Hello Guys. I want to share my experience as an M.Tech student at IIIT Allahabad. Currently I’ve completed my 2nd semester and I’m writing this post so that you can take an informed decision about choosing IIIT A or any other college for that matter.
This post contains my 1 year of experience of studying at IIIT A. I will be describing my experience in terms of branch, specializations, courses, placement opportunity, internship opportunity, coding culture, quality of teaching, research output of professors, research infrastructure, college facilities like mess, hostel, sports etc., teaching assistant work, thesis work, fees, college administration etc.
At the end, I will also share my opinion on choosing to work after B.E or going for masters.
Disclaimer: The post is based on my experience. I have tried to be as bias free as possible but know that every individual have different experience even when they are in the same college studying the same subjects. So, please do your own research and based on your circumstances, you should take decisions.
1. Various Branches at IIIT A, specialization and courses
We have 4 branches here at IIIT A. Information Technology(IT)(most preferred one), Electronics(EC) and Bio Informatics(BI) and Data Science and Analytics(DSA). First 3 branches use GATE score for admissions while DSA branch has its own exam for admission.
I’m from IT branch and I’ve done my bachelor in mechanical engineering. I had prepared for GATE CS and GO was really helpful in this journey(Thanks GO!). IT branch has further 8 specializations which are offered after 1st semester. You can check about them here.
One bad thing about specializations is that every specialization has a minimum and maximum number of seats. Students can select these specializations based on their grades in 1st semester. Hence, if you’re not from top 20-30 of your class then most likely you won’t get your desired specialization. Unfortunately, I’m one of those who didn’t get their first preference for specialization. Now, I’ve to study courses that I don’t have any interest in. Hence if you are aiming to get admission at IIIT A, make sure you score well at least in your 1st semester.
1st semester courses will be common for all IT students and we had following subjects.
- Advanced Programming and Data Structure: Most important one from placements perspective.
- Programming Practices: Got overview of Linux and implementing few of its commands, Assembly Language, Parallel programming etc.
- Maths for IT: Linear Algebra, Probability. Make sure you study them well before joining M.Tech as you won’t get much time to understand advanced concepts.
- Research Methodology: Easiest one. Theoretical but important subject if you are aiming for research.
Our 1st semester was completely online. So scoring good marks was very easy for obvious reasons. But I would recommend to study subjects like Advanced Programming and Data Structure seriously as it would help in placements.
In 2nd semester, every specialization has different set of courses. Although many of the courses overlap with other specializations as well. You can find the list of courses offered in each of the specialization here. Note that a large number of courses are listed in that webpage but only a few of them are actually offered depending on the availability of professors that are able to teach those subjects. Most of the time, the elective courses(those that you can choose by yourself) are easy to score but it all depends on the professor teaching that course. If a professor decides to make the evaluations difficult then even the easy-to-score courses will become hard and vice-versa.
2. Placement, Internship Opportunity and Coding culture
M.Tech students(IT, EC, BI) were only allowed for 2 month internship during summer break after the completion of 2nd semester. DSA branch students were allowed for 6 month internships. Very few companies allowed M.Tech students for internships as most of them came for 6 month internships. Also, most of the companies came for SDE roles and very few came for data related roles so DSA students also didn’t had any advantages despite the fact that they can do 6 month long internships.
Although, during placement season, more than enough companies visit college and you can get a good package if your coding skills is good. So, placement wise, college is good but not internship wise. The placement opportunities that you get in a college like IIIT A is it’s biggest plus point.
Also, before taking admission, I had heard that the coding culture is very good here but due to covid it was impacted as seniors couldn’t take offline classes during that time. Although now it is restored and everything is getting back to normal.
3. Quality of teaching, Research output of professors and Research infrastructure
Some professors are really good at teaching.
Some are good at research. Although very few of them publish in high impact journals. This is the case with many reputed Indian universities including IITs as well. Although, research infrastructure is decent as there are many labs which has decent facility and work 24 x 7. But most likely you have to put efforts from your side if you really want to do good research.
4. College facilities: Mess, Hostel, Gym, Sports
We get breakfast, lunch, snack and dinner at mess. Breakfast is good but everything else is average or sometimes below average. There are a number of food stalls, dabbas etc. near the campus and food delivery apps like Zomato and Swiggy work at IIIT A but number of options are limited as the college is not located in an urban area.
Regarding hostel, M.Tech 1st year students have to live in a pair but in 2nd year single rooms are allotted. We have 5 boys hostel and 3 girls hostel. Boys hostel also have tennis court.
Gym has a good number of equipments. I’m a fitness person and I can definitely say that gym is quite good here.
We have a ground for various sports like volleyball, football, cricket etc. Facilities for indoor games like snooker, table tennis are also available.
5. Teaching Assistant work & Thesis work
TA work and its load will largely depend on the professor under which you do your TA work. For me and most of my batchmates, this was not hectic.
Again, Thesis work load will also depend on the professor under which you will work and the topic of research that would choose.
In 1st and 2nd semester, fees was around 80k/semester. This is one of the lowest among all IIITs. Although now it is expected to increase as the fees was not increased in last 1.5 years due to covid.
7. College Administration
Many students at IIIT A believe that College Administration is not very supportive. I’m listing down following points on why I also think the same.
1. Lack of coordination in College Administration and poor decision making
Our 1st semester was completely online. In our 2nd semester, we were told in March that it will be on the individual professors to decide whether they want to conduct offline exams or not. Initially our professors wanted to take online exams. But after that, in April our beloved HOD told that everyone is expected to be in campus in 2 weeks. Then after 2 weeks when corona cases were rising and few of students were also found out corona positive then it was announced that there is no need to join the college for the moment and we should refrain from coming.
You can clearly see the mismanagement from their side. Expecting students to come to college in April when the exams and course load are at their peak was not something that one should do.
2. Illogical policies for TA stipend
Our college has a rule that you need to come to office to mark your attendance. It doesn’t matter whether you have some TA work on that day or not, you have to mark attendance every day(MON-FRI) otherwise money will be deducted from your stipend for that day.
This is complete non-sense as every student was doing TA work from home/campus. The attendance has nothing to do whether one is doing it’s TA duties sincerely or not.
That’s all regarding my experience here at IIIT A.
Q. Should I join industry after Bachelor or do Master’s ?
This is a very common question.
If you want to do M.Tech from India only for the sole intention of getting a good job then I would recommend to not apply for M.Tech and join industry right after bachelor. Because, right now the industry is moving towards skills rather than degree and you can learn anything from internet if you are motivated enough. Preparing for product based companies hardly takes 6 months. So you can prepare for PBC while on your job. I’ve seen my hard working friends getting 15-20 LPA after 1 year of joining service based companies. Even those who were working in a chill manner are doing decent as they now have around 7-8 LPA of salary. So doing 2 years of M.Tech and getting the same package of 15-20 LPA is not worth it in my opinion.
But if you are someone who has decided that you want to do research in some field(which you are sure of) then doing master is a good idea. Even then I will suggest you to try doing your master’s abroad. But if you don’t get it then top IITs and research focused institutes like IISC, ISI, CMI, TIFR, DA-IICT, IIIT H are also good.
But most people don’t know what they want to do right after bachelor so the best way according to me is to spend time in industry first. You will at least earn something and meanwhile try to get exposure to other fields by leveraging your network within the company and its past employees. Then after few years you may get clarity on what to do.