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Eye on IIT offbeat courses

Popular branches of engineering such as computer science may be the top draw among high-ranking IIT aspirants but some still consider pursuing offbeat but highly career-oriented subjects like mathematics and computing.

Petroleum engineering, geophysics and mathematics and computing comprise some less popular branches, which ensure high-paying jobs as well, but do not command the demand of computer science and electrical engineering at the Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs).

For city boy Prem Anand, who has secured an All India Rank (AIR) of 284 in the IIT-Advanced test, the results of which were published on Thursday, electrical engineering is the first preference followed by the less popular mathematics and computing.

Prem said: “My AIR rank can easily get me computer science, electrical, mechanical or other popular branches in any top IIT but my first choice is to study electrical engineering in IIT-Delhi, the second being mathematics and computing at the same institution.”

Prem’s plans not to opt for the computer and mathematics gains importance based on the 2013 trends. Last year, at IIT-Bombay, the opening and the closing ranks in computer science were AIR ranks 1 and 72. At IIT-Delhi, the corresponding ranks in computer science were 1 and 129. At IIT-Kanpur, the opening and the closing ranks were AIR 3 and 280. At IIT-Kharagpur, the ranks were AIR 4 and 429.

Even teachers agree that a student should not fight for popular courses such as computer science and electrical. Less popular ones such as mathematics and computing or petroleum engineering have good scope too. Anand Kumar of Super 30 said: “Mathematics and computing at IIT-Delhi and IIT-Bombay are much sought-after courses and a student graduating in mathematics and computing can join the teaching profession and also opt for research work.”

Anand added that engineering branches such as petroleum engineering and geophysics offer high-paying jobs in oil companies, particularly in oil-producing countries.

A senior teacher at IIT-Patna said: “Choice filling is the next important step. A candidate should fill it in judiciously as once it is filled up, there is little chance that his choice will be altered later.” He added that a student should make choice filling based on the available branches in a particular institute, his liking for course and institutes.

Explaining the trend of less popular courses, he said: “In spite of computer science being popular, 2010 IIT topperJitender Reddy opted for electrical engineering at IIT-Bombay.”

Another city boy Aayush Dwivedi, who has an AIR of 855, wants to take up mechanical engineering at IIT-Kanpur though he can easily get computer science or electrical at Roorkee or any of the newer IITs. Aayush, aspiring for a career in automobile industries, said: “My interest is in machines. My rank can easily get me mechanical engineering at Kanpur, Kharagpur or any new IIT.”

IIT and ISM aspirants began filling up their choices from June 20. The process would continue till June 24. Only candidates securing AIRs and securing minimal position on the combined merit list would be eligible for the online seat choice-filling process. A candidate can indicate his choice of courses and institutes from the available list in order of their preference. A candidate can choose, edit or change or add new courses till they lock their choices. However, a candidate should lock their choices by June 24.


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