Different take

Institutes are also hiring students by enlisting popular organizations as regular recruiters on their campus whereas a lot of these might not have employed a single student from that institute. Also, not all campus placements offer high salaries of great perks. Nor do they offer positions of repute or a great work profile.

Naturally, a student and very often their parents end up feeling deceived. Dejection is common post the placement week when offer letters arrive. Though a few companies are transparent about the offers made, many a times there is a fine print that has not been discussed earlier. A few companies also make students wait for months after their graduation and a few even drops out of the placement process altogether withdrawing the offers they have made.

Even the ones with confirmed offer letters cannot breathe a sigh of relief as many go on to discover after joining that the job profile initially discussed with them has changed or is radically different from what they had expected.

Myopic Vision

It would be wrong to assume that relying on placements is the cause of trouble. It is making a choice solely based on placement assurances that leads to a mismatch of expectations. Placement options available on campus are only stop gap arrangements that will meet your financial needs for the time being, but in Areng’s words doing what doesn’t interest you over the couple of years, will eventually lead to disillusionment and burnout.

Eliminating choices based only on placements is a myopic to temporary gains and is not indication of sustained long term success.

In India education is still largely related to monetary prosperity. Right from childhood we are conditioned t study towards a secure job. However, barring about 10 per cent at the top, most students who graduate from the many colleges in India, are incompetent to bag decent jobs. Hence an MBA irrespective of its course content but with its promise of lucrative careers is favored. Even the brightest student today wishes to get into a good B school only if has the potential to inflate pockets endlessly. A few bother to even check course content and pedagogy which are essential from a long term career perspective.

It is not just the students who are losing out because of this narrow minded approach to management education. When recruiters pick up such students from campus not all of them are worth the package offered. Additionally the company has to hour a heavy training and induction cost to train these MBAs to be fit for service. As a whole the industry is not able to deliver through such candidates.

However not all are of the opinion that students only seek an MBA for its placement opportunities. Students primarily aim at pursuing an MBA for enhancing their prospects because they believe that this qualification would differentiate his or her opportunities in making a good career. Indeed, they look at placements but their approach is that management degree will polish them as management graduates with better skills to become employable in reputed organizations.

However irony is that for at least some section of MBA aspirants placement records themselves have become the tests of an institute’s ability to impart quality education. The better the job offers’ the more people an institute is.

All is not lost

With the Advertising Standards Council of India (ASCI) recently having announced its decision to bring about a code of discipline to the claims of education institutes on maters such of educational institutes on maters such as affiliation accreditation and placements one hopes that some semblance is restored and credibility established.

While one can hope for but cannot be sure of the extent to which ASCI is able to implement its pronouncement B schools must also take it upon themselves to move away from the tag of glorified placement agencies that they have earned instead of churning out and presenting students as ideal packages ready to be employed by industry, they must focus on developing holistic managers skilled n leadership managerial qualities and fundamental ethics.

The media needs to exercise more vigilance while reporting facts need be verified before presenting to the public. There is a need to highlight that there is little merit in comparing management institutions based solely on dimensions of salary for a graduation class. If we need to compare we should seek answers to questions like how have the careers progressed? Or what has been the impact on industry and society.

Students and parents on their part must not lay down placements as the ultimate verdict in pronouncing an institute’s credibility. They must consider the institute’s history brand name faculty accreditations infrastructure industry and international affiliations and other such indications to judge an institute’s true standing. One can get insight by interacting with the institute’s alumni current students’ faculty and administration. There is a lot of information on websites and online forums as well, although not all of it is verifiable or authentic.

At the end of it, one must know that a placement cell can get you your first job out of campus but only sound education will ensure that you a long way on the success charts.