Engineering Education – Understand options and costs

One of the most important goals of any parent is good education for their children. This has always been important as the primary responsibility that we have as parents is to bring up our children well and education is an imperative in that respect. Also, in the current environment in India where the demand for good jobs and other careers far outstrip supply, education becomes a competitive advantage, one without which your child is very unlikely to do well in life. In this post I wanted to share my experiences about the college education of my children and give some pointers to others in the process.

One caveat is that I will be dealing with Engineering education as I understand it the best – being one myself as well as both my children studying in an Engineering college now. Generically in India today you have different categories of Engineering colleges and it will be important to understand the quality and costs of the options that are there. See below:-

  • IIT s are the best though the newer ones are not as good as the older ones. The costs here have increased recently but are still low as they are still being subsidized. Expect to pay about 5-6 lacs overall for a 4 year course.
  • NIT s are fairly good in quality and out of the 30 available about 4-5 are top class, another 10 being rather good. Costs here are similar to IIT and may be a little lower.
  • Other government colleges in different states, some of which are pretty good and others indifferent. Colleges like Jadavpur university in West Bengal, Guindy Engineering college in Tamil Nadu, JNTU in Telengana etc are comparable to most NIT and even some of the newer IIT. Costs will normally be lower than NIT.
  • Top notch private colleges that admit people based on an All India examination. BITS, Manipal, VIT are good examples but there are several smaller ones like Amrutha, Shastra etc. Costs in these colleges today can range from 10 to 15 lacs for a 4 year course.
  • Other private colleges that boast of an international collaboration. These are relatively new in the education landscape, so I am not sure about their quality. However, the costs are high and can easily go up to 20 lacs and more for the course.
  • The rest of the private colleges which are really not the ones to strive for, in my opinion. Some of these are good but for the amount of money you pay, it only makes sense to go for a reputed college.

One important thing to understand is also this – with the plethora of Engineering seats available in the country, your child is sure to get an admission if you are not fussy about the college. However, to get some idea about what is involved in the competition for the better colleges, read through the below observations on entrance examinations and selection:-

  • JEE Mains is the examination for selection to NIT and other Government funded colleges. It also is a filtering exam for JEE Advanced, which is for admission to the IIT s. More than a million people sat for the exam in 2015 and the number of NIT seats are only about 20000 – out of this 10000 are reserved for SC / ST / OBC.
  • 1.5 lacs qualify for JEE Advanced and they compete for about 10000 seats in all the IIT s, out of which 50% is reserved for SC/ST/OBC.
  • Around 1.8 lac people sit for BITSAT which admits students to the 3 institutes that BITS run. Total number of admissions this year was about 2800. This is completely on merit as there are no reservations.
  • State exams are a different ball game altogether. For example in Andhra Pradesh and Telengana you have Eamcet which is given by about 2 lac students. All of them can get a seat if they want as the number of Engineering seats exceed that figure. However, to get into a good college you need to be in the first 2000 or so.

Where should you aspire your child to study in, assuming you and the child is interested in such education? I am a firm believer that you need to aim for a good college, not only because of the subsequent job opportunities, but also due to the grooming and personality building that can only happen with great teachers and a decent peer group. So, even with the huge number of colleges available, I would not go beyond the top 100-200 colleges in any case. Look at IIT, NIT, good private colleges and good state colleges – give all the others a miss.

Now, of course, in order to get into these colleges your child needs to be fairly bright and hard working. You may also need to provide good coaching for your child to increase the chances. A good junior college or school at the Plus 2 level is also an important consideration.

I will write in the next post about my personal perspective on Educational costs for my 2 children.

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2 thoughts on “Engineering Education – Understand options and costs

  1. Talking of education, engineering should not be the first stop as the job market is flooded with engineers and the major employers are IT related companies, where the career can end abruptly. And the number of papers to be cleared in each semester is gruelling


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