Factors to consider while choosing an engineering college
After the 12th Board exams, it seems there is no rest for the students wanting to pursue engineering studies. There’s a tirade of examinations to decide the college where you’ll spend the next four years of your life. But with the vast number of colleges already present in India and new colleges coming up every other day, how to choose an engineering college best suited to you?
Before opting for any private engineering college, there are some specific deciding factors which may help you make a wise decision.
1. Affiliation and Accreditation: These days in news we often find many colleges being shut down due to false accreditation. Before opting for a college, one MUST check if the college has proper accreditation (i.e. to a central governing body, like AICTE) and affiliation to a valid technical university of the state. For admission to new colleges, be sure to check the accreditation and affiliation details. These details can be found on the college website or on AICTE website or on the State Technical University website. This is of utmost importance hence one must ensure genuine details of the college.
2. College establishment: Reputation of a college is an important factor. One may not feel that way while enrolling, but after graduation it works like your identity tag in the job industry. Hence, do a thorough background-check of the college. If you are considering admission to a relatively new college, do make it a point to speak to the college management about the various facilities they provide.
3. Infrastructure: Infrastructure is one of the pillars supporting an institution. It is of vital importance that the college must have a good infrastructure with classrooms, lecture halls and most importantly laboratories. It would be a great discomfort having to attend lectures and classes in another college building (as happens in case of many new colleges). Be forewarned that the impressive buildings on the pamphlets are normally graphically designed. Please ensure that the college has the minimum requirements in terms of infrastructure by speaking to the locals or ex students who can vouch for it. If possible, do go and visit them before taking admission.
4. Laboratories: As engineering students, half of the academic schedule would go into labs right from the first year. Hence, the labs must be well equipped with ample lab assistants. This can be found out either from the college website or ex-students of the college.
5. Teaching Staff: Any engineering college is as good as the teachers who teach in it. AICTE has strict instructions that any teacher (basic lecturer) has to have an MTech degree. However, this is not the practical case in many colleges. In lesser known colleges, teachers are BTech passouts (sometimes even from the same college itself!) with very less teaching exposure. Before you apply to any college, you MUST check the teaching fraternity who are present in the college. Most good colleges have this information on their websites. However, if this information is not available, you can contact the college and ask for information on the teachers.
6. Pre-placement Training: In today’s recession times, finding a job after spending 4 years in engineering studies is something most students are worried about. However, they can’t just sit for the placements; they need to prepare for these exams. Students need to be given an environment to develop the extra-curricular skills through interaction with the industry and continuous learning. Hence, before choosing a college, it is essential to check for the campus placement preparatory facilities provided by the college.
7. Campus Placement: Due to the recession, companies are becoming very choosy in their recruitments. Also, they are going only to the top 10 or 15 private colleges in every state. Hence, one must ensure that the previous campus placement record of the college has been good and that the college has tie-ups with reputed companies for campus placements.
8. Industrial Trips: Although this might seem trivial, industrial visits or industrial internships are very important to engineering studies. Sadly, not all technical universities have introduced industrial internship as part of their academic curriculum. Hence, before one applies to a college, they must check if they have such internships in their curriculum.
9. Cost of education: Of course another important thing, which most parents ironically consider first, is the cost of the education. Private engineering colleges will definitely be costlier than government ones. Some colleges are transparent in their expenses whilst others are not. It is important to have a clear knowledge about which category your desired college falls into.
10. Co-curricular Activities: All work and no play, makes Jack a dull boy. This saying is very apt in today’s engineering studies. Prospective employers are looking for students with a complete personality i.e. someone who balances academics and co-curricular activities. Before applying to a college, do check if they have avenues for sports and cultural events. These might not seem very crucial to selection of a college, but it plays an important role in the all round development of a student.
11. Location of the college: Although this might seem a very trivial matter, many students don’t like the location of the college with respect to distance from main city, lack of amenities around the campus, poor transport facilities to the main city, etc. Sometimes the campuses might be situated at the outskirts of the city with means of basic amenities at a distance as far as 15-20 kms. It might become very cumbersome to travel such a distance (especially in times of medical emergencies). Further, please do check if the city is prominent enough to be a centre for competitive exams like IAS/CAT/GATE, etc. This will prevent lot of journey time. If not, check for the closest prominent cities which may be exam centre. Hence, location of the college must be kept in mind before applying.
12. Availability of Coaching Centres: Availability of coaching centres around the college and the outlook of the college management towards students taking those courses can also be an important factor. For students interested to appear for competitive exams after their Btech, these centres play an instrumental role in their preparations. If such centres are available at close proximity to the college, it would save lot of time on travelling to and fro everyday.
13. Others: Finally, the kind of intellectual and cultural environment of a college should be evaluated. Find out what kind of students enroll in the college, the frequency of meets from outside colleges, any guest lectures or workshops from reputed people in the industry, etc. The four years of engineering life should be a balanced mix of rich learning, interactive colleagues, all round development in cultural and extra-curricular activities and a wholesome personality.
At all stages, it is very essential to be in touch with the alumni of the college one is interested to apply for. They are the only people who will give you an unabridged version of the way things are done in that college. Also, the college websites are a rich repository of information. If you are on a social networking site like Orkut or Facebook, chances are there must be a community of the college you are interested to apply for. Hence, you can interact with the students, teachers, alumni members, etc and follow the latest happenings in the college.
These are the most important factors which will help you choose the college of your liking. Remember, college life is the most exciting and happening phase in anyone’s life. Make a wise decision, make a wise choice.
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