Opportunities through GATE
The number of students appearing for the GATE each year has grown steadily from around 2 lakhs in 2003 to 9 lakhs in 2017. This rise in test takers can be attributed to the fact that the exam opens up a plethora of opportunities for graduate students. In this article, we take a closer look at the various career opportunities through the GATE.
1. Jobs at Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs)
PSUs are companies in which at least 51% of the ownership belongs to either the central or state government. Over 50 PSUs recruit candidates for technical positions exclusively on the basis of the GATE score. Typically, these jobs pay around Rs 8 lakhs per annum to fresh engineering graduates (more than twice of what other corporates pay). Further, these jobs are stable and provide excellent perks such as free accommodation and subsidized medical treatment.
A few well-known PSUs that recruit through GATE are IOCL, BPCL, NTPC, Powergrid etc. Additionally, several PSUs understand that English may be an issue for job applicants and thus either directly select candidates on the basis of their GATE score or allow candidates to take their GD/PI in their own mother tongue. Careers in PSUs are particularly attractive for students from core engineering streams such as Mechanical, Civil and Electrical Engineering as most projects in these fields are implemented by PSUs and not private companies.
Apart from these, reputed central government research organizations like DRDO, ISRO and BARC hire candidates on the basis of GATE score. Candidates could get recruited for research programs that offer a stipend of Rs 15000/- to Rs 20000/- per month.
2. Admissions for M.E. / M.Tech / M.S. / PhD & management programs in India & Abroad
Through the GATE, students can earn their master’s degree / PhD at India’s top institutes such as the IITs/ NITs/IISc/IIITs etc. Not only are these institutes considered world class, but a student’s education here is practically free as candidates are offered Teaching (Rs. 12,400 pm) and Research Assistantships(Rs.13,400/- pm) that are more than sufficient to pay for fees. Students can then use their degree to secure competitive corporate jobs or pursue a career in teaching. In fact, it’s now mandatory to have at least an M.E./M.Tech to be eligible for the designation of Assistant Professor in colleges in India. Such teaching jobs typically pay Rs 5-7 lakhs per year while corporate jobs after an M. Tech. provide salaries of around Rs 9 lakhs per year.
Lesser known – but equally reputed paths that students can target through the GATE are the management courses at NITIE (India’s top Industrial Management School) and the PhD level fellowships at the IIMs. These programs are perfect for engineers who wish to work in core engineering companies such as L&T, HCC in a managerial capacity.
Lastly, several top-ranked foreign universities are open to taking candidates for their M.S. programs through the GATE score. Consider Nanyang Technical University (NTU) in Singapore. This university is ranked 16th in the entire world and takes candidates who have scored above 90 percentile at GATE. So relatively, its much easier to get into NTU than the IITs (which typically take candidates who have secured above 99 percentile) though NTU is far more reputed worldwide.
Further, a foreign education through GATE doesn’t necessarily have to be too expensive. There are several universities in Germany, for example- The Technical University of Munich, that offer admission without even taking tuition fees!
3. Improvement in Prospects at Campus Placements
Engineering companies are inclined to take students who are technically sound. This makes sense as it reduces their cost of training. In fact, according to the India Skills Report prepared by the AICTE, LinkedIn and CII, more than half the employability of students comes from sound technical knowledge – an attribute tested through the GATE.
Due to this, companies currently are actively campaigning to make GATE the exit exam for engineering. If this happens, a candidate who isn’t GATE qualified wouldn’t be considered a competent engineer at all! Thus being GATE qualified dramatically increases one’s chances of securing a top job after engineering.
As we’ve seen, the benefits of studying for GATE are immense. But this doesn’t mean that the exam is daunting.
According to GJ Chakarapani, the organizing chairman, GATE is a ‘very candidate friendly exam’ It is meant to test a person’s engineering aptitude and is not difficult – but different. To succeed at GATE, candidates need to be technically sound and think differently – both of which take practice. So the right time to start preparing is now!
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