Sunday, May 17, 2009

Name Unrecognized

It is nice to see someone who has been through the system say it like it is about the JEE entrance exam and why it is such a terrible means to a good (?) end - a post I happened by long after it was written.
I think that IIT kids were really brilliant at one stage, but a mind numbing system like the IIT, mind numbing profs and meaningless societal expectations just robs people out of their real passion for life.

Finally, very few in the US even today have heard of the IIT’s. The only companies who know are those hiring massive armies of coders. Its time people get over the IIT hype and start living a life.
I have lived and worked in several cities working for small to large companies in the US and am yet to meet a non-desi who is even familiar with any Indian universities, IITs included. To most of them us desis are this homogeneous glob of brown techies who can write reams of code and sometimes function in other roles within the technology business. Some of us are really good at what we do but there is absolutely no dearth of morons in our tribe as folks will be quick to point out.

We tend to be hard-workers and will not flinch at working late hours, holidays and weekends to make up for the lack of innate ability. We also tend not to be very expensive and that is generally pegged on the H1 status. While many of these characterizations maybe be cliches and stereotypes, they seem to have considerable sticking power.

One way or the other, a brown techie is likely to get the job done. That is not exactly a stellar reputation but is possibly responsible for the success the community has had in the job market. It would have helped all desis in the IT business at least, if the IIT-brand had the name recognition that it is supposed to have.


Anonymous said...

Brand awareness among decision makers is more important than common people. To give you an example U of Chicago MBA program is so much better than Yale MBA and anyone who has a choice will go to U of Chicago. But any common person who has no association with Business education and business world is more likely to be impressed with Yale MBA. IIT brand name is well known in all good education institution in US and is a strong brand name in Silicon Valley (where hottest companies in tech world exists). Go to Wall Street and many know IIT.

Heartcrossings said...

Anon - The average person in the American workplace (in the technology business i.e) is usually aware of the difference between a top Ivy School and say a Niagara University. This is not understanding that is location specific.

I was not referring to B-school education at all - the average desi-techie is not playing in that field usually. The fact that the IIT brand recognition is so limited and selective points to its lack of strength.

What is more, the brand is getting increasingly diluted so the cachet it once enjoyed is diminishing. Also, my point was the strength of the brand (or the lack of it) and what that means for the image of the desi techie in general in the world today. I don't see any evidence of a positive influence.

ggop said...

American recruiters and probably VCs in Silicon Valley know about IIT. They tend to dominate the likes of TieCon. That said, they have to prove they are good to gain respect and don't automatically get the awe they get in India.

ggop said...

Wanted to add, IIT is no Technion or Tsinhgua.