Everyone in this country would be advising you to go for Computer Science (CS) or Electrical Engineering (EE/ECE/EEE) for the simple reason that these two branches get the best placements in the country. Although that is a true fact, I would strongly advise you not to join a particular branch by just seeing it’s placement statistics. After all, you have to study that field for the next 4 years. 4 years is a long time, and so many engineering students lose interest in their fields by the end of the second year. Thereafter, the remaining years of engineering are spent in regret, sorrow and a neglect towards your own degree. This is something you should be aware of.
Moral of the Story? Choose the branch you like, and not based on whether it gives you better paying jobs.
So, let’s break some myths about engineering –
Myth : Computer science is all about coding. As I was good at coding in school, I think I should take CS.
Fact : Although Coding is an integral part of Computer Science, much of CS is based on Abstractions, Algorithms and Paradigms. This means that you will have to study abstract mathematics as well, including some really boring theorems and lemmas, etc. So be prepared for all that. Also, there are a tons of programming languages that you would be taught in the due course of your degree.
Myth : I was great at Chemistry and am extremely passionate about it. That’s why I think I should go for Chemical Engineering
Fact : This is one of the worst misconceptions that students have. Chemical Engineering is hardly chemistry. Much part of it is Mathematics, Physics and some parts of Modelling. If you are really passionate about Chemistry, then don’t go for Chemical Engineering. Rather go for BSc/Msc in Chemistry.
Myth : Electrical Engineering is all about Electrical Circuits.
Fact : Electrical Engineering is a vast Engineering discipline, covering a lot of ground in terms of knowledge. Electrical Engineering includes – Power Systems, Electrical Circuits, Electronics, Communications and Signal Processing and Microprocessors. If you plan to join EE, please be prepared for a gruelling 4 years in which you shall be having more classes and extra classes than any of your peers at college. However, a benefit of EE is that it is perhaps the most universal field of engineering. Owing to it’s Physics background, EE students can easily take up Physics for masters. Owing to the high amount of coding required in EE, the EE students can transition to CS for higher studies and are even able to get CS jobs. If you are looking for universality, this is the best field.
Myth : All IITians get great packages.
Fact : While the placement scenario in IITs is certainly better than at other Engineering colleges, it is certainly not what you were dreaming of. Only 2-3 kids per batch get the 1 crore type placements. The average base package depends on a lot of factors – Your college, your skill set, you CGPA, your ability to lead, competitions you have crossed, etc. All these things shall determine your package. However, I can assure you that it is decent at places like IIT Bombay, with average packages of 15-20 lakes per annum.
4 of your biggest myths demystified in this article. Let me know other myths that you have, so that I can clear them in Part 2 of this article.