by Varad Vyapari
Hey, I’m Varad Vyapari, a graduate in Electrical Engineering from IIT Indore. I appeared for IIT-JEE 2012 and secured an AIR 4060 (Gen.). In 2012, there were some new IITs which were only 3-4 years old and I had a dilemma whether to join these institutes and go for the popular engineering streams or to join the older IITs and opt for the less popular streams. In addition to that, I had a very decent score in BITSAT and was sure to get any stream I desired in any of the three campuses.
Like many of the students that find themselves in a similar predicament, I had no particular inclination towards any of the streams and hence my thinking was quite simple, I wanted to go for CSE at BITS Pilani which was a safe bet considering that the institute is a well-established one and CSE is the most coveted stream.
But more than that, I was contemplating a re-take of the JEE next year, which in hindsight would have been an outrageous decision; a bird in hand is worth two in the bush. My parents and even some of the professors opined that I should go for the IITs over BITS simply for the “brand-value” and to quote a professor, “You have spent the last two years preparing for IIT-JEE and not BITSAT”. Though that logic of brand-value did not appeal to me back then, I now think that it was the right decision for me to prefer the IITs over BITS.
I finally made my mind up and preferred joining the core three branches over the other diverse streams at older IITs and filled the counselling form accordingly. I was allotted Electrical Engineering at IIT Jodhpur in my first round of counselling and in the subsequent ones, I was allotted Mechanical at IIT Indore which was where I finally ended up. (I changed my branch to EE after the first year and that’s how I stand as a graduate in EE!)
Looking back at my decision, I would say that I am pretty satisfied with it. Let’s analyse it in the following ways:
1. Decision to prefer IITs over BITS: This was a sound choice as I am now placed in a finance company and wish to pursue an MBA later when the IIT-brand may come into play. I guess the brand-value is a thing after all!
2. Decision to prefer a core branch at a new IIT over an old IIT: I’d say that I am pretty satisfied with this choice. At new IITs (which are no longer that new), I got to be a part of various clubs and events which would have been relatively tougher at the populous older IITs due to a higher level of competition. And believe me, exposure to real-world situations is a crucial part of one’s career and personality development and should not be underrated. Moreover, the overall accessibility of the professors and the teaching assistants is also better at a relatively new institute. Also by opting for one of the core three branches, you get a better chance to pursue a career which is more related to your education as placements in core companies exceed the ones in non-core companies.
So finally I’d suggest that you weigh the various choices carefully and make an informed decision by considering where you want to end up in your life. If you are keen to pursue an MBA like me, you can really opt for any of the IITs irrespective of the branch but I’d still suggest to opt for the newer IITs for better exposure like I have already talked about. If you want to pursue higher education like an M.S. or M. Tech. I suggest that you prefer the older IITs as they have better student-exchange programmes and teachers with good contacts with the foreign universities. And if you want to opt for placements, go for the newer IITs due to less competition for pretty similar job designations that are offered at the older IITs. All the best!
Varad Vyapari is an alumni of IIT Indore, who graduated with B. Tech. in Electrical Engineering in 2016.
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