If you want to pursue engineering, it is important that you consider your aptitude and history of college as well before making the final choice.
The engineering admission process is on across the country.
If you're in the stream stream, chances are you are getting a lot of admission offers from various engineering colleges and institutes.
Congratulations!! But there is a headache too.
There are a lot of options, what to choose?
A bad decision can affect your overall career life.
Worry not!! We have created a decision support system for proper choice making.
You are going to choose based on -- brand name of college, stream of engineering and accessibility (location).
Your choice should also be based upon your strengths and goals.
Identify your natural abilities -- your aptitude. It is very important.
There are various engineering streams and you need to map your aptitude for a specific engineering stream.
In simple terms, what you fancy about may be an indicator of your aptitude.
What are you interested in? Car design, mobiles, high rise buildings or in pure abstract thinking?
Your interests indicate your aptitude.
There are scientific tests which can reveal more about your aptitude.
Assess your personality type. Your personality type can be a parameter for your choice.
Assess your financial position.
In case of private seat versus government seat, this parameter will have a huge bearing.
Review your family history. Though not a very important factor, but a scan is important to help you make an informed choice.
If you see families where majority are doctors, civil servants or chartered accounts, it says something about the family genes -- a natural propensity towards a specific kind of profession.
Define your goals. Decide whether you want to opt for a job or business.
A job may be in private or government sector.
You can run your family business or start your own.
What are your primary motives? Power or money or both.
If you are tempted towards power, government services would suit you more.
If you wish to earn a lot of money, you would opt for private jobs or business.
Whether you wish to settle down in India or abroad also have a bearing on your choice.
Say if you are interested in settling in the USA then IT-related engineering streams would suit you more than opting for civil engineering.
You need to choose -- the college, its location and stream.
For example, if you are getting calls from IITs and NITs then you have to decide, whether the IIT or NIT.
Assuming you decided for IITs. Now question arises, which IIT. Say you decided for IIT Mumbai, and then question arises, which stream.
Now analyse your strengths and goals.
Map your strengths and goals.
Do the market survey about the demand of the specific stream. Then opt for the choice which helps you in attaining your goals and is in line with your strengths.
4. Background Research
Proper background research is necessary for good decision making.
You need to do research on:
College: Know about the faculty members, brand positioning, status of particular engineering stream in that college and placement offers etc.
You should also know about the extra-curricular activities.
Location: Distance from your base, language, cultural issues, eating habits, environmental parameters, socio-economic conditions and political situations are a few parameters which need to be glanced at.
Stream: Please see how a specific engineering stream relates to the aptitude, personality and goals of the candidate.
Present and future market demand of the stream too needs to be investigated.
Family background: If the goal of the candidate is to opt for business, family background needs to be considered in the back of the mind.
Competing scenarios: When you are into the decision process, there will be a lot of competing scenarios.
You need to make a pros and cons list of such competing scenarios and accordingly take the final call.
Sources of information may be; admission prospectus, web-sites of the colleges, various educational web-sites, your friend circle, your relatives and teachers etc.
It will be good if you can visit some college situated nearby and get the first hand information.
Always try to get information from multiple sources, from your well-wishers and in case of conflicting information take your own call.
5. A few recommendations
Considering all others parameters same; it is always advisable to:
Opt for brand
Go for a branded college.
You will leverage the benefit of the brand throughout your career.
For example, if you have to choose between a good branch in an established NIT and a not-so-good branch in the IIT, we will suggest you to opt for IIT.
Similarly you can apply the logic between the NITs and state engineering colleges.
If you have to choose between a very good private engineering college and a not-so-good, relatively new government college, we would suggest opting for the private college.
Opt for a stream that aligns with your goals
Choose as per your strengths, goals and future prospects of the stream.
If your goal is to opt for MBA and you are getting mechanical as well as industrial engineering, opt for industrial engineering.
If your father deals in real estate and you want to continue in the family business, logically civil engineering will be the best option.
If you are interested in government services, say Indian engineering services or civil services, opt for the stream which will be useful for these examinations.
Opt for established college.
Given an option between an old, well-established and a new college, opt for the older one.
Opt for new location
Resist the temptation to be in your state or district.
Opt for new places.
Say, you are in north India, and have the option of choosing between a college in north and south India, please choose the latter.
Diversity is a life-long learning.
Please note that there cannot be any straitjacket mathematical formula for such decision making.
It is important that you see the things in perspective, research, be well informed and above all, make your own decision.
We have a lot of power seekers and money minting human machines around us.
What the world wants is leaders.
So make sure all the decisions ultimately develop the qualities of a leader in you.
All the best!
The author Pramod Kumar Srivastava is a business consultant working for his own generalist business management consulting, PKS Management Consultants based in Bangalore, India.