The Branch Change Dilemma
Why Mech? Is Mech the right fit for you?
Disclaimer : This FAQ and the information hereon is provided by a few seniors to help freshmen make an informed decision. The information is not endorsed by the Department of Mechanical Engineering or IITB. We have tried to ensure that everything is correct to the best of our knowledge but inadvertently errors may have crept in. This FAQ is a well meaning guide but take it with a pinch of salt and don’t make it the sole factor in the decision making process. Please talk to as many people as possible and take their opinions too.
Some FAQs about BCing into the Mechanical Department:
Q.1 Does mechanical have very heavy coursework & students don’t find time to explore other things?
No. Most Mechanical undergraduates find only the 3rd semester hectic and course heavy; one due to the transition from a relatively chill freshman year and second due to the large number of theory courses (40 credits + a minor if you opt for one). The average number of credits in the subsequent semesters is 30 and the load isn’t too high for anyone who wants to explore things unlike in departments like EE or CSE. For the second part of the question, students in ME are involved in a number of activities in the institute, be it clubs, tech teams, IBs, core research. You can see it yourself - the mech people are everywhere :) Being in ME, you will be in a very diverse pool of people involved/excelling in a variety of extra-curricular activities and you will learn how to manage all such activities while maintaining a good academic performance. Q.2 What are your future options after your degree in the Mech dept?
- Core - Specializations related to manufacturing, robotics and controls, thermal and fluid plants/factories, automobile sector, Industrial Engineering and Operations Research, IoT applications
- Non core - Pretty similar to all other departments: Finance, Marketing, Analytics, Business development, Consulting
- Higher studies - MS/PhD abroad or converting to dual degree. MIM(Masters in Management)/MBA or other higher study courses in different fields
- Coding - Finance and coding roles, pure coding roles, Machine learning and advanced coding roles
Q.3 Should I take Mech DD because I cannot get into B.Tech.?
Your inclination towards core/non-core might help you make an informed choice. However, it is most likely possible that you have no strong bias or preference as of now since you have just completed your first year. Here are some pros and cons that you can consider.
- The same peer group and competitive environment around
- Opportunity to go for a semester exchange in fourth year due to no placement pressure
- Research output and an MTech degree with one year and money saved (otherwise invested in studying abroad).
- Some core companies during placements open for DD students only
- Lonely last year without BTech friends :(
- Many internship opportunities are not open for DD students as they do not want to provide internships 2 years before placements
- Extra credits every semester so lesser chance to explore other electives
- Might need to justify plans for MS in the same specialization abroad since you already have a Masters Degree
Q.4 How important is the DIC to the second year courses? Will it affect my performance?
Firstly, the DIC is pretty chill. The course mostly involves JEE stuff and the new concepts taught are easy to grasp. None of the second year courses have the DIC as a prerequisite, so there will be no disadvantage to BC students in any way. One or two concepts relevant from CE 102 which are required in the Solid Mechanics course will be covered in brief by the instructor once again. It will be made sure that all the students are on the same level before starting anything new.
I’m interested in mech but I’m also interested in non-core (Finance/consulting, etc) Should I BC to Mech?
Yes. As discussed earlier, the Mechanical Department gives you sufficient time to explore different things and build your profile towards other careers. You can also take up courses from other departments (eg. SOM) as minor or ALCs to explore these fields or learn online at your own pace. You can also actively participate in sessions or competitions hosted by Consult/Finance clubs.
Q.5 Will my CPI take a big hit if I change my branch to Mech? How much will it impact my future?
Initially, you will need to put in some extra work to cope up with the new competition which you will face. Students are very competitive in ME and maintaining a decent CPI is a bit tough. If you are able to handle the competition well, your CPI won’t take any hit - not that drastically to impact your future to say the least. But do keep in mind: a decent CPI can offer you a lot of prospects during internships, placements or when applying for higher studies. One thing that will be affected strongly would be your DR or department rank which will in most cases, fall. DRs are important if you wish to pursue higher studies in Mechanical Engineering or are really interested in core mechanical engineering roles later on. Otherwise maintaining your CPI even if the DR is average is a very good achievement.
Q.6 Is there a good reason to BC from Mech Dual Degree to Mech B.Tech? Or is it just that the latter is a shorter program? Are there any benefits of DD over B.Tech?
Good Reason to BC from DD to B.Tech. : You will have more freedom in terms of electives in your third/fourth year compared to DD. If you find core interesting, you will have the option of converting back to DD at the end of third year (that too in a different department if you want, search IDDDP) or apply for MS/PhD. B.Tech curriculum will enable you to build a more diversified profile. Benefits of DD over B Tech : During placements, if you are applying for a job in the core sector, naturally DD students have an edge over B.Tech. During Ph.D. applications, DD students have a higher chance of getting accepted into good universities (generally they hesitate to admit B.Tech. students without Masters). If you are interested in research, DD will give you ample opportunities to explore it in terms of DDP, electives (course projects) etc. You will also get an additional summer which you can spend on research or probably present at conferences abroad :) Another take For non core enthusiasts, they should BC from DD to B.Tech. because firms prefer BTechs over DDs as they look for someone who will be permanent and giving an extra year in a field you don’t want to pursue is not recommended. For core enthusiasts, they should discuss the opportunities they might get at IITB vs the chances of getting selected for higher studies somewhere else. Also, refer to the Pros vs Cons listed in Q.3
Q.7 Elec DD or Mech B.Tech.? I am confused.
The first priority should be where your interest lies, if it is more towards mechanical then go forward with B.Tech Mech. If your interest is towards Elec then also take into consideration that you are opting for a Dual course ( Bachelors and Masters to be specific). So your level of interest in Elec should justify the next 4 years of hard work in the Elec department. DO a proper research which Elec DD program you want to opt for and what are the courses they are offering.
If your interest does not lie in any of the two but still you want BC to Elec DD or Mech B.Tech take exit opportunities into consideration, a B. Tech Mech Graduate would be open for both core and non core opportunities but those opportunities may not be available to Elec DD Graduate, considering he/she has done Masters in a particular field . On the other hand, the average compensation a Elec DD receives may be higher than that of a B. Tech Mech Graduate.
All other considerations regarding credits, CPI change etc has been discussed in the previous questions. Also keep in mind you can do a minor in Elec while being in Btech Mech but viceversa doesn’t make that much sense as you are opting for a Dual Degree program.
Link to SSS/Insight resources related to BC -
- To BC or not to BC?
- Branch Change Video
- Seniors Branch Change List
- Branch Change: A leap of faith
- Branch Change Reviews
- An amazing article
- The dual trouble?
For any additional information or clarifications, please contact the undersigned:
Athul CD +91-9633459835
Raj Lakhani +91-9967027730
Sahil Sawant +91- 91373 93578