19 June 2022 03:37:57 IST

Computer science courses even more coveted post-pandemic

Even as they wait for their higher secondary exam results Aditya Joshi and his friends approached a private university in Pune, which is known as ‘Oxford of the East’, to inquire about admission to a computer engineering degree course. The university administration told them that they would have to appear for the entrance test conducted by the university and they could also go for pre-admission even before the results of the test.

The administration also told them that besides BTech, the university also has various colleges where it has started other engineering courses, including a BSc in computer science. If not a coveted BTech in computer science, they could opt for a BTech in data science or BTech in artificial intelligence, the university told Aditya and his friends. 

Uptake for new skills

But it is not just this university, many other universities and educational institutes are busy attracting students to their computer degree courses as many of these institutes have increased the number of computer science courses. 

Due to the rush in the computer science branch, other engineering branches are suffering, say experts. According to the Union Ministry of Education, in view of a large number of vacant seats in various programmes and the likely future demand, AICTE had decided that it will not accept fresh applications for setting up new engineering institutions till this year. 

However, AICTE is giving approval to institutes where engineering is added as a new programme in emerging areas. In addition, approval is also given if any state government wishes to start an engineering degree/ diploma programme in highly employable vocational disciplines. 

“There is a 100 per cent placement for computer science graduates in the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic. This has increased the pressure on institutes to increase the number of seats and introduce new courses,” said one of the professors, adding that some universities are charging excessive amounts for computer science admissions. 

“The engineering students with a computer engineering degree have a better chance to get work opportunities abroad. Many of my friends are doing their masters in the USA and plan to settle there at some point in time,” says Viraj Chavan, who is planning to do his masters in the US. He has also advised his cousins not to opt for any other branch but only computer science.   

Filling vacant seats

The total number of seats for admission in the academic year 2020-2021 in various departments of engineering and professional Institutes of the Union government was 57,443 and for All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE)- approved government and private institutions in India were 5,64,308 and 25,22,357 respectively. 

The total enrolment in various courses of engineering and professional institutes of Central Government is 57,165 and for AICTE-approved government and private institutions are 3,87,880 and 12,74,232 in the country. 

The filling of seats depends upon the merit and preference/choice of candidates for the course and institution. A number of counseling rounds and special rounds are organized to fill the seats.

“The real game starts in the special rounds. Private universities and colleges manage these seats and fill them up on the spot in the given period of time. These seats go to the students who don’t score high and whom universities want to give admission to,” admitted one of the professors who is a part of the engineering admission process in a private university.  

This year the number of students seeking admissions for computer engineering is going to witness an unprecedented swell say university administrators who are already busy filling up the seats for computer science courses to compensate for the vacant seats in other branches.