The key factors one should keep in mind while preferring a branch are interest in the subject, scope for job and PG studies in India or abroad, finds R. RAVIKANTH REDDY

Branch or college, and which branch is the best? The dilemma for an engineering aspirant seldom gets answered satisfactorily. Free suggestions from the near and dear ones, who gather information from unqualified people, further add to the confusion. Finally, what the information-hungry student gets is distorted information emanating from two or three different layers of non-professional counsellors.

So it becomes all the more important for some solid advice on the courses students wish to pursue and the college from which they should be studied. Qualified and professional advice is in favour of picking up the institution first.

“It gives you the kind of peers you would be keeping company with, as their influence is paramount in the coming four years. Good institutes and good company offer tremendous scope for upscaling one’s abilities,” says T. Muralidharan, an alumnus of IIT and IIM and Chairman of TMI e2E Academy that trains engineering graduates and make them industry-ready.

Good colleges not only have good buildings but established academic systems, qualified professors with vast experience, which is of immense value to a student. Institution’s name carries a lot of weight in the job market and the networking of the alumni also helps them initially as well as later in life, feels Hari Prasad Devarapalli from Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

A good institution exposes students to various facets of life and not just academics.

With their associations with the industry students get a first-hand experience of the future job and have bright chances of internship in top companies.

The IITians, NITians and students from university colleges take pride in boasting about the institution even after passing out and that’s where they help out students from their alma mater.

When it comes to choosing a branch just don’t follow your peers or seniors as everyone has a different reason to choose a field of their study. Try to understand what interests you in a subject and what subjects you are good at.

“If you are not good in Physics Mechanical Engineering is not a good option,” says Venkatesh, an entrepreneur and a Mechanical Engineering graduate from IIT Madras.

He says elimination is the best option. Chemistry lovers can keep away from streams like Mechanical, Computer Science, IT or Electronics.