Monday, June 23, 2008

How to select University courses - Tips to parents and students

PodUniversal - Edition 38

Now this an admission season. The parents of the students who have completed 12th standard are in a confused mood. There is a notion amongst the parents and students that only Engineering Courses in Information Technology are best suited for future prospects. Arts and Science courses are not preferred. Is the hype of IT Engineering courses a 'myth' or 'reality'?
Prof. R Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor, Anna University, Coimbatore
On 22nd June, 2008, we telephonically interviewed Prof. R Radhakrishnan, Vice Chancellor of Anna University, Coimbatore to clarify on these points and to guide the parents and students. Anna University is one of the leading technical Universities in India with more than 100 affiliated engineering colleges. This podcast interview will be useful for the students who are seeking admission in University courses and also pursing various education in different colleges in India.

Prof. Radhakrishnan suggests that a minimum basic degree with computer skills are sufficient to get placement and to develop future.prospects. He even goes to suggest that students with 10th standard qualification can also learn the skills that are needed by the industry and can go for jobs. Then they can earn more qualifications through distance education. He also says that students should improve the English language communication skills.

Prof. Radhakrishnan suggests that after completing the Schooling, the students should (1) self evaluate themselves and find out their interest with the help of their parents and teachers and (2) identify the field of education, based on the interest.

Please listen to his interview by clicking to play (17 minutes) - Gist is given below for convenience.

The interview may also be listened from the following link

If you want to download the interview in mp3 format, right click this link and save to desktop (16mb)

Gist of the interview by Prof. R Radhakrishnan

1. Hype for in IT related engineering courses has been created more by the industry. People relate the IT and ITES related jobs only to the engineering subjects. Hence, people want to admit their children in engineering education.

2. In many Universities, B.Sc courses are also offered in computer related subjects. Currently, no education is complete without computer skills.

3. There are enough job opportunities for all. Even a student with 10th standard qualification with good academic record and communication skills can acquire the skills needed by the industry. After getting into the job, he can acquire more qualifications.

4. Information Technology is integral part of all the subject.

5. Presently, we do not have proper counselling system to help the students.

6. After completing 12th Standard, students from South India, prefer to pursue in Engineering and Medicine; Students from North India prefer Arts and Science.

7. After completing the Schooling, the students should (1) self evaluate themselves and find out their interest with the help of their parents and teachers and (2) identify the field of education, based on the interest.

8. Even if they pursue Arts and Science courses, they can go for MBA. Even engineering students go for 'diversified education' and go for MBA courses. Now 'Integrated or Inter-disciplinary approach' is taking place.

7. Last year 1,00,000 engineering seats were allotted by the authorities in 300 colleges / deemed universities in Tamilnadu. Out of this 75% went to IT and IT related courses. Only 25% were allotted for other engineering courses like Civil, Mechanical courses. Out of 75,000 students, how many would get jobs? There will be a tough competition. But competition in the other 25% like civil, mechanical engineering courses are less. There are more employment opportunities for these subjects.

8. Industries want only basic degree and minimum computer knowledge. The students should choose good educational institutions.

9. Bio Technology and Nano Technology have great future in the next 10 years.

10. Industry is insisting on soft skills. They insist on 'English language communication skills'

11. We fail in arriving at the level of language communication knowledge of the students. At the end of the course only, we realise that they lack in language skills. In Anna University, Coimbatore, we have started assessing the newly joined students for their language skills and they are graded accordingly. We are going to support them for improving their language skills, to suit the International standards.

12. I advise the students not to be carried away by the trends or hype. They should choose any branch whether engineering or arts and science. Also improve the computer skills. Definitely they will get the job. They should also think as to how they would contribute to the Nation. Whichever course, they choose, they can contribute to the Nation.


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