Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Guide to JEE Counselling 2013 (Part 1)

Selection of the branch and the campus is as an important task as clearing the JEE. It should not be based on a single parameter, be it placement statistics or the location. You need to take into a lot more parameters into account. Let me present some of those parameters which I think are important.

Parameters that you should consider to select a branch/subject:
  1. Passion for a subject: If you are really passionate about a subject/discipline, you should certainly select that subject.  All programs offered by the IITs give ample opportunities to those who put their mind and heart into it. To be passionate about something, the basic requirement is that you know that thing really well. Unfortunately most of you have very little idea about the different programs offered at the IITs.  You should try to find out as much as you can, what different subjects entail.
  2. Aptitude:  If you have aptitude for a subject, you tend to do well in that particular subject. For example: to do well in Economics, you should be good with numbers, calculus and logic. You should have a flair for writing and good oral communication skills. If you have a knack for these skills, you will do well in Economics. You should find out what skills are required to do well in the areas that you are actively considering. 
  3. Pay Package: This is something that most of you are asking about. The pay package that you get once you graduate from one of the IITs is not solely a function of your program.  Rather than looking for the best students, recruiters look for the students who best fit their profiles. These days companies visit IIT campuses with myriad of different profiles. There is no single best profile. You can follow your passion and still do well in terms of pay package because your profile will be suited for sufficient number of companies. Since I am taking about undergraduate program in Economics at IIT kanpur, I should add that our undergraduate students have done extremely well in the job market in absolute as well in comparison to the students of many engineering discipline.  Let me emphasize again that selecting a program solely based on pay package is not a good idea. 
  4. Future Prospects: It is also important to consider what will be the prospects available to you 10 years/ 20 years down the line. I have a relative who is a civil engineer. He graduated from one of the NITs in the early 80s. He  tells me a story about how his Principal tried to convince him and his classmates to change their branch to Computer Science and Engineering [CSE] which was, then, introduced for the first time in their campus and how he and his friends refused to move to CSE. Civil Engineering was considered a better branch at that time. Some of his classmates who were not doing well in the civil engineering department were forced to move to the CSE department. The classmates who moved to the cse are doing better on career front than the classmates who did not move. So, think ahead.
What I have presented here is not only incomplete but also highly reflective of my personal biases on the issue. For a comprehensive  view, Prof. Sanghi's blog on the same topic is a must read.

In next post, I am going to talk about parameters that you should consider to select a campus.

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