“I need experience to get a job, but I need a job to get experience.” – the eternal dilemma of college freshers

4th Nov 2016
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Students enroll themselves in engineering and MBA courses hoping to secure high-paying jobs and enjoy a dream life within a few years. However, their dreams shatter they fail to get shortlisted during the placement season. One of the most common reasons behind this is their lack of work experience.

For students who have neither relevant work experience, nor prestigious names like IIM, IIT and NIT on their resumes, this is serious dilemma. Even if they somehow secure a job, their salary would be well below their expected package. Many freshers break down as a result.

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Why does this happen?

Nowadays, most MBA and engineering colleges fail to provide quality education. Compared to theoretical lessons and assignments, the practical training and live projects offered by these colleges falls drastically short. In fact, many students only attend lectures to meet the required attendance. This lack of quality education coupled with the disinterest of the students creates a skill gap which keeps getting worse with time.

How to fight this dilemma

The root of this problem lies in the expectations you might have from yourself, from your college and from your course.

You may have studied in the best college, one that gave good placements in the past. So why has everything messed up when you're about to graduate? Perhaps only a few of your seniors secured good placements, which prompted you to seek admission in this college. At this point, you can't go back in the time and reverse your decision, but you can definitely take certain precautionary steps to minimise the consequences.

From an employer's point of view, the objective is to hire students who can add value to their organisation in the future. Since relevant experience is a clear sign that the student has worked a similar job in the past, they might believe that their organisation could save on training costs. Hence, students with experience are paid well, while inexperienced students are paid lower, thus balancing training expenses.

If you face such a situation, you can do two things: try your best to get the job even for a low pay, or back out from the interview.

You can go for option two if you're certain that you can get a better job on your own. But in case you have even the slightest doubt about this, choose the first option. Your decision will have long-term consequences, so be wise and focus on staying in the game rather than giving it up for nothing.

If you're offered a good profile at a slightly lesser salary, accept it and then try to excel at what you do. Remember, switching a job after a couple of years and getting a higher package is easier and more convenient than graduating without a job.

Did you face this dilemma in the past? How did you fight it? Feel free to share your experiences below.

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