Tuesday 16 July 2019

What are the major mistakes students do in their 1st year BTech?

Taking academics and career for granted.
When you are in school, you are under the supervision of your parents. As you step into college, things start changing. Suddenly, you have to take your own responsibility. Unfortunately, most students fail to realize this.
I have seen highly talented students give-up on academics as soon as they enter college just because they think that now that 12th is over, they can sit back and relax and things will happen automatically. Obviously, this is orders of magnitude far from reality.
What really happens in college is that you have to take responsibility for your resume, your internship, your job, your higher studies, and many other things. You need to build the right set of skills so that you are employable in the market. With a few exceptions, most college professors don’t really give a damn about your career. You are paying the college fees from which they are getting their salary. So, in the end, they are making money off your stupidity.
Most students don’t even know the difference between product and services companies and they end up working at Rs. 3.15 lakhs per year in IT services firms. Their skill-set further stagnates because there is hardly any learning in the IT services firms.
Talking specifically from the Computer Science domain, here are some of the suggestions I have for 1st-year college students:
  • Start building your resume from day 1. Aim for a full 2-page resume by the end of 7th semester. Many people recommend 1-page resume which is also fine.
  • Build a habit of reading books and learning from online courses. You don’t really have to purchase a hard copy. ebooks are available online and are often quite convenient. Enroll in various online courses to strengthen your skill-set.
  • Be aware of the latest trends and technologies in the market. Android app development was a “cool” thing 5 years ago. Things are changing now and you should consider moving to latest technologies like Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc. 5 years later, this will also change and new things would come. Be prepared for a change.
  • Aim for summer internships at the end of 2nd and 3rd year. Internship helps you gain exposure to how the industry works.
  • Be aware of how off-campus placements work. Don’t restrict yourself to campus recruitment. Learn how to build skills and resume so that you can reach out to companies on your own. You are almost sure to get a higher package through off-campus placement.
  • Learn basic freelancing skills which can help you make side money.


  1. Hey Aman, I wish I had this advice when I entered for my BTech at NIT Calicut. Well, can't change the past. Would you be kind enough to recommend a decent autodidact path for Com. Science?

    After working as s/w engineer for several years, I realized that my true interest lies in CS than "Agile development". Started with nand2tereis, automata, discrete maths etc...still - would be great to get your opinion,



    1. You can follow the path: Basics --> Data structures and algorithms --> Web/Android --> Machine Learning

      All the best!

  2. Hey Aman! I completely agree with you.

    I had worked my ass off to get a rank of 117 in jee 2k18. But when I entered college(IITD CS Dual) I totally changed.

    I neglected studies, also started drinking and smoking to try to "fit in". I didn't study at all in class mostly spent my time on instagram or sleeping, slept 10-12 hours a day, got slightly addicted to smoking,spent my whole day watching movies/talking to friends/social media.
    Basically I screwed up.

    I was able to study 10-11 hours a day but now can't manage to sit for an hour with a book. The person who loved solving INMO problems for fun now struggles to do basic math.
    I still managed to get an okayish CGPA(9.08) by mugging up the day before and cheating in assignments.
    But this summer it gave me time to introspect about my 1st year in college. I have started changing myself.

    By this comment I just want to tell people who would be reading this to not be vulnerable and not let independence get to your head.

    Thanks for this blog (I also followed your JEE blog alot)

    1. Thank you for your comment. I wish you all the very best.