• GATE is a test to get into IITs and other top engineering colleges for post-graduate education or Ph.D. programs. It is also used by many companies, mostly PSUs, for the recruitment of entry-level technical professionals.
  • GATE is synonymous with M.Tech in engineering subjects like Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, Electronics, Computer Science, etc. Many other fields of engineering are also covered like Aerospace, Biotechnology, Metallurgy, Material Science, Food Technology Production, Chemical, Mining, Textile, Polymer Science, etc.
  • But GATE is now becoming popular with science students as well. Over 1 lakh science students in fields like Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, Geology, Life Science, etc also appear for the GATE exam.
  • Another popular field is Architecture for M.Arch programs at the IITs.
  • New streams added in GATE include Humanities and Social Sciences.
  • So GATE is no more an exam only meant for engineers.

Is GATE worth it? 

  • A simple way to answer this is if you get through a top college or job, then GATE is worth it. But that is a very narrow perspective.
  • In some fields, the opportunities through GATE are very high. Like Chemical Engg, Geology, Architecture, Polymer science, etc. So in these fields, GATE is a no-brainer.
  • In some fields, higher education is a must to do well in that field. Biotechnology, Chemical, Geology, etc. So again in these fields, GATE is important.
  • In some fields, suddenly there is a surfeit of jobs and sometimes there are fewer jobs. In such fields, being a topper (top 3-5%) is important. E.g. Metallurgy.
  • In popular engineering fields, higher education always helps. Especially if you are looking at a technical / research job. Like EE, EC, Mechanical, Civil, CS, Instrumentation, etc.
  • In some fields, there are more academic and research jobs. Having the brand name of IIT on your resume, or of any top college, always helps. Example: Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics, etc.
  • Another way to look at it is that graduation may not teach us much about a field. Post-graduation does give us that required edge.
  • Even preparing for GATE seriously is hugely beneficial. All job interviews assess your technical skills. So preparing for a top-quality exam like GATE helps you immensely to get into companies (both public and private).
  • Finally, many other exams like state-level govt exams or private sector exams are far easier than GATE. So if you prepare for GATE seriously, you will be easily able to crack these exams.
  • In short, preparation for GATE helps. But remember, only if you prepare seriously. Just answering the GATE exam without much preparation is a waste of money and time. Take it seriously, and it will definitely help in the long run.
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