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The JEE, in many aspects, is viewed as the topmost exam for getting admission in the elite institutes in the country for pursuing engineering courses. But one aspect that has never been discussed much about JEE is that it offers more than just a plain B. Tech. program: integrated and dual degree programs are also among the various choices a JEE-qualified candidate has.

There are many options available for a student in the IITs. Apart from the conventional B. Tech. course in various engineering fields, there are also the options of an M. Tech. (Dual Degree Programs), M. Tech. (Integrated) and the M. Sc. Program available to the students. All of these programs have a duration of 5 years while the conventional B. Tech. program is for 4 years.

Advanced Degree Programs in IITs

Students, when they appear in the counselling, have very little idea about these 5 year Dual Degree Programs and often end up with a lot of questions and doubts. And hence sometimes, they end up taking a wrong decision at the very last moment. This post intends to clear up and rectify several such questions and doubts.

  • M. Tech. Dual Degree Programs, as the name suggests, have their curriculum in a “two-tier” way. These programs usually have a lot of common courses with its counterpart B. Tech. program for the same stream in the first 3 years and its only in the last year (of B. Tech.) that the two programs split ways. Then the M. Tech. Dual Degree becomes exclusive to the specialization the student chooses along with their undergraduate degree in their 4th and 5th year of study. A specialization here is a sub topic or a core branch of the engineering degree that a student would like to explore. For example, an program of M. Tech. Electrical Engineering with specialization in Power Electronics, wherein the latter part of ‘Power Electronics’ is a main branch of the former, i.e., ‘Electrical Engineering’, and is hence “a specialization”.
  • B. Tech. (Integrated) Programs are unique in the way that their curriculum focuses more on the Post-Graduation phase right from the start of the course. Usually the B. Tech. and the M. Tech. courses are studied hand in hand in this case. A very famous Integrated M. Tech. program is the Geophysical Technology Program at IIT Roorkee.
  • M. Sc. Programs are the science programs that last for 5 years just like any other science degree. The IITs also offer these courses, although some IITs have stopped admissions in these programs through undergraduate entrances examinations.

Research Perspective

All of these aforementioned programs are to be chosen if the student has extensive plans of continuing research in their particular engineering/science domain. So if you are planning to pursue a doctorate in any of these programs, then these programs might be the best way to go forward. Although the opportunities for research in India are very limited, a student having an M. Tech. degree from a reputed institute like an IIT/NIT is welcomed abroad by many universities. There are Memorandum of Understandings, or MoU’s between many of the IITs/NITs and foreign universities and many students find themselves pursuing a career in science/research this way. Additionally, there are many Indian organizations as well (like the ISRO or DRDO in the Government sector) that provide ample opportunities to the students in terms of research. Many corporations or even the upcoming startups also choose to hire scientists in their R&D departments. Thus the opportunities here are continuously increasing.

The research jobs usually pay for your research projects very well and provide you a stipend/salary as well. Hence motivation for a research job is not very hard to find. Also, the M. Sc. courses pursued from reputed institutes like the IITs are very rare and hence the students from these branches/courses usually face very little competition when it comes to qualify for the research internships through programs like DAAD, MITACS etc.

But all of this comes with a word of caveat: a student thinking of a future in research must remain well-acquainted and well-versed academically throughout in college. Usually students with a very high grade points end up in the research paths and it is also very important to note that only significant hard work can and will produce the desired results in this field.

Non-Research Jobs

Apart from a career in research, there are some core engineering and science jobs as well that require an M. Tech. or an M. Sc. graduate for their offered profiles. There are many companies that hire only M. Tech. graduates exclusively. Companies like Facebook, NVIDIA and Accenture lookout for the M. Tech. and M. Sc. graduates. And the packages offered are also good for such opportunities offered. Hence there are ample opportunities for the people in the M. Tech. and M. Sc. courses who are willing to pursue non-research jobs.

Ultimately in the IITs, you have all the freedom to choose whichever career path you may want. One can also enter into the Management sector after pursuing an M. Tech. degree or can look to get into Civil Services as well. So everything depends on the students caliber, will and interest. And there certainly is a great future for the students pursuing these aforementioned programs.

Ps- You can also look up what Geophysical Technology is all about in this article. Geophysical technology graduates are much sought after by many companies in the oil sector. In addition, many of the graduates also go for pursuing higher education from elite universities abroad.

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