Should I pick a computer branch at Manipal?

Choosing a Computers Course

It seems like everyone wants to become an engineer in the computing field. I mean, the thought is not without its merits. The world’s top companies are all deal in computing, they pay the most significant salaries, they are the coolest places to work in, and they earn you (and your parents) the most prominent bragging rights. And they, for most parts, recruit only from the computer branches. And while all this is true, here’s another side of this reality. The massive boom in this field has definitely created fantastic opportunities, but the supply for filling these far outweigh the demand. What’s happening is that you end up in an increasingly competitive space where everyone’s so better than you that you don’t have a shot to end up in the big leagues. This ultimately leads you to end up working for a mass recruiting ‘generic’ IT company with shitty work life and shitty pay with shitty future prospects.

This field is so competitive that you are expected to be a pro in it even before you enter college. I mean, yes, for sure you can walk into a computer branch knowing nothing and then working your way up. But do know what everyone around you will already be a pro at most of the things you haven’t even heard about. Competing with them is gonna be extremely hard. Yes, you can put in all the effort in the world, but also do remember that they ain’t sitting idle either.

So do put in some thought into this before jumping to conclusions and selecting a branch. You may be better off in a department that you like rather than picking a computer branch and then ending up working for a generic IT company. Or maybe you won’t be. The decision is entirely yours to make.

I would like to additionally add that picking another branch and studying a lot of the computer course topics by yourselves is entirely feasible, but do know that you will hardly find time to do so. You might be as motivated as possible now, but you will discover college is an entirely different ball game. Also, that branch might not qualify for the placement prospects you hope for which makes your job insanely tricky if you are targeting being employed at a company. Do not take another branch with this intention.

What do I pick? CSE (Computer Science Engineering) or IT (Information Technology) or CCE (Computer and Communication Engineering) at MIT Manipal?

CSE has been the ‘branch killer’ for quite a long time now. Ever since CSE became the top dog, almost no one has wanted to join any other branch in an engineering college. Personal interests are put aside just to attain the CSE graduate tag. CSE is undoubtedly always the first branch to get filled in any engineering college in India.

When it comes to picking between these three branches, the usual decision goes like this:

Is CSE Available? Pick CSE : (Is IT or CCE available ? <…>: Pick a random branch or pick another college) [If you can’t read this, maybe it’s a good time to rethink if a computer branch is a right choice for you!]

So CSE definitely seems like the first choice almost always. But the problem is in part I left out as ‘<…>’. Should I pick IT or CCE once CSE is available no longer?

Everyone has access to the course guide which contains an in-depth description of what courses you will end up taking for each of these subjects; if you don’t have this guide, get it ASAP and read it before you make a choice! This should help you understand what’s the right choice for you for most parts. If you want an extremely generic perspective, you could think of CSE as the god of the computer branches that also teaches some archaic theory subjects that you might not ever use in an engineering career but at the same time might be very interesting and definitely useful if you are more interested in the research career path. At the same time, this doesn’t mean CSE does not focus on the more practical topics. IT, on the other hand, focuses more on very industry usable topics but at the expense of some crucial theoretical subject. CCE is like a mixed bag where it takes out elements from CSE, IT and ECE, adds some networking to it, and voila becomes a more industry relevant subject. It has a fair share of important theoretical concepts and industry-relevant skills.

CSE has an additional advantage of having the ‘brand value.’ Everyone knows what CSE is, and being a CSE graduate is more comfortable to explain to companies and other people. In this regard, from personal experience, I have found that being a CCE graduate gives out a higher perception than if you were to say you are an IT graduate, the latter being thought of as not pure engineering (from personal experience, I have observed this happens abroad just as much as in India, in fact, even a little more I would say)! In fact, CCE appeared to be had about the same brand value as CSE, and in some cases, even more, if you were to explain it. And mind you, the brand value does become very important!

And here is one clear advantage that CCE or IT has over CSE. Since CSE always fills up first, CSE gets the cream of that year’s batch. CCE and IT are always picked later. Since the grading system is relative, its in every way much much more comfortable to score more as a CCE grad than as a CSE grad with much less of an effort that needs to be put in.

What you will finally pick is a decision you have to make based on what your goals are and taking into your circumstances and aspirations into account.

About the Author: Arvind Sasikumar is an alumnus of Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. I am a 2018 Computer and Communication Engineering (CCE) graduate from Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal. I passed out with a CGPA of 8.7 at the end of the 4 years, currently work as a Software Engineer for Microsoft (Hyderabad) [Campus placed through 3rd year internship], worked as an IT Auditor at Deutsche Post, Bonn, Germany for 6 months, worked with 4 tech startups during my college years, founded a private limited company, played the guitar and the drums for various rock bands in college and was the President of the Movie Goers Club here. So I can safely say I have experienced a large part of what Manipal has to offer. Also, been around working intensely on fresher groups for the last 3 years.