HYDERABAD: The number of applicants for post-graduate engineering courses has nearly doubled this year and lack of jobs seems to be only one of the reasons for the growing interest in M.tech courses.
About 68,000 applied for PGECET-2012 (Post Graduate Engineering Common Entrance Test) by April 23, the last date for submission of applications. Last year the number of applicants were 37,000.
More applications are likely to come as there is still time to appply for the exam by paying a late fee.
"We are expecting a few more applications as there is still time to apply for the entrance test until May 14 with a late fee," says PGECET convenor Prof A Venugopal Reddy.
While the not-so-rosy job market is the reason for many students to go for higher studies, the other factors that are driving them towards earning a post-graduate qualification seem to be the higher pay offered for highly-qualified teachers as per the AICTE (All India Council for Technical Education) norms and better job prospects for people with higher qualifications. For some, it is also a way to cover up the gap between the completion of their studies and landing a job. This way they can avoid giving a negative impression to the prospective employers that they have remained idle for some time after completeing the studies. And those who want to pursue a career in teaching will anyway go for higher educational qualifications.
"Many graduates are applying for the PGCET to strengthen their academic record and avoid a gap in academics before landing a job," says S Shankar, a faculty member of a reputed engineering college in the state capital, speaking to Express.
"The graduates who are into teaching have applied in large numbers to improve their academic qualification and get paid according to AICTE norms. The freshers who want to take up teaching as a profession also have applied," adds Shankar, as he explains the valid reasons for the increasing importance to higher education.
S Narisimha Chary, a fresh B.Tech graduate, and many of his college mates are among those who are trying to get into a PG college.
"If we get a job while doing the PG course, we can use the course period to show that there's no gap between studies and landing the job. If we can't succeed in getting a job till we complete PG, then the higher qualification will certainly improve our job prospects," reasons Chary.