how to choose your college/stream?

3 simple rules to finding the right college for you

Admission season is going on in India and I get a lot of queries on which college to select? which stream to go for? Here’s a mental model. It can help you, your cousin, or someone you know, so bookmark it.

ranking

After top 50 ranked colleges in India, the ranking doesn't mean anything. All the later ranked colleges have only service company placements: TCS, Infosys, IBM, etc. These companies pay 3-3.5LPA salaries on average.

Therefore, don't worry about the ranking if you're not going to a top college, it won't help.

luxury and infra

College brochures talk about stadiums, gymnasiums, AC classrooms, and what not to get you in. This is useless. You're going to study on "borrowed" money. Luxury can wait. Don't fall into this trap while deciding on colleges.

Go to a college which is cheap. Fewer loans will give you the freedom to learn new things on the side and even after college. Low fees help!

attendance criteria

Tons of colleges today have a 65%-75% minimum attendance requirement. Instead of making classes interesting, they have made in mandatory.

Go for colleges that do not have any minimum attendance criteria. You will have time to learn the required things yourself. If you're not going to the top colleges, classes will be useless, sitting 4 years in those classes is a pure waste of time.

vicinity to tech city

Big companies do hackathons and community events all the time in cities like Bangalore, Pune, Hyderabad, NCR, etc. To interact with working professionals you should go to these free events. This also helps in opening your eyes to what's actually happening in the tech industry compared to the archaic course of college.

Choose a college that is not on an isolated hill. A college near a tech hub is a great asset.

stream

Overall, the stream doesn't matter in today's world. You can get a CS job even without a CS degree, hell you can get it even without a degree.

But, if you have the choice, go for Computer Science. Colleges are offering variations too. If you're unable to secure a seat in CS, go for Communication and Computers, Information Tech, etc. Any stream which teaches programming for the major chunk. Know that college's not gonna teach you programming but at least you won't have to switch between your passion and a core branch often.

caution

The above advice is good for self-motivated youth. If you understand that you are in the driving seat of your career and you're committed to self-learning, then this would work. Otherwise, first, get into the driving seat of your life.

The mindset is important. Understand that college is not a place to party. It's a place you're going to learn, which will help you earn to then party on your money instead of your parents.