01 Mar 2021 23:16 IST

Course, perk or priority?

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How do you decide between a better college that has not allotted the course of your choice, and another that has allotted it? Should one try again for the former, even though it means wasting a year? How important is a college stamp for a student? - Maanya C Bharat

It depends, to some extent, on the student. Many students do not know which course they want to pursue. But if you have a clear-cut dream, then focus on the branch and not so much the college. Do not go to a better college and choose a branch that you are not interested in. If you are clear about one area that you are passionate about, then the college brand does not matter.

But there are students who are not clear about the branch they want, so they go by the ranking of the branches. For instance, they may feel that electronics engineering is better than mechanical engineering because the former has a better ranking. These are students who will figure out their passion sometime in the future because they are not sure about what they want to pursue while getting into college. In either case, wasting a year does not make much sense.

If among the top ten engineering colleges, you have got admission into a college that is ranked eighth and you want to wait for a better ranking college, it does not make sense. But if, for instance, you’ve got admission to a college that is ranked 200 and you are confident that you could make it to one of the top 10 colleges in your next attempt, then waiting another year makes sense. For a small variation, it is not worth wasting a year, and the college stamp is not that important in such instances. Especially if it is viewed at a very granular level.

For example, if a student is concerned about the difference between the old IIT and the new IIT, the stamp does not matter here. It will only be useful in the initial introductory stage. It might help you get placements. But the most important thing is what comes next; and if you have done well where you have been placed. For that, picking the branch you are really interested in will help make a much bigger difference.

(The writer is the founder of the coaching institute Ahaguru - www.ahaguru.com)