Good College or Good Branch

Decision Time: Counselling at the Time of Admission

Should I go for Good College or Good Branch. It is a dilemma which is faced by every single student after clearing engineering entrance examination. Even if student gets selected for admission to any IIT. This dilemma is faced by them. Whether they should go by best IIT or best branch at average level IIT. Ever since I have started giving tips to engineering aspirants, every year after entrance result. I get query related with this dilemma.

There are 119 different courses available in JEE Advanced 2014. Some of these are very much popular and known. But, most of us don’t know scope, syllabus, use of most of the courses in the list. Every person has different opinion about best and worst IITs. The dilemma comes as it is going to decide the future of the student. Parents want their children to study the best possible stream once the results are out. Definition of best possible stream would be “A Stream which will let their kid to a secure, easy to find job, with a handsome salary and have growth opportunity”. Only problem is very few persons know in detail about each stream and depending on the interest and ability of a student, which could be the best stream for a particular student.

Yes, ranking of stream will change for every student. Some may find computer interesting, some may find aviation interesting. One can’t do well without having an interest. But, here there is one more problem. I’m not referring towards interest as passion towards something. I’m referring towards a branch whose syllabus may suit the interest of a student. It may happen that someone who is brilliant in chemistry and comparatively weak in Mathematics have passion to be aeronautical engineer. But, aeronautical may not be a better branch for him/her to excel in his career.

It is very hard to find such a person who can guide a student perfectly, taking into consideration likes and dislikes of student for a particular topic. It is advisable to talk to as many counselor as possible to know about choice of course and college which you can get in a particular branch. But, just take advise, decision about order of preference should be of student. For admission into IITs, the following attached PDF file (Jee Advanced Counseling Brochure 2013) is send to successful candidates. It have a major part giving details about each and every branch or courses available in IITs. It should be read thoroughly to understand structure, syllabus, applicability and scope of a branch. Depending on the strength, command and interest of a student and its use for a particular branch, ordered list of branches with college should be made.

Some streams are good or specialty of a particular IIT. This would mean you would get best faculty, resources, lab instrument and scope. So, once you have understanding about your preferential list of branches or streams. Get information about best IIT to study the course from. You can get such information by getting in contact with few IITians.

For Non-IIT Candidates

Till now, I gave course selection tips only for those who are successful in JEE Advanced. Now, for those who have to select course and college after clearing JEE Mains or state engineering entrances, the path is not so easy. They can either go for best possible college with not-so-popular branch or best branch in an average college or below average college. It is a general consensus to go for the best branch and not best college. However, I always believe to go for the best college in a good city for whatsoever branch one can get. I’m going to explain various reasons why I believe so. First, let me explain how branch is less important and college is more.

Is Branch Really so Important

Would you go to any college for a Good Branch

Every Field Has Good Scope

If we talk about scope of the course, nearly all the field or branch have good scope, leaving behind newly introduced branch. Student from every branch can excel to top and get high salary. Not so popular branch like aerospace or marine has very high average salary compared to a mechanical or electrical. Most popular branch computer science have a very less average salary as it is over-crowded.

Future is Unknown

No one knows till when the job opportunity will be flooded in IT sector. Right now, even pass-outs from other branches are joining IT sector as supply of quality engineers is less than demand and it is not so hard for engineers from different stream to switch to IT field. Do you know in 90’s Mechanical or electrical were much more popular branch than computer science? Many engineers who could not get in mechanical and get C.S. in 90’s get to the top position in their company after IT boom.

Love of Student for a Branch is Illusion

I already explained this point above while explaining for IIT counselling. If a student loves to work on computer, it does not mean he can find interest in Computer Science. Computer Science requires sound logical and analytical ability. Many a times students desires to choose a branch just for sake of affection to its applicability.

Sector Change

My brother is a Mechanical Engineer from IIT Kanpur. But, he is working in a Top IT company. Many of my friends with various streams of engineering are with me working in Insurance Company. Many bureaucrats are engineers with no use of their engineering knowledge. The point is you don’t know whether you are going to work in the same sector you are choosing as your engineering branch.

Importance of Better College

Better Resources

Getting education from NIT Trichy is always going to be better than NIT Jamshedpur. One will get better professors, better labs, better environment at a better college. Quality of education always play better role at key positions in life. It gives value to your résumé.

It may be given examples that a college which not even comparable to premium IIT like Manipal has alumnus at key positions of Microsoft and Nokia. However, both of them Satya Nadella or Rajeev Suri are at Managerial position which is a skill not honed by Manipal. On an average, a student from a better college have much more chance of achieving successes quickly.

Better connections

Even if one gets not so popular branch in a better college, he/she may have on an average better friends or better connections from college. I’m not saying it helps in progressing in life. But, it do help in tough times. Every one wants influential friend network.

Better Environment

Better college may give opportunity for better opportunity in extra-curricular activity. Even many prepare for civil services GATE, GRE, CAT etc. while being in engineering college. This gives them better ambiance for preparing for such competition.

Chance of Better Branch Change After First Year

Nearly every college has an option to change branch at the end of first year based on their performance in first year. This is a very huge benefit. My brother got 2400 AIR in IIT JEE 2002 and got 5 years integrated MSc Mathematics and Scientific Computing at IIT Kanpur. Based on his excellent performance in first year, he was able to shift his branch to B. Tech Mechanical after first year.

So, one have a chance to upgrade the branch if he/she is not satisfied at the end of first year if he/she went for average branch in better college. Those who went for best branch don’t get the chance to upgrade to better college ever.

Ranking of Colleges

I’m just giving an outlook about college ranking. However, actual ranking may differ the pattern given by me.

  1. Premier Ones: Old IITs and BITS Pilani
  2. Tier 1: NITs and State Bests
  3. Tier 2: New IITs
  4. Tier 3: Have a name
  5. Tier 4: Not so popular

As already told, it is just an outline, actual ranking may not follow the same pattern.

You can go for not so popular branch till Tier 2 colleges as better college. Till Tier 3 you may look for branches like mechanical, electrical, electronics as better college. If you are getting Tier 4 college, which gives some placement, go for only Computer Science. These colleges gets very less core companies other than IT for placements.

I’m sure the my view point would definitely help a lot towards easing your dilemma about Good College or Good Branch. It would be good to share your ideas and queries by giving comment below. I’m you would like to share your thinking.

If you like the above article, I’m giving links for articles written on similar topic by me:

  1. How Good Are The New IITs
  2. When Should I Start Preparing for IIT?
  3. JEE: Should I Take A Drop?
  4. How to Prepare for JEE Mains After Appearing for 12th Board
  5. Most Suitable Date for JEE (Main) Online Test
  6. New Pattern: What is JEE?
  7. IIT JEE: What should be Strategy for Partial Droppers?
  8. How to Prepare for IIT JEE?
  9. Kota: Paradise for IIT JEE Aspirants
  10. Role of Coachings in IIT JEE selection
  11. Hopes Beyond IIT
  12. IIT JEE: What should be the strategy for repeaters?