Undergraduate students at IISc more keen on research

Undergraduate students at  IISc more keen on research

A majority of students from the first undergraduate batch at the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) are choosing to pursue higher studies and careers in research instead of joining the industry.

Although the present batch that joined in 2011 will be passing out next year, the placement process is already in progress. The students’ choice is no surprise as the Bachelor of Science (BSc) course at the institute was started primarily with an emphasis to encourage research. This, at a time when there are a deluge of young pass-outs eager to join the industry.

Himani, a final year UG student majoring in biology, is one among the many students keen on studying further. “I would like to pursue my PhD and have applied to institutes like the Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (TIFR) and IISc. However, my dream would be to study at Stanford University or the University of California, San Francisco. I came to IISc primarily with the aim to go into research and would not like to do anything else,” she said.     

At IISc, BSc students are given a choice to major in any one of the six subjects - biology, physics, chemistry, mathematics, material science and environmental science - from the fourth semester onwards along with two minor subjects.

They are required to study a general course comprising all the above six subjects till the third semester.

The placement process began in November. While some students are sure that they would like a job, there are others who have registered for placements but are in two minds whether to choose a job or go for higher studies, said Abhinav Jain, a final year UG student, who is also the chief placements coordinator for his batch.

“As many as 25 students from the batch registered themselves to be part of the placements. Seven are from material science, 10 from physics, four from biology, two from mathematics and one each from environmental science and chemistry. Of these, around 15 are very keen on landing a job, while the rest may pursue higher studies if the offers are not that great,” he said.

While the placement process has started for the whole institute, efforts are on to conduct a session, especially for UG students, in January. “Being in an interdisciplinary course, students are well-equipped to work in the industry as well as pursue research. However, since this is the first graduating batch of the UG course, there is a need to communicate to companies that we are ready for the industry,” he said.

Abhinav himself, who majors in material science, wants to work with a startup after he finishes the course. 15 per cent interested in jobsSpeaking to Deccan Herald, the IISc Dean for UG Studies Prof Chandan Dasgupta said: “Of the 83 students in the batch, around 10-15 per cent have shown interest in landing a job after they pass out. However, this might change in the coming days when the picture with regards to placements and preferences of students becomes clearer.”

According to sources, many students pursuing maths and physics are keen on working in data analytics. Those from different specialisations also want to get into sectors 

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