Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Does College Quality Influence the Expectations of Engineering Students about the Corporate Life? an Indian Experience

Academic journal article International Journal of Management

Does College Quality Influence the Expectations of Engineering Students about the Corporate Life? an Indian Experience

Article excerpt

It is beyond doubt that the current generation of students has their own perceptions and expectations about the work place and this phenomenon happened because of the changing demographics and increased awareness about the work environment prevailing in various industries. The main objective of this paper is to identify those factors that could influence the expectations of young engineering graduates about the workplace. Data with respect to the academic and demographic details about 416 engineering students from different colleges in and around Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu, India which is known as an educational hub in South India. The correlation and subsequent regressions analysis revealed that the quality of college has an important influence on the expectations of engineering students about their corporate life. The outcome of this study is of much relevance to the Human Resources managers to strategize the corporate image of the firm that can attract best talents especially engineering graduates, to their organization.

Introduction

Gone are the days when people just wanted a job with least consideration for the working conditions prevailing in various industries. With the advent of Multinational Corporations (MNC), there has been a sea change on the concept of working environment. It has been reported that there could be shortages of skilled employees for MNCs in countries like India and China (Budhwar, 2004, Gupta and Wang, 2007). Studies showed that there has been a tendency amongst students preferring MNCs to Small and Medium Scale industries (SME) as their first career choice (Teo and Poon, 1994, Moy and Lee, 2002). These factors led to the increased need on the part of MNCs to brand their organization in such a way to become an employer of global choice in order to ensure uninterrupted supply of appropriate talent from these countries (Schüler and Tarique, 2007). Employers started projecting the work culture as their USP (Unique Selling Proposition) for attracting good talents to the organization. This has been clearly evident with the dawn of software services industry in India whereby the conditions at the workplace started improving to a greater extend. Such an improvement in turn resulted in escalating the expectations of prospective employees about the workplace through an increased awareness mainly propagated by the companies themselves for the purpose of being an employee-friendly firm.

In today's competitive business climate, an organization's human resources are often viewed as a competitive edge. In order to attract, select and retain the best talent, organizations are challenged to meet the demands of a new generation of young adults (Arnett, 2004). Understanding students' perceptions uncovers how "expectations influence experience so as to construct what becomes reality for the individual" (Gonyea, 2003). It was also observed (Super, 1990) that during late adolescence and early adulthood, the process of career planning become more important. Moreover, both junior and senior high-school students are capable of thinking about career and occupation regardless of their developmental stage (Pyne, D. et al., 2002). Hackett and Betz (1981) adopted Social Learning Theory to explain the career development by suggesting that people learn how to make career decisions and engage in career behaviours by observing others. However, such expectations of prospective employees are apparently influenced by many factors. Committing to a career choice is an important developmental task of late adolescence and early adulthood (Jepsen, D.A., 1984). In a longitudinal study (Elinor Edvardsson Stiwne, 2005), it was observed that the perception of students in the engineering streams is influenced by external factors like job market conditions, study related stress etc.

Prior to organization entry, candidates are evaluated through a process called recruitment by which employers would make attempt to attract the most suitable person who is likely to be successful in the organization. …

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