College or course is an open-ended question and the decision that one takes is the most important one and there is no turning back

With the EAMCET counselling for engineering courses all set to commence from the last week of August, it is time that the aspirants sit down and do some homework and legwork before taking the decision on which course or college to choose.

College or course is an open-ended question and the decision that one takes is the most important one and there is no turning back. In general it is seen that students fall in line to the ‘herding’ concept and are greatly influenced by friends and peers or pressure from parents.

The ideal thing at this juncture would be to resist that initial external influence, relax and carefully chart out a few things before taking that ‘lifetime’ decision.

The first and the foremost hurdle is the decision on which course to choose. When it comes to this aspect the option should always be left to the student. One should asses his or her strength and passion before taking the final call.

Apart from assessing the strength, it is advisable that the students talk to some experts and people from the industry on the growth prospect of the course that he or she intends to take.

Today, there is equal demand for software professionals as well as for graduates from core streams such as mechanical, civil or electrical.

The knowledge that they gather can then be collated with one’s strength and passion. Students good in mathematics and physics can always choose core streams such as mechanical, civil, electrical or electronics.

Once the choice of course is made, next comes the factor of which college to choose. Many feel that one should go with the college, as the desired infrastructure or faculty may not be present for the course that one intends to take in a particular college.

In this regard the Chairman of Raghu Engineering College K. Raghu observes, “One may be passionate about a particular programme, for example it could be computer science, but the lab facility or quality of the faculty may not be of desired standards in that college, where he or she gets admitted.

In such a case, joining that college would be futile experience.

It is good to be passionate about a particular course, but at the same time one should evaluate the college and then take the decision.”

So that calls for some legwork and research. Visiting the website of a college is the easiest way.

As per AICTE norms every college is expected to put certain amount of information about the college under the head ‘Mandatory disclosure’. But do not totally depend on the website, at times they could be misguiding.

Apart checking the details on the website it is essential that one talks some friends and seniors who have studied in that college.

A checklist for students

- Check whether the college and the courses offered are recognised by AICTE or graded by NAAC from their official website.

- Go into the details of infrastructure like, library facility, lab facilities, classrooms, recreation facilities and hostel facilities.

- Check on the quality of teachers, as this aspect is considered to be all-important.

- Find out about their academic qualifications, their research work, number of teachers employed and if the college maintains a healthy student-teacher ratio.

- Placement matters. Do some legwork to enquire about the discipline norms in the college and the activity of the placement cell to find out whether students get good placements.

- Check on the industry- academia interface of the college, the number of tech fest or seminars that they hold and the activity on the extra-curricular front.

- Prefer a college, which is located close to a city or industrial hub, as this could facilitate easy entry for summer internship in some industry.