Wednesday, March 15, 2006

Job profiles, not salaries, are the in-thing

It was a Godforsaken two o’clock in the night when I put on the TV (for lack of a better thing to do), and was totally surprised to see the debate about IIMs and the students and the salaries they get and whether ‘they are worth their weight in gold’. The debate reeked of simplicity from the word go. Every discussion was finally brought onto one topic – ‘salary’. To put it in perspective, the show was bordering on being a joke. I guess media says what it wants.

It's all about profiles, honey

While it is true that salary is something in the mind of everyone who gets into an IIM and eventually passes out, I’ve personally seen these two years that the foremost thing for a LOT of students is to get the ‘job profile’ they want. This is not to say there aren’t people who look only at salaries. There were indeed a few who applied to jobs ranging from FMCG to B2B IT marketing to IT consultancy to selling Agriculture products in Africa to Equity research to Retail banking. In short, to jobs that seemed to pay the highest salaries. But these were few and far and almost always were the laughing stock in the campus. The majority almost always looked at the ‘job profile’. For example, some of my friends left jobs that paid about 2 lacs more for other jobs that catered to their specific interests like, say, FMCG marketing of IT consultancy.

The ‘other’ jobs

For any B-school graduate, there are jobs in Marketing, Finance, IT, Media, ITES, Operations and HR domains. And those 1+ lac dollar salaries are offered only to students who get into investment banking, which is a subset of the finance domain. Why doesn’t the media mention anything about salaries in other domains – marketing, IT etc? And how on earth could the ranking of B-schools be measured on things such as one high salary offered to one student? I was almost thunderstruck when there was a slide on highest salaries year after year and the conclusion was that IIMB has overtaken IIMA in 2006 as the best management school in India.

The other extremely surprising thing about the hype was that there was absolutely no mention about anything other than foreign placements. In reality, what is true is that even in B-schools like IIMs A, B and C, only around 25% of the students get these international offers, and only a subset of them get into these highest-paid investment banking roles. In other words, there is a lot more in placements – which I believe is but a small part of the IIM-package – than those investment banking jobs. It would be a disaster to give a wrong impression to public about what these schools really stand for.

Patriotism?

I really didn’t see the point behind brain drain and the whole debate about why IIT and IIM students have to stick themselves to India. I don’t think patriotism depends on where ones studies. I find all my batch mates as patriotic as every other Indian. Nothing more, nothing less. And honestly, I don’t think India would be half as much popular as the destination for talent pool as it is now without talented people going abroad.

As a little respite, the only good thing about the whole show was the emphasis on students who left campus offers to venture into entrepreneurship. Hope that coverage continues though… it could turn out to be a fillip to students who are pondering about starting something on their own.

21 Comments:

At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 10:12:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Govar,
That's a great informative blog..
You have presented the real truth,
other than the hype the media does...missing the inner details...
Good Day...
Regards,
Girish

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 4:47:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

a case of sour grapes....is what i think

 
At Wednesday, March 15, 2006 7:18:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Girish: Thanks.

@Anonymous: You mean the media hype?

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 3:40:00 AM, Blogger Prayank said...

nice post dear .. i wud disagree on one point .. i still believe that majority of ppl place salary at par with job profile (if not above) as a criteria for job... i have seen people who are consult focus thru out and suddenly take up an i-banking job.

Take this ... if a consult focus guy does not get Mckinsey or BCG shud he take lehman brothers or KPMG/Accenture/Delloite kinda job ...

what say ...

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 3:35:00 PM, Blogger Manish Saini said...

The media calls it Patriotism when an IIM grad leaves a lesser known singapore company offering dollars equivalent to INR 40 lac to join BCG India for INR 14 lac. :-)
What else can you expect???

By the way....is it possible for 'us', the passouts to contribute on ilife?

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 7:39:00 PM, Blogger harry said...

nice musings..but this year hype has been tremedous and being a B school student i can see the power of the IIMs..well penned out thought..i think there should be tremendous pressure on the remaining 75% to feel a bit left out when nobody talks abt them.. how is the feeling govar amongst the others who get jobs which they like but not the glamorous ones..

 
At Thursday, March 16, 2006 10:54:00 PM, Blogger Jam said...

Hey Govar,

The fact that you've got a broadband connection at home is evidenced by the frequency of your posts. Man, this whole being out of campus thing is killing me, at least in terms of internet connectivity.

Cheers........Jam

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 3:31:00 PM, Blogger Jammy said...

Just one word - Affirmative

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 3:31:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Prayank: Very true. Come to think of it, students have *decent focus*... a kind of focus they are willingly to stick on unless the opportunity cost of missing somethingg else is huge. For example, a guy who's focused on consultancy might think twice abt leavigng an i-bank job... but not about FMCG or someting else.

@Jam: Mine's a dialup... but decent one.

@Harry: Pressure on the rest of us? Hardly! Actually, nobody except the media cares.

@Saini: Ofcourse... i doubt if any
junior is going to contribute... iff you want it, I can let u know the username/passwd. Just post... but signoff wiith the Saini Class of 2006.

 
At Friday, March 17, 2006 3:32:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Jammy: Comments at 3 sec difference. :)

 
At Saturday, March 18, 2006 9:15:00 PM, Anonymous spark said...

machan, here's the URLs of fellow bloggers in our batch

http://dippity.blogspot.com
http://athenaatwork.blogspot.com

These 2 blog pretty regularly :) i'll send you an offine msg if there are other interesting things about the campus online.

http://indorelife.blogspot.com/

 
At Saturday, March 18, 2006 10:11:00 PM, Blogger Govar said...

@Spark: Thanks for the links machi. Btw, what's that indorelife thing? On the lines of ilife?

 
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