Decision of preparing and doing M.Tech need careful evaluation of self and what you really want to do in future. It cost time, effort and good amount of money if you are seriously working on it. After all the effort and resources when you are ready to get into IITs you need a clear plan to make best use of your M.Tech time in IITs.
There can be many reasons to opt for M.Tech or MS from IITs or from any other institute. One of them is strong desire for doing PhD from top universities in the world or looking for career in some of the top R&D institutes. Your desire will direct and influence your next two years of education. On the process you need to be careful and properly allocate your resources in right direction. In this post I will try to give you an idea about how your master degree can buy you a ticket to an admission in one of the top universities in the world or can make you a front runner for a research oriented job. The strategy will remain same for IIT or other university students. I will address these step by step
Can you get into good university for PhD after doing M.Tech from IITs?
The answer is yes but IITs itself don’t make one entitled for PhD admission in top universities in the world. M.Tech from IIT can give you a platform and a history of achievement but doesn’t guarantee an admission. It all depends on who much you know about the subject and where all you showcased your work. There are countless number of M.Tech students from IITs joined and still joining PhD in good schools in the world. You can just give a search on linked-in. Though the percentage is not big but number is good enough to be counted.
PhD admission in North America and few top schools in Europe and other places is a different ball game than writing an entrance exam. This need not only good exam cracking skill but most importantly need the skills to represent your skills on different research platforms. This makes it bit challenging and another issue is normal student form an a lower ranked institute can grab fellowship from a top university provided he worked hard and showcased his work on research platforms such as conference and workshops.
PhD admission is quite possible in any good university with scholarship provided you carefully follow the below strategy at every stage. IITs provide an optimal environment for this compared to other national institutes. This is why you see more IITian doing better compared to students from other institutes.
Take care of academics
Yes you need to take care of academics and have good scores, grades and CGPAs. Admission to PhD is not interview or test based therefore the initial decisions are based on you academic performance. If you screw in academics dont be dishearten you still have a chance if you publish some good work. Therefore to take care of academics from day one and stay focused on learning and also getting good scores.
Top schools usually receive significantly high number of applicants and top shortlist Profs usually take academic records as your measure of sincerity and a good parameter to short list. Therefore, take time to make sure you do good academically if you are seriously looking for PhD admission.
IITs being top schools in India provide a great environment for this. Almost all departments have their own libraries and study places apart from central library with capacity of 1000s of students and thousands of titles. In case of doubts you have great classmates, seniors, research scholars and professors to help you apart from excellent online help available these days. Most importantly you get a competitive environment to push you morally, which is rare to find somewhere else. You will realize it after leaving IIT ; )
Keep an on what you like (follow profs)
This is in fact one the most important thing you must do if you are looking for a PhD admission in top school. Universities in North America are not public funded, that means there is no predefined scholarship from governments. It’s all professors effort to get you scholarship, he writes a project get a research grant and pays you from that. Now just get into his shoes and think, if you are that prof. who would you prefer to give scholarship to? Definitely its someone familiar with the work he is doing, shown research attitude in the same area, solved something similar and willing to work.
Therefore, you need to visit all labs in different universities related to the work you are willing to do and like to do in future and see what they are doing. Now find a prof. in IIT working in same area and get associated with him for rest of your course. Do download some of the papers from profs. lab you want to work in future for PhD and solve some problems during your assignments, seminars and term projects. Of course for final year project must look into labs funding and a work on with longest funding period so that you can join on that later on.
Good project and a research papers attending a good conference
Doing a good project and solving a good research problem and publishing those in good conferences will significantly improve your PhD chances. Make list of conferences and workshops top labs is publishing, so that you can target them and if possible can meet them in person during the conference and present your work.
IITs usually fund students for international conference fee and travel. There are other funding agencies such as MHRD and Indian Academy of Sciences to fund students’ travel grants for international conferences. You can easily avail them if you are from IITs.
Take on GRE and TOFEL or IELTS
Apart from proof research requirements there are certain university requirements for graduate admissions that one must fulfill. Mostly one needs GRE and TOFEL or IELTS scores. Plan well ahead and take these exams during semester breaks. You get scholarship and can pay for these one by one.
Lot of study material is available online for these exams. Also there are many writing these exams in IITs including B.Techs you can always take help and suggestions from them. If there are clubs for this exam prep join them.
Remember this important but not urgent. Do it before it become urgent and important to avoid additional stress.
Associate yourself to good PhD students
Prepare from the beginning be self motivated for research. There will be many ups and down during the process and only thing that can help you is your motivation and strong desire to join PhD program. A tip to stay motivated is to be connection with some good PhD students. They can help you more than professors in some cases as they are working on cutting edge of technology and read a lot of literature on latest research.
Stay humble and learn from them, even if you feel that they are not that great initially you can gain good insights from them on research. But if you based your judgment on evidence then find someone else. You can also try to find good scholars in other departments too. Have coffee with them discuss their research and publish with them. There are almost 1000s of them on IIT campus and it’s a great opportunity and privilege only available in IITs.
Their company will help you keep that pace and keep your desire and motivation alive.
How does your current university matters?
Now after all this I want to address this question does a degree from IIT matters for a good PhD program admit? And the answer is no. But As I said in above paragraphs IITs provide a prefect ecosystem to reach there. If you use it well your chances are higher than average but if you don’t you will be competing with everyone else. Gaining Prof. confidence for the project matters a lot in top universities and that comes from solving similar problems and presenting solutions.
The article became too long so I stop here with the hope that it helped you to fix your direction. For more article related to M.Tech advices do check M.Tech advices and for help specifically for PhD related advices do visit All about MS and PhD . Dont forget to like us on FB and follow on google plus. You can get updated on mail by subscribing us.