Nearly 85 lakh fresh graduates stare at a bleak future amid pandemic in This year

Nearly 85 lakh fresh graduates stare at a bleak future amid pandemic in This year

Nearly 85 lakh under graduate and post graduate students who are to pass out from various universities this year would be staring at a bleak future as corporates halt hiring, especially the recruitment of greenhorns.

“Over the last one year campus recruitment improved, especially from MBA colleges, a sign that companies were optimistic about the future. But the life is going to be a tad difficult for graduate freshers, who could join some online finishing schools or take up some apprenticeship programmes, till hiring resumes,” Rituparna Chakraborty, Co-founder and Executive Vice President at human resources firm TeamLease Services told BusinessLine.

This academic year, a 6-8 month delay is expected in on-boarding freshers, while a further lag would compound job market woes as a similar number is expected to come out in the next year too.

LATERAL, FRESHER ON BACKBURNER

“Now with Covid-19, it would not matter much how pedigreed their graduation is. The employers themselves are fighting for survival, and somehow, they have to sustain for the next 3-6 months. In general, whether it’s lateral or fresher hires, all will be in the backburner for now,” she added.

In the academic year 2018, about 64.7 lakh students passed out of under graduate courses and 15 lakh in post graduate. These include conventional three-year degree courses and professional degrees (law, engineering, medicine, business and management courses). Every year, 10-14 lakh engineers graduate.

A similar amount of pass out is expected this year also, even though many examinations were postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Pramod Maheshwari, Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer at Career Point said: “About 75 per cent of students who graduate opt for a job rather than higher studies, and this year with the slowdown in economy I don’t see fresh recruitment happening in the next 6 months. And if the slowdown prolongs for more than a year, then the same number of freshers would be joining the job-hunting queue.”

“I don’t think recruiters have also concluded their placement sessions during the first two months of this year,” he added.

For universities April and May are generally the time of final examinations, but they are postponed this year due to the lockdown.

Covid affects bottom of the pyramid

A number of people who come out of colleges pick up entry-level jobs, with about 15-20 per cent joining field force and customer-facing positions, Kamal Karanth, co-founder at specialist staffing company Xpheno, said. This time, these were the first to be laid off.

“Following the Covid-19 outbreak, many firms are curtailing the number of field staff as there is no growth, and on the contrary there is contraction of business,” Karanth added.

With GDP being projected to grow by two per cent, and companies are trying to stay afloat and avoid pink slips, it’s a long road to recovery for the economy and the new graduates.

 

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