A few people were discussing whether they should opt for second counseling because they weren't sure of their branch's prospects and stuff like that.
This is something that would trouble kids and parents alike, so here are a few pointers.
Like Ankur said in one thread, it is best if freshies choose what they like. But the problem arises because they don't know what they like. A 17 year old fresh out of high school really doesn't know anything about engineering, leave alone understanding the differences between two streams. In fact, many of them harbour very random notions about many engg streams, which seems laughably funny to us after 4 years, but it is perfectly understandable how the freshie got them in the first place.
For example, CS is not about learning programming languages. If only I had a penny for every time I have heard the question -"What all languages are taught in CS?". Chemical is not about mixing chemicals in the lab. Civil is not just about making bridges at ADB sites and Mechanical is not about being a mechanic and Meta is not about just extracting iron from furnaces. Duh!
So, this misinformation often clouds our judgment and makes us assume things that aren't true. Most people who claim that they got a branch they don't like
really don't even know enough about the branch to like or dislike it. As a freshie, I would have been sad if I had gotten Meta, but as a 4thie, I find many Meta courses quite interesting, sometimes more interesting than my own dept's courses.
I would like you to take away four things from this thread:
- What you can or will do after finishing IIT might be a function of the branch you choose, but you don't know what kind of life you would have just by knowing what branch you have chosen. If you take up a non-core job, your branch would matter very little. If you apply for a core job, you still can get a wide variety of work to do, so do not prejudice yourself because half-baked information from all around.
- More than your branch, your performance will determine your success after IITB. To quote a standard maxim whose connotations vary from plain to risque, It's not about what you have, it's about what you do with it. Your AIR has practically zero use now. People from all sorts of branches have gotten all sorts of salary ranges and job profiles.
- Do not rely on branch change. In fact, forget that it exists. Just work upon doing great academically. If branch change is on your cards, you will be able to manage it, but do not develop this sautela attitude for your own branch.
- Do not listen to seniors in IITB who will tell you that Meta is lukkha, MSc Chem is masti and Civil is peace. Mark my words. Being complacent about your department will only lead you into peril. It is for you to discover what experience you get in your branch. Some do prove to be slightly less taxing than others, but you have to be careful not to fall into prejudice traps as a freshie.
About the BTech/DD issue, I am quoting Ankur straightaway:
For BTechs (and against DDs of course): You get your degree in four years. If you wish to pursue an MS or PhD abroad later, most universities do not recognize DD as a Postgrad degree. DD curriculum is more rigorous (on an average, from 3rd sem you have to do one extra course plus the BTech curriculum) while the BTech curriculum grants you a bit more flexibility and greater chances of getting a Minor wrt the rules applicable.
For DDs (Against BTechs): In one extra year you have a post grad degree. An extra year to make the best use of all the opportunities in IIT and ample time on your hands to build towards your post-IIT life. The extra DD courses give you a better perspective of your core area (simply because you have studied an extra core course). Dual Degree Project majorly constitutes your fifth year - so you can concentrate on it and take time out for other activities without hampering your academics.
All said and done. After your 2nd year, you have the choice to switch from BTech to DD and vice versa (if you fulfill certain criteria - you will know about them in due time).
After your 5th semester (midway through your 3rd year), you have the option of changing from the B.Tech to one of the 5 year Dual Degree specializations in the same department, if your interest lies in that direction. However, changing from Dual Degree to 4 year B.Tech is not allowed. The only way you could do that would be getting a branch change at the end of your freshmen year.
[Courtesy Meghna Sreenivasan]
P.S. Universities like MIT are now recognizing the Dual Degree program as an official Masters degree and admitting students directly to their PhD programs.