15 Sep 2015 18:10 IST

Recruiters find YIF graduates are lateral thinkers, have great communication skills

Salaries offered to Ashoka University's Young India Fellowship holders often match offers made to MBA grads

The placements for Ashoka University’s one-year postgraduate programme on Liberal Arts & Leadership — the Young India Fellowship (YIF) — have recently concluded and the programme can claim to offer one of the best returns on investment in education.

The average domestic salary offered to students of the one-year programme this year was around ₹10 lakh, which is at par with the salaries offered at many B-schools.

“For corporate jobs, our average salary is over ₹11 lakh. Even not-for-profit average salaries are over ₹7 lakh, and overall average salaries are around ₹10 lakh,” said Vineet Gupta, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Founder at Ashoka University.

Jobs across sectors

The total number of students who graduated from YIF this year was 194, of whom about 62 per cent opted for corporate jobs and 38 per cent chose social sector jobs. Thirty students decided to pursue higher education abroad. A total of 90 companies participated in the placement process, making 185 offers.

The YIF placements also point to the trend that most recruiters these days want employees to come with holistic training when it comes to problem-solving skills. “What recruiters appreciate in the YIF Fellows is their ability to think across disciplines, as management problems these days that are not concentrated on one discipline or one issue alone,” he adds.

Some of the subjects taught during one year at YIF are literature, statistics, maths, art appreciation, valuation, sociology, history and psychology.

Lateral thinkers

Business processing and consulting giant Genpact is one of the top recruiters at Ashoka's YIF, hiring for a variety of roles in strategy, lean six-sigma, and business transformation.

“YIF graduates are good at handling unstructured projects; they are lateral thinkers, have great communication skills, and are extremely confident while working with senior people to drive agendas,” says Sasha Sanyal, Global Head of Strategy at Genpact. “We find YIF candidates more flexible in a role where we don’t really need domain experts such as Finance and Marketing MBAs but require strong thinkers.”

The remuneration angle

The remuneration for (campus hired) YIF candidates at Genpact is a little less than — and at par with, in some cases — that for MBAs.

Compared with the monetary returns on business school education, YIF’s high return on investment can be largely attributed to its fee structure, which is ₹6 lakh (or less, if scholarship is awarded) for one year. The fees for any top MBA programme, on the other hand, could range from ₹14 lakh to ₹18 lakh for two years. Also, the Ashoka programme offers similar average salary and corporate roles that many MBAs would like to get.

Some of the recruiters who hired from the YIF programme this year are top campus recruiters at business schools too. They include the Boston Consulting Group, McKinsey, Microsoft, PwC, Schlumberger, Genpact, Goldman Sachs, Google, Citibank, and Cipla. The various roles offered ranged from business analysts and product managers to research associates and wealth managers.

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