Monday, 15 July 2019

What placement opportunities do tier 2 and 3 college students have?

One of the most important questions that all Tier 2 and 3 college students want an answer to is “what placements opportunities do they have?”
Let us first understand the types of companies that come for recruitment.
Types of Companies
In the Software Engineering sector, there are primarily 2 types of companies:
  • Product companies: Product companies develop specific products. They do not provide custom development services. For instance, Google, Facebook, etc. These companies have specific products like Google Search, Google Drive, Google Maps, Gmail, etc. They don’t develop anything custom for other customers. Their focus is on some key technologies which they use in their products. As an example, Google invests heavily in Machine Learning. The above examples of Google and Facebook are those of Consumer Product companies. There are also companies that provide Enterprise products like Oracle, Tableau, etc.
  • Services companies: Services companies provide custom software development services to large enterprises. For instance, TCS, Infosys, Wipro, Cognizant. These companies aren’t really known for their products (except few). They are primarily known for providing manpower in the form of Software developers. Basically, they hire Software developers at a low salary and then deploy these developers on-site to various clients where they write code. If the client is large, a team of Software developers may be deployed, along with a project manager.
Product companies may also occasionally take software development projects, but they do not supply manpower in the form of on-site developers.
These were the functional differences between product and services companies. Talking in terms of career growth, salary and future, there are far more differences between the two. Product companies are generally known to pay far better than services companies. This is because of the fundamental differences in the business models - while product companies make money on the quality of the product, services companies make money on the difference between what they charge the client per Software developer and what they pay to the developer.
Generally speaking, the IT services companies do “mass recruiting”. Which means that they hire several tens of thousands of freshers every year. They, in fact, go to college and hire the entire batch for salaries as low as Rs. 15,000 - Rs. 20,000 per month. A large number of these college freshers do not have any skill in programming and so, they don’t have any other alternative than to work at these IT services companies.
They get paid low, they have to work for long hours and the career growth opportunities are negligible. Many such IT services firms make the candidates sign a 1 to 2-year bond since they know that clients projects take time to complete. Overall, the work conditions at an IT services firm are not ideal for a great career in Software engineering and if you are a serious candidate, you should really aim to build a career in a Product company.
How to find product companies?
There are plenty of them. You are already aware of the well-known ones - Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, etc. Getting into these companies is generally difficult since either they hire only from IITs/NITs/BITS, or, they hire 1 - 2 top-notch competitive programmers from Tier 2 and 3 colleges. These days, Microsoft and Amazon have started to hire from Tier 2 and 3 colleges as well.
India is growing fast and a lot of startups are coming up. Most of them are around some key product. These startups are always looking to hire Software developers for their core platform, website, mobile app, etc. This opens up a great opportunity for you. Startups offer better salaries, better work conditions and they also value you as an employee. Additionally, there is a huge learning opportunity for you since you get to build things from scratch rather than work on marginal improvements on something already developed.
How to reach out to startups?
Over the years, AngelList has become a hub for startups to hire talented candidates. Many good startups look for Software developers on AngelList and therefore, you should certainly utilize the power of this platform. You can also check for jobs on LinkedIn.

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