Post-GATE Guidance - How to Select a College?

Published: 24 Feb 2015 | Last updated 7 May 2021

These lines state a bitter yet practical truth of life:

Kabhi kisi ko mukammal jahan nahi milta,
(Nobody ever gets a perfect world)
Kisi ko zamin to kisi ko aasman nahi milta.
(Some don't get their share of earth and some their place in the sky)

Except the exceptional cases, for the majority it does not matter what rank you get, you will always have to choose between your various wishes and options available. Every college, even those placed in the prestigious ‘top 10’ bracket have their own strengths as well as limitations. So, instead of choosing blindly on the basis of some ill informed ‘popular opinion’, please do some online as well as ground level (if possible) extensive research on your own, because your next two years and consequently your life ahead will depend on this one decision.

Image Credits: David Goehring

Given below is list of factors which should be considered before taking admission in any college. All points are not necessarily applicable to all students and neither the order in which they appear denotes their importance level, it’s all about your personal preferences.

  1. Brand Value
    According to Shakespeare
    “What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
    Sorry, we beg to differ, name has nothing to do with quality but when it comes to ‘established brand names’ then it denotes consistency in quality for a long period of time. Such names have their own social and professional advantages, giving people enough reasons to chase these names. If you want any of such advantages and a grand first impression e.g. better networking opportunities and acceptance in business circles, improved chances to get a higher qualified life partner etc., then go for the brand value factor, but consider the importance of other factors too.
    Note: Be smart enough to differentiate between earned brand names and brand names created through hype based marketing machineries. Also, take care of the graph of the value associated with a brand name i.e. it may be declining, stable, or on a rise.
  2. Department-wise Statistics 
    Some colleges may be ranking behind in the overall performance or have less brand value in general, but it is possible that a particular branch of that college is one of the best and far better than respective counterparts in colleges with higher general ranking or brand value. Never ignore this factor.
  3. Placements Statistics
    Although any amount of money is never enough, but still you need money to survive. If you are not interested in research or any further higher studies, then this is one of the most important factor.
    Research carefully and never get hypnotized by the figures shown in highest or lowest packages bagged till date. Search for statistics like average package, placement percentage, some statistics related to alumni indicating that how well the passouts are doing in the long run etc.
  4. Quality of Faculty
    Faculty in colleges is a mixture of full time, part time, or visiting faculties. The ratio of these different kind of faculties is a crucial determinant of quality. Additionally, the quality of this mixture also depends on factors like total no. of faculty having Ph.Ds and their respective alma mater, total no. and value of research papers published by them etc. Never forget to check the number of students per faculty, it denotes the load on each faculty directly affecting the overall quality of education.
  5. Research Opportunities
    If research is your field of interest then check the various clearly stated policies and level of encouragement provided by the college administration to research activities in form of some economic support or long term assistance plan. Check the total number of research papers published by students and faculty along with the number of research projects sponsored by government agencies or corporates. Frequency of research related seminars, conferences or workshops being organized by the colleges is also an indicator of an helpful research friendly environment .
  6. Infrastructure
    Labs, library, hostels, sports and recreation related facilities, Internet connectivity and bandwidth, classroom infrastructure etc. are some important points which should be considered.
  7. Curriculum of the College
    Universities or deemed universities are free to decide their own curriculum. So, before taking admission, please have a look at curriculum related facts like total number of courses being taught, number and type of elective subjects present in the curriculum, number of courses on humanities and social science etc.
    Remember, a greater number courses does not mean that the curriculum is better.
  8. Apart from the above factors some random factors may also dominate your final decision e.g. for colleges with equal ranking or quality, you can prefer the college nearer to your hometown or the college with lesser economic costs related to academic fees, hostel fees etc.

For a different point of view on this topic and a detailed explanation for some of the factors mentioned above you can also refer to the article written by Prof. Dheeraj Sanghi, CSE Department, IIT Kanpur.

So, here we end this long article with a hope that you along with your personal research efforts, set of preferences, and wisdom will make a choice which will be ‘The Best for You’.

All The Best!


What do you feel about the 8 factors mentioned above? Comment generously to share your views.

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