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Choosing an engineering college

Published On: 08 May 2013 | Last Updated On: 10 May 2013

The period after a student’s Class 12 exams is a crucial decision making period, where important career decisions are made. A student must decide between various higher education options based on interest and aptitude. Among various higher education options engineering courses are extremely popular among Indian students. To cater to the huge demand for engineering a large number of colleges and institutions have arisen in India. The high demand for engineering seats has resulted in an increased cost for a seat. Despite government attempts at regulating the cost of engineering seats, prices have spiraled upward.  Unfortunately, the high cost for an engineering seat does not always guarantee quality. Many engineering colleges lack requisite infrastructure and faculty, and may seriously affect an aspiring engineer’s career. Student’s are advised to research and rate engineering colleges before they put down valuable money for an engineering seat. Keeping a few factors in mind, before joining an institution can go a long way in ensuring a successful career in engineering.

Rating an engineering college

A few criteria that have to be kept in mind while rating an engineering college. Visiting an engineering college will help a student get a first hand feel of the institute, as will talking to faculty and students. A simple rating method, where specific aspects of engineering colleges are given ratings by students themselves, can help a student decide whether an engineering college is worth applying to or not. The following are a few criteria based on which a decision can be made. The importance of a particular factor is indicated as a percentage, given in brackets:-

Placement (40%):

To consider the quality of placements, two factors should be kept in mind- a) the number of companies participating in placements, and b) the types of companies that recruit students in bulk. Downloading Mandatory Disclosure information from college websites will allow a student to identify the average percentage of placements over various branches in different colleges. Details such as lists of companies and the number of offers provided may also be found on some college websites. Checking the percentage of placements in different branches is important for obtaining a branch-wise placement record. For example the biggest recruiters in engineering today are IT companies who recruit from circuit branches like ECE, EEE, IT, CSE etc. therefore, the percentage of placements in these particular branches should be high.

Infrastructure (20%):

Nowadays, most engineering colleges have impressive buildings and campuses and it is easy to be fooled into thinking that this is an indicator of quality education. However, what really matters, from an infrastructure standpoint, are the laboratories provided. It is important to have well equipped laboratories with all the required facilities for a chosen discipline. The presence of modern equipment, the number of books per student available in the library, e-journals subscriptions, etc. are some key factors to be considered while choosing an engineering college.

Faculty (20%):

The availability of experienced faculty for each engineering course in an institution is an important factor to consider. In good colleges most faculty members often have more than 5 years of experience.  If the team of faculty members has a combined experience of 10 to 20 years then the overall quality can be considered good. Aspirants are also advised to interact with senior students at a potential college if possible, to gauge the quality of faculty.  

Company tie-ups (20%):

Colleges with industry tie ups are to be given more weightage. Industry links with the research wings of reputed firms means that a college is carrying out relevant, industry specific research. Also the presence of company sponsored research departments is a sign that the college is a quality institution.

Once relevant information for colleges in each of the above mentioned areas is collected, a student can rate the colleges. On adding the scores a student has given to a college in each area, if a score lesser than 35% is obtained, a student must omit that institute from his/her consideration. Joining an institute which has scored less than 35% on your rating, could seriously impede your chances of a successful career.

Engineering is an extremely popular subject taken up by high schools graduates. A student’s career prospects after completion of an engineering course could improve drastically. However, there are a large number of institutes which are set up simply to take advantage of the high demand in engineering. The sheer existence of such a high number of colleges itself means that there is a high chance that the quality of many will be low. Therefore, it is extremely important that a student should do background research on an engineering college before taking admission in the same.

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