'Price discovery' refers to the way in which the market arrives at a price for a commodity driven by supply and demand. The government is gradually moving towards a regime of 100% price discovery. That is, interests rates will be marked to market. I think it is high time we promote price discovery of our college graduates and get rid of campus placements.
What is the purpose of education? In my opinion, 'prepare youngsters to face life independently'.
'Is our educational trying to do this?' is eminently debatable. I would like to focus on one aspect of the system and argue (you are welcome to disagree) that campus placements do more harm than good.
Campus Placements Promote Irreverence
The purpose of education is not to get a job! That is a one-way ticket to unhappiness. Campus placements encourage kids to apply for jobs which have nothing whatsoever to do with the training that they have received. Nothing wrong with that, but I think they should be seeking that out on their own dime/time.
The placement process is a nice way for a corporate giant looking for a cheap workforce with a namesake degree. Not only does it represent spoonfeeding, it also promotes a sense of disrespect for the educational stream chosen and the overall process itself.
'Let us not bother trying to do well. XYZ is the requirements for placement. So as long as that target is met, let us coast along'. This is the gyan that seniors pass on to juniors. Placements take away the carrot to excel.
My point is that campus placement is at the forefront of choosing colleges and education streams! Then there are firms who hire electrical engineers and civil engineers not for their training as engineers but for their software skills. I find it bizarre that the very institute which imparted such training encourages students to chuck it within their very walls!!
Campus Placements promote hand holding
It is the duty of an educational institute to encourage independence. They should be urging to students to do their own research, knock on doors and seek for employment. It is amusing that institutions do very little to help students 'placed' in places of higher education, but are happy to get them a job! In fact, institutions sell themselves by their ability to get students placed!
I routinely see undergraduates (science or engineering) and even postgraduates who are diffident and not quite sure if they have what it takes.
It is the crying baby that gets the milk. We should encourage to recognise hunger and crying, instead of providing room service!
The skipped economy
A few years back I heard a fantastic talk by a former dean of IITM. He detailed how it is natural for countries to progress from an agricultural economy to an industrial economy and to a service economy. He lamented that we skipped the industrial economy altogether and jumped from being an agricultural economy to a service economy.
When the economy opened up in the early 90s (because we were forced to), we missed a chance to become an industrial power. Had we done that, we would have had actual engineers instead of those with just an engineering degree. Industrialist would have been forced to spend money on research which would have employed scientists and given the engineers new ways to apply stuff. Our children who go abroad for an MS would be employable here. Instead, we all know what happened. We started servicing other people's problems. They cough and we catch a fever.
Let us stop and think how much of these placements are for the service industry. We have gone and found ourselves a cushy spot, much to the delight of employers and abetted by institutions.
Yes, we have a freedom to work where we want, but that freedom should be earned by independent effort and by price discovery in the open market.