Becoming an Engineer

January 14, 2009 at 7:19 am Leave a comment

The Engineering Roadmap

So, how do you become an engineer? You start your journey right in Class XI or Plus 1, by choosing the science stream, with Physics, Chemistry and Maths. The next step is to get a BE (Bachelor of Engineering) or BTech (Bachelor of Technology) degree. This is a four-year course, and typically includes lots of practical project work in the final year. There are several different branches of engineering you can study; and unlike other professional courses like medicine or law, you need to choose your branch of study at the very beginning of the course. So, after you decide you want to study engineering, you also need to decide what branch you prefer.
Another option, if you want to get into an engineering career, is to acquire a diploma after your 10+2. There are several specialized diploma courses, which are typically of 3 years’ duration, after which it is possible to get an engineering job. Many people complete their diplomas, and then go in for an engineering degree.
Armed with a BE (or BTech) you are fully equipped to get a job in almost any company that requires engineers. (Almost all major companies do require.) You also have the option of studying further (ME or MTech in India, or MS in the US), or pursuing other postgraduate options like MBA.

Getting into the course:

India has over a thousand engineering colleges, and produces over 1,50,000 engineers every year – probably the largest number in the world. Yet, just as in most things in India, the top-ranked colleges are few, and most serious engineering aspirants covet admission to the top 20-30 colleges. This includes the 6 IITs, the 15 RECs, and another 10-15 reputed institutes.
Admission to these top colleges is based on a number of different entrance exams which you are eligible to take after your 10+2. The main exams are:
The Joint Entrance Exam (JEE), that admits students to the 6 IITs, and several other top engineering colleges. This is probably one of the most competitive entrance exams in the world at this level (both in terms of academic standard and ratio of number of seats available to the number of candidates taking the exam). Qualifying through the JEE is a matter of great prestige to students.
The All India Engineering Entrance Exam (AIEEE) is conducted by the CBSE for admission to a vast number of colleges across India, who reserve 15% of their seats for applicants who qualify through this exam.
The state level common entrance exam is conducted by most states for admission to engineering colleges within the respective state.

The other route:

There is another way to get into private engineering colleges in some states. If you can afford it, you can ‘pay’ for a seat and get into these colleges. This involves pretty large sums of money, but it is still a popular option. However, getting out is not as easy. Once you are in the course, you actually have to pass all your exams before you get your degree, regardless of how you got in.


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