeats itself’, people will start realising soon the mistakes of their predecessors and start adopting the conventions of their predecessors following the rule of ‘Old is Gold’. Colleges shall soon shift their focus on giving the right quality in education than running around convincing companies to hire their students. Companies shall become choosier before entering any college, or might wait until the right candidates apply directly. Students have no other option but to change because college rules and company laws are in the hands of few wise people who might implement the changes overnight but, a student’s life is only in the hands of him/her. You need to make a wise choice for your life. You can no more depend on the college campus placements for deciding your future. Choose a college for the right quality of education, learn your subjects well, give your best in studies to score the best marks, use the time in college to develop yourself in multiple dimensions, and especially, take the help of teachers, not to adjust your attendance, but to clarify your doubts and answer your questions. Invest your time in developing yourself than your resume. It shall get built on its own and it shall speak to the company heads on your behalf in the interviews.

Many companies have stopped coming to colleges, many colleges have postponed their placement schedules, and many students are graduating out of colleges unemployed even with the best percentage. These are the signs to prove that the news in the title of today’s blog post is going to be in reality and in the media soon. Beware my dear students!

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