No qualms quitting job for IIM, B-schools see uptick in number of candidates with work experience

By Nivedita Ganguly & Deepa Nair , Business Line | 3 July, 2013.

Mumbai: Global economic slowdown notwithstanding, new batches at the Indian Institute of Managements (IIMs) are seeing a higher representation of candidates with work experience as against freshers. A tough employment environment has not deterred candidates from giving up their jobs and getting an IIM tag for securing better career profiles.

For instance, in IIM-Calcutta the percentage of candidates with up to 24 months of work experience in current batch of 2013-15 has increased to 42 per cent against as compared to 39 per cent in 2012-14 batch. Overall, the current batch has 71 per cent of its students with work experience. Similarly, IIM-Bangalore has 81 per cent of candidates with work experience in the 2013-15 batch. More than one fourth of candidates have work experience between 25 and 36 months.

At IIM Kozhikode, freshers comprised of 42 per cent of the total strength last year and this year the provisional number is down to 39.5 per cent.

“While globally, candidates seeking admission in B-schools candidates need to have at least three years of work experience, this trend is increasingly gaining prominence in India,” said Achal Khanna, CEO, Society for Human Resource Management (India). In difficult economic conditions, companies prefer experienced candidates since they have a quicker learning curve and faster turnaround time, she added.

In India, about five to 10 years ago, most top schools had a large number of freshers, except few institutes such as the Indian School of Business, Hyderabad, where work-experience has always been a pre-requisite.

But premier B-schools in India say that understanding workplace dynamics is an important element in management courses.

“We have seen that the students with close to two years have the best choices (for jobs) since they can apply for laterals (placements for students who had work experience before joining the course) as well as opt for fresher jobs,” said Sapna Agrawal, Head of Career Development Services, IIM-B. Salary for laterals is generally 25 per cent higher than that offered to fresh graduates.


Those with four or more years of experience are likely to be hired by companies in verticals similar to where they have worked earlier. “However, a large number of companies hire for entry level managerial positions. In fact, students looking for a change from their earlier domain actually prefer to join these entry level positions in a domain of their choice,” Agrawal said. Last year, around 40 to 45 companies made a total of 99 offers during laterals placements at IIM-B.

During the last placements at IIM-C, 70 firms visited the campus during the laterals process and 125 offers were made, where there was participation from 42 new recruiters.

Apart from financial services, banking and IT and ITES firms, laterals placements this year have seen a substantial increase in jobs from sectors such as pharmaceutical companies, e-commerce and data analytics firms.

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