There is a time and place for everything, and it’s called college. – Bill Cosby
This quote from the American Legend epitomizes the importance that college holds in a students’ life and it’s equally relevant for engineering students as others. A college is much more than just a building where you would learn Kinematics, Binomial Theorem or Nuclear Chemistry. The four years you spent at an engineering college will define your personality, shape your character and build a lifestyle that you will follow in the future. Thus, merely selecting the right engineering college is not enough that tick marks all the traditional parameters of infrastructure, faculty, placements and others is not enough.
We all know that selecting the right engineering college is very important for a good academic career ahead and to kick start your professional life. But, the question here should be, is that enough, or should an engineering college offer something beyond it? Ideally, what engineering students must look for is an excellent engineering college, a dream college that would not only help them grasp the foundational basics of technical studies but which also strokes their curiosity and pushes them beyond their limits.
Below, we have listed some factors which can make a great engineering college a dream destination for any student.
Academic culture of any educational institute decides the quality of the students walking out of it. For well-rounded academic excellence, mere focus upon textual knowledge is not enough. Today, industry is looking for engineers who are problem solvers, who can look beyond the traditional boundaries and offbeat solutions for problems with help of technology solution. On a similar note, even research opportunities being offered to engineering graduates are more challenging than ever. Therefore, to ensure that students are ready to take upon these challenges, students need to be groomed in an academic culture that offers freedom and space to learn and work on their own. An engineering college that offers such opportunities will surely be ‘a dream come true’ for engineering aspirants.
Gone are the days when engineering was limited to civil and mechanical fields; today there are many new and upcoming domains of engineering that can help students stretch their limits, experiment and be successful. Take ethical hacking for example; while there are a ton of engineering colleges that offer engineering degree in computer science and information technology, you will find a few rare ones offering the same in when it comes to information security or cyber security. Ethical hacking and information security is a niche field that has seen tremendous growth in the recent past and has a bright future ahead. The rising demand of trained and qualified professionals in this field is not compensated by the current education and training setup. So, an engineering college that offers such offbeat specialization options will surely be at the top of the list for engineering aspirants in India.
The competition of grabbing a seat in a good engineering college is so high that students often don’t really pay any attention to the campus facilities on offer. Students believe the word-of-mouth and online facilities listed by the college on their face value. However, one must remember that engineering degree is most often a residential course and requirements of each of the students would be different. For instance, some engineering students might be comfortable hunting for good resource materials online while some might be more at home with a well developed off-line library. In short, facilities and their quality are subjective in nature and therefore students must assess them individually. Generally speaking, a dream engineering college would comprise of best of all the facilities such as laboratories, playground, water/food facilities, hostel facilities etc.
Scholarships & Financial Aid
An engineering degree is a major investment for students in India; therefore one cannot ignore the financial aspects related to it. Therefore, as students, one must look at the ROI or Return on Investment done for the engineering education. But many talented engineers miss the chance to get actual formal training due to lack of funds and other similar constraints. A dream engineering college would reward deserving candidates and students who actually possess potential to mark a difference when it comes to engineering education. This can be in the form of scholarships or financial aid on offer. So, a dream engineering college would offer such opportunities to deserving candidates.
Research Facilities / Opportunities
With thousands of engineers walking out of engineering colleges every year, companies have a tough time evaluating the right candidates with the appropriate skill set suited to their needs. So, companies look for engineers who have proven track record at the college level through the research output and performance of the students. This makes research facilities and opportunities on offer at different engineering college pivotal for an engineering college. So, a dream engineering college must essentially offer a lot of research facilities and opportunities both in-house as well as with third-party projects with clients or companies. Another thing that an engineering college must offer would be interdisciplinary research opportunities; this would further enhance the skill set and profile of the students.
Elon Musk, a great tech visionary of our time once said that ‘Engineering is the closest thing to magic that exists in the world’ and the majority of engineers would agree to this point. However, a magician is only as good as the bag of tricks it carries. So to seek out the best engineering colleges, one must look beyond the normal and the average; one must hunt for excellence and unique parameters that are beyond the normal boundaries.