PhDs explore avenues at 1st IISconnect

30 companies, 300 PhD students from IISc take part in industry-academia engagement

PhDs explore avenues at 1st IISconnect

As many as 30 companies and around 300 PhD students from the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) participated in the first-ever industry-academia engagement,  IISconnect, organised especially for them here on Monday. The initiative aims to increase opportunities for PhD students in the industry. 

Speaking on the sidelines of the programme, K J Vinoy, convener, Office of Career Counseling and Placement, IISc, said that in countries like the USA, there was a trend of PhD students joining the industry unlike in India. “I did my PhD in the USA and half my classmates took the industry route instead of academics. The conditions in India are now mature and conducive for the same as there are now a number of MNCs who require good researchers,” he said.

Nikita Ambasta, a fourth-year PhD student from the Department of Electrical Communication Engineering, is more keen on joining the industry than going into academia. “It is a struggle for PhD students to get into the industry, especially in India. The conditions are however definitely better than around 10 years ago. The IISconnect is a good platform to meet and get to know about the opportunities available,” she said.

Opportunities are steadily growing, be it in industry giants like TCS, or a startup like Jiva Sciences, a Bengaluru-based bio-med tech startup.

Representatives of both organisations talked about the presence of profiles that required good research backgrounds. Google, Qualcomm, Samsung, Huawei, and Delphi were some of the other companies that participated in the career fair. Every year, the placement season at IISc is usually dominated by postgraduate engineering students and very few PhD and research students participate.

Monday’s event is only aimed at starting a dialogue between the industry and research students and does not guarantee employment. “No doubt it's only a platform for engagement. However, it is a start. The students, if interested, can register with a company and they will take the matter forward,” said Vinoy. Another edition of IISconnect may be held in February next year and may become an annual feature.
  

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