Education

‘GATE’way to the Engineering jackpot

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Every year, around 15 lakh students in India get their degree in Engineering, but only a little over half plan to pursue their post-graduation and attempt the Graduate Aptitude Test For Engineers (GATE). The rest either prepare for MBA entrance exams, the UPSC or continue to pursue their core subject abroad. Interestingly, many who want to work with companies like Facebook, Amazon, Netflix or Google or the government or study abroad, have no idea that their dream can also be achieved through their GATE scores. Why is the GATE Exam so underrated and ignored? Here are a few reasons:

Socio-cultural factors: Endless pop-culture references, movies like 3 Idiots, and popular beliefs within the engineering community hold societal pressure responsible. Apparently, one needs to have the proverbial “traditional degree” before pursuing one’s true passion, leading to a reduction in the number of students who are actually interested in attempting the exam and going in for further studies.

Difficulty: The exam tests the student’s core knowledge in the area of interest. Since, many engineering colleges in India fail to provide knowledge in this regard, many students get intimidated and give up on higher education altogether.

Insufficient college curriculum: The exam preparation is based on being smart and proactive but much of the college curriculum focuses on preparing students for placements. While GATE preparation is not fully ignored, it usually takes a back seat.

Simultaneous preparations: During their undergraduate studies, students often prepare for many exams like the CAT, GMAT/GRE, GATE all at the same time. However, each exam requires a completely different approach; so when students try simultaneous preparation, they end up losing their focus.

Life after GATE: Many students still believe that GATE exams can only open the doors to the IITs and IISc. They are unaware of the plethora of other opportunities it offers.

Where can GATE scores take you?

Post-graduation: The main purpose of the GATE score is to make you eligible for postgraduate studies in top Indian universities. And you still have an option of placement from the Fortune 500 companies.

Fellowship programmes: A good scored also makes you eligible for fellowship programmes by institutions supported by various government agencies. For M.Tech students, the fellowship is offered on a semester basis for two years; whereas, for the Ph.D. students, it is offered for five years (maximum). You also get a stipend of up to ₹ 12,000 to 25,000 that will help cover some part of your expenditure.

Higher studies abroad: GATE scores are also accepted by foreign universities such National University of Singapore (NUS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU) Singapore, Technical University of Germany, RWTH AACHEN Germany, among others.

Research: While research is still a growing field here, the government’s expenditure on scientific research and development has increased leading to better stipends and technology. So, those interested can opt for research, and earn well while discovering something big in life.

Sponsorship and job assurance: There are many government bodies such as the ISRO, the DRDO, BARC, the IAF, the Indian Navy, the Indian Army that offer sponsorship programmes to qualified candidates. What’s more, one also has job assurance at the government and private level.

of late, many PSUs have announced direct recruitments based on the candidate’s GATE scores and not only offers high packages but also provide job security and other perks. The recent Annual Employability Survey 2019 states that 80% of engineers in India are not fit for a job. So instead of thinking of the GATE as something that is unpopular, it may not be a bad idea to buckle up and start studying.

The writer is Co-Founder of uFaber

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Printable version | May 6, 2021 6:30:27 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/education/why-is-the-gate-exam-so-underrated-and-ignored/article34215151.ece

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