A good engineer is not only an academically strong person, but also someone who as a student at her college got an opportunity to explore the various facets of the industry, as well as was exposed to practical situations by the way of research work, live projects and industrial work, as applicable.
This makes the criteria for selection of an engineering college of paramount importance. In today’s times, we see a bunch of engineering colleges in almost all tier 1, 2 and 3 cities, making access to engineering education very easy for a lot of aspirants.
Here is a checklist that needs to be run through very rigorously before selection of the college:
- College Accreditation (International & National): An aspirant must always check the NAAC and ABET certification (if applicable) for a college. Every good engineering college is certified by NAAC (National Assessment and Accreditation Council) in India and some by ABET (Accreditation Board for Engineering & Technology). These certifications essentially mean that the particular institute complies with the education curriculum that is set by these certification bodies and they meet the norms set by them. While NAAC provides accreditation to all technical courses and universities in India, accreditation from another important body is very vital to be considered for engineering aspirants, that is NBA accreditation. NBA (National Board of Accreditation) is an institution to provide accreditation for engineering and technical colleges only. This must in fact be treated more seriously than any other accreditation for engineering colleges.
- General and Stream specific Infrastructure: Availability of stream specific infrastructure is very critical for an aspirant to be able to come out as a good engineer. While the accreditations specify the basic requirements for any stream that the college has to provide, there are facilities beyond that which need to be available at the college. For example, size and working status of heavy machines labs like Universal Testing Labs, Geotechnical Labs, Lathe Workshops, Power Electronics Laboratories etc. must be present. Every engineering branch has a specific set of laboratory tests to be conducted throughout the duration of eight semesters of the course. Aspirants can seek help from senior students or fresh engineers to understand these and check for them in the colleges.
- Cocurricular Activities and Facilities: Apart from academics, Engineering Colleges should also promote participation of students in national and international level competitions, symposiums, technical paper presentations and seminars. Every reputed college hosts a series of such events throughout the year in order to encourage and prepare the students to be able to lead and deliver in similar events when opportunity comes. Also, a college must facilitate training from industry experts on topics related to entrepreneurship, upcoming technological advancements, research knowledge sharing for students to keep them informed about the changing times in terms of technology.
- Experience of Faculty: Needless to say, that only an experienced team of teachers can put together a bright future for students. A good engineering college must not only have experienced teachers but also senior visiting faculty for specialised subjects and courses wherever required. The educational qualification of professors, assistant professors and lecturers must be adjudged by aspirants or their wards who have knowledge in the respective stream that the aspirant is looking for. A comparison of number of years of industrial experience and teaching experience can easily be drawn out from the colleges as this information is mostly available on the website of every college.
- Industrial Projects & Research Work: A reputed engineering college has tie ups with various organizations for conducting research on their behalf. Some organizations also provide an opportunity to students of such institutes to visit their manufacturing and design facilities which gives a very good insight to the students about the real time working of the industry that they are going to be a part of. Also, an engineering college conducting research goes to show the trust that the industry has in the senior faculty who conduct or lead the research work. The students get indirect benefit from the learning of the research work which the institute conducts.
- Industrial Training: The training has to be provided with expert guidance and by using state of the art equipment. Engineers have to be adept at handling various tools and solving real time case studies. Top Engineering Colleges in India provide trainings with the help of industry collaboration for enhancing the skills of students.
- Campus Placements: The placements have to be regular and assure good packages. You have to check whether there are well-known companies coming to the campus and how many students the are recruiting. Also, check whether the final placements as well as internships are done through the campus. The spread of placements for different branches of engineering has to be on a similar scale.