Monday, November 01, 2004

GATE - Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering

GATE 2005 - Articles by GATE Forum -

Post Engineering, all Engineering students come at crossroads, where they have to make a choice – a choice that defines their career for the rest of their lives: to choose one amongst the options of a job, management or M.Tech. The three most widely used options are management, M. Tech or a job. Given the current situation in India, most of the engineering colleges are not able to give a 100% placement, which results in the candidate making a choice between management and M. Tech. This article is about choosing the second option : M.Tech, and the exam that holds the key to the most important institutes for M.Tech, the GATE.

Why does one choose CAT over GATE or vice versa? To quote the Bible, “A feast is made for laughter, and wine maketh merry: but money answereth all things”. Most of the students choose management because they perceive that a management person makes more money than a research person. This might have been true in the past. But now that companies like Motorola and Honda are beginning to outsource their R&D to India, the demand for Research oriented people is on the rise. "Virtually every single global IT major is rapidly expanding its footprint into India," says Sunil Mehta, vice president, Nasscom. As of now, 100 Fortune 500 companies - including Delphi, Eli Lilly, General Electric, Hewlett Packard, DaimlerChrysler and others - have put up R&D facilities in India over the past five years. Considering the scenario, M.Tech is no longer the underdog. And the number of students giving GATE has been increasing every year.

One needs to consider factors other than monetary as well before he makes the choice. CAT is for management, and management means management of people, finance, affairs of a company, strategizing etc. So people who are good at management, and have interest in pursuing this should take management as a subject. M.Tech, however, entails a research oriented job or a faculty position in a university. Down the line, these people may even take up a management position in a research based enterprise. However, essentially both kinds of careers are for a completely different persona and interests.

Though the number of GATE aspirants is equal to or probably even more than CAT aspirants, it has largely been neglected by the media as well as the coaching institutes. Till date, to my information, there is not a single GATE coaching institute with pan India presence. Though there are so many mock test series available for CAT, the first of its kind, an all India Mock GATE test series is being introduced only this year by an organization called GATE Forum ( GATE Forum also offers online tests, CD based tests, and last few years’ GATE question papers to GATE aspirants.

After one makes a choice as to what he would take up as a career, he needs to prepare well for it. And to prepare well, he needs to know and understand what GATE is all about.