I was recently at the Techstart and the challenge of unemployment in IT industry for fresh engineers was more than obvious. The ones who took initiative to roll out Techstart, namely Persitent and Pune Tech group had clearly underestimated the "graveness" of this crisis. While about 250 un-employeed engineers of 2009 were expected to participate, the number turned out to be more than 800.

I was overwhelmed with this number, because it meant that start-ups could possibly hire good talent a reasonable price. While it was a crisis, it shouldnt be wasted [as what Ron Emanuel had said]. Anand Deshpande of Persistent rolled out Techstart and his opening remarks outlined the story of Stanford Class, which had leveraged the crisis. The statistics - number of start ups founded, new products rolled out were encouraging, especially for the entrepreneurs. And I also realized that Microsoft was also not going to waste the crisis. No wonder, Microsoft agreed to train students on Azure, which is into Community Preview mode.I decided to try and replicate the Standford Class model on a smaller level.

The Techstart gave start-ups and small companies, an opportunity to present for 3 min about the organization and opportunities  to the present 800 students. And I knew that, from the point we made this presentation, our mail boxes would be flooded with resumes. Our management team was excited- to create new project and product opportunities.

In less than a week, we have received more than couple of hundred resumes and we have conducted aptitude tests for more than 100 to shortlist about 20 students. While we were discussing about the projects, we ran into discussion of commitments. We had planned for the projects to run for a year and so we asked students to commit us their time for 13 months. To our dismay, a lot of students turned down these opportunities.

Being closer to market, I realize that the global slowdown is to stay for another 18 months atleast. The latest editions of Times Ascent, India's biggest print edition for IT jobs is depressing for job seekers.

Looking at both the sides, I am perplexed. Why are fresh engineering graduates not ready to commit to 12 months of their sincerity and dedication to a decent paying job? Is it because their hopes of getting a very high paying job still on? Or is because 12 months is a too long period for commitment? Or is someone showing them dreams of market revival (Well yes, few students who refused for a commitment of 12 months had consulted thier parents!)?

Or are we not in crisis yet?

I have some thoughts, but it is best left to each individual to decide on one's commitments and sincerity. I, however feel that this attitude can be a hindrance to innovate or leverage the crisis.

  • Posted on 2009-07-23
  • posted by Dhiraj
  • Comments(299202)