Public or Private sector: Which Sector Do Graduates Opt For

GraduatesIn 2009, newspapers had reported that IIM graduates gave public sector jobs the first preference, keeping in mind the job security factor in mind during the global economic slowdown. Things seemed to have changed again – newspapers have recently reported that IIM and other premier B school graduates are opting for private-sector jobs this year, considering that the economy is reviving and pay packets are getting heftier.Is this the trend being followed by the graduate student community all over India?

“It is a well-known fact that private companies pay much higher salaries than the public sector or Govt jobs. But in private companies, it is like one mad rush to compete against each other to reach the top, unlike the public sector where usually promotion is based on seniority basis and competition is not so intense,” says Chiranjeet Vohra,* a 2009 pass-out from Indian Institute of Foreign Trade (IIFT), Delhi.

“I opted for a PSU job as I wanted to build a solid foundation to my career – which I feel one can learn only from a job in the public sector, as you encounter all kinds of people here – the good, the bad, the game changers and the lazy lot. Basically, one learns a lot in this process”, continues Chiranjeet.

Mindsets seem to have changed for a few who would not always vie for a foreign job via a private company or a job that has perks and benefits all its way.

Chetna Singh*, a graduate from Faculty of Management Studies, Delhi, who is working for a public-sector undertaking says, “Undoubtedly, a public-sector job brings in job-security, but, there is also a need in the younger generation to do their bit in this sector. We can incorporate elements of efficiency and effectiveness, which we learn in our B-schools, to turn around systems for better results.”

There is another set of opinion who is not in favour of public sector jobs and would also opt for private companies.

Chandan Mitra, who started his career in a Govt job, a year back, says, “The Govt sector in India is yet to change. I was disappointed with the sluggish work culture and low salary packets in the Govt sector. So, I have switched over to a private sector job, where my compensation is slightly better. There is a vast difference in the work cultures in both the sectors.”

Vaishali Upadhyay*, who was placed in a multi-national FMCG company by her college placement cell, says, “Who wouldn’t strive for money and a cushy job in today’s day and age? Money is security and as human beings we all compete with each other – be it in the public sector or the private sector. I simply detest the laidback professional attitude in the public sector, hence, I opted for a job in a private company.”

Like the Cola wars, there shall always be an ongoing debate as to which sector is a favourable place to work for: pubic or private? The answer it seems lies in perceptions of the democratic voices of young Indians – some who would like to be agents of change in a traditional system and some who would like to be change-makers in their own personal way and be satisfied with their professional lives.

* Name changed on request


- Suniet Bezbaroowa (views expressed in the article are that of the author)


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