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First phase of IIT placements sees just two job offers with American profile

An old adage goes: “One leg of an IITian is in India, the other in Air India”, referring to the pull of jobs in America. This year though, many of India’s blue chip tech colleges do not have a single US offer. Last year’s leading recruiters, such as Microsoft and Uber, picked students only for Indian profiles. As the first week of placements 2020 comes to a close, the fewer international roles, already on the wane over the last few years, came mostly from Taiwan, Japan and Singapore.

While American firms participated in the process, conducted the hiring drill of taking tests and holding interviews, placements offices are unclear about their decision with companies such as Microsoft not declaring their final list of candidates for the Redmond campus. IITs in Madras, Kharagpur, Guwahati, and Hyderabad, confirmed that there was not a single offer from the US thus far. One US offer was made to a student in IIT Bombay and one to another in Kanpur.

While the IITs recorded two offers from USA, those from Singapore, Japan and Taiwan ruled the placement 2020’s phase 1. IIT Madras, which saw 14 international offers being accepted, had five from Japan, six from Singapore, three from Taiwan. Similarly, at IIT Guwahati, six offers were from Japan and one from Singapore. IIT Delhi had 15-plus international offers, but the institute refused to divulge the countries or companies that made these offers. At IIT Hyderabad, students received 30 international offers from two countries: Japan and Taiwan.

At IIT-Bombay, US profiles were offered only by two firms — Cohesity and HiLabs. After the placement interviews, however, the IT giant Cohesity picked students only for Indian roles, and HiLabs picked one student for the US profile. “The slow economy, visa policies and the pandemic are some of the reasons for declining jobs in the US. Also, this year, with the pandemic, many software firms have adapted to the work-from-home format, which may not be extended for profiles with larger pay packets. They would want to wait for some time,” said a student representative.

A professor in-charge from one of the older IITs said that firms that usually offer US roles probably wanted to wait for five to six months to see how the pandemic plays out. “Some of the firms have not declared US offers, despite the interviews. There is a possibility that they would offer Indian roles and con-vert it at a later stage. Anyway, the batch has six months to graduate,” said the professor, adding that travelling anywhere in the world could be a problem for international roles in this pandemic.