Monday, 22 August 2011

5 Options for higher education after engineering

The option for higher studies is different for people enrolled in different courses. In this post the higher studies options generally available to a B.Tech graduate are covered.

After graduations the next step is getting a masters degree like, MBA or M.S. and after that if one is still enthusiastic, then they can go for a Ph.D. Lets discuss each option one by one.

1. Masters in Technology (M.Tech)
There are two ways possible. Either go for an Indian university like IITs, IISc or go to foreign university. In USA the equivalent degree is M.S, which will be discussed in a separate tab. For M.Tech one needs to appear for GATE (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering).

Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE)
It is jointly conducted by IISC and seven IIT and is considered to be a benchmark test for engineering graduates. Each year one IIT take the responsibility of conducting the exam on rotation basis. The scores are only for application to graduate programs in engineering disciplines in India. Any candidate who has cleared her bachelors or masters or is in the final year of her respective course is eligible for GATE.

For last year(2009) the examination consisted of a single paper of 3 hours duration, containing 65 questions carrying a maximum of 100 marks. The syllabus is typically related to the engineering course for which one applies. Some PSUs like BARC, NPIL and HAL give preference to GATE scores, so apart from being a ticket to higher education, it is also helpful in landing up at that dream job.

2. Master of Science (MS)
USA has been a preferred destination for Indian engineers for the past several years and Indians continuously form the largest chunk of foreign students in USA. To get admission in a foreign university for MS, one needs to appear for Graduate Record Examination or GRE.

Graduate Record Examination (GRE)
It is an admission requirement for many graduate schools in USA and in other English-speaking countries. It is a computer-based test measuring verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, critical thinking, and analytical writing skills that have been acquired over a long period of time and that are not related to any specific field of study. Unlike GATE, there is no cut-off line for GRE and the admission score varies from one university to other. After appearing for GRE, one needs to apply to the universities of his choice. As applying to each university is very costly affair, hence selection of universities is an equally important activity. The selection should be based on realistic assessment of one’s abilities and GRE score.

For scholarships many universities also consider the research work that a candidate has undertaken previously. Combining this with the GRE score, they give an admission offer to a candidate.

3. Master of Business Administration (MBA)
Again like M.Tech one has many options. In fact the options are much more here, owing to the presence of a large number of good private colleges. First we will discuss about the options available in India. For admission to Indian institutes there are many exams like CAT, MAT, XAT, apart from separate exams conducted by some universities like FMS.

Common Admission Test (CAT)
It is conducted by IIMs on an all-India basis and is basically used for admission to IIMs. There are other colleges as well, which use CAT score for granting admissions. Post 2009, the pattern has moved from offline to online mode and has seen a change in pattern as well. With the increase in number of IIM and increase in number of seats in each IIM, it has become an attractive option. What works against it is the exorbitant fees being charged by the IIMs.

Management aptitude test (MAT)
It is the smaller, less popular and less efficient brother of CAT. Its score is applicable to basically every other college that is not covered under CAT.

Some other colleges like XLRI Jamshedpur, XLRI Bhubaneswar and FMS New Delhi conduct their own admission test and a student need to appear in these exams to be eligible for these institutes.

For an average student, who does not want to take chances, the total cost of applying to some of the top institute can vary from Rs. 15000 to Rs. 20000.

Graduate Management Admission Test (GMAT)
It is a computer-adaptive standardized test in mathematics and the English language for measuring aptitude to succeed academically in graduate business studies. Business schools commonly use the test as one of many selection criteria for admission into graduate business administration programs (e.g. MBA, Master of Accountancy, etc.) principally in the United States, but also in other English-speaking countries.

Similar to GRE, based upon preference, score and capability, one needs to apply to institutes separately. So the selection of institutes is very important. Most good universities give a lot of weight to work experience (unlike Indian institutes). Thus a similar score can land you in different university based upon your work experience. A GMAT score is valid for five years, so you can take the exam during your student days (when your mind is really sharp) and then apply for schools after three years ( with proper work experience).

To select a B-school one can have a look at the last year average and median score, which is published by most of the schools.

Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL)
It evaluates the ability of an individual to use and understand English in an academic setting. It sometimes is an admission requirement for non-native English speakers at many English-speaking colleges and universities. So it is an advantage if you have taken TOEFL along with GRE/GMAT. Sometimes some universities demand this score if you are a foreign student (as in the case of Indian student). The test consists of reading, listening, speaking and writing section. The minimum score may vary from one school to other, with Harvard and MIT demanding a score of 100.

Unlike other exams it can be taken any number of times, to improve upon the previous score and the score is valid for two years. Colleges consider the most recent TOEFL score as a parameter.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)
It is an international standardized test of English language proficiency. It is jointly managed by University of Cambridge ESOL Examinations, the British Council and IDP Education Pty Ltd, and was established in 1989. For applying to any British university IELTS score is generally a precondition. The structure is similar to TOEFL and both the scores can be used interchangeably. Again similar to TOEFL the requirements for each university vary with Oxford demanding a score of 7.0 and Essex University demanding a score of 5.5. The score is valid for two years. For information into IELTS and application procedure, one can directly walk into any British Council situated all across India and get the application form.

4. Civil Services Examination
The Civil Services Examination is used for recruitment for many Indian administrative bodies. It has three stages – Civil Services Aptitude test (CSAT), a main exam, and an interview – and is known for being extremely challenging. With the introduction of CSAT, a form costing less than Rupees 100, and the introduction of sixth pay-commission, appearing for IAS was never so lucrative for an engineer. The CSAT will consist logic based objective type questions, which should be an advantage for engineers.

5. Indian Engineering Services
Indian Engineering Services (IES/ES) are the Technical Services that meet the technical and managerial functions of the Government of India. A combined competitive examination is conducted by the Union Public Service Commission (UPSC); for recruitment to the Indian Engineering Services (IES) in the month of June.


  1. Simple short and elegant ! Nyc article .
    Can you suggest me any other nontraditional courses offered within india.

    These suggested options are being tried by everyone(most of them). limited seats lakhs of passouts. skill improving courses & offered universities needed. plz

    apart from IIT / IIM suggest other universities . where Avg student can get a seat.

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