GATE or IES/ESE - Which one should you choose?
In India, engineering remains the most preferred professional course among youngsters given the vast prospects it offers. Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering (GATE) and Indian Engineering Services (IES)/Engineering Services Examination (ESE) are the most sought-after career opportunities for engineering graduates. However, most aspirants often have a hard time deciding between these two exams. Here's what you need to know about GATE and IES/ESE.
About GATE and IES/ESE and the objective of these exams
GATE and IES/ESE offer different opportunities and avenues. While GATE is conducted by any one of the seven IITs or IISc, IES/ESE is conducted by the UPSC. GATE is mainly held for admission to postgraduate courses in engineering/technology, including at premier institutes like IITs and NITs. GATE scores are also accepted for PSU recruitment. IES/ESE is conducted for central government jobs in various ministries/departments.
Different stages and engineering disciplines of GATE and IES/ESE
GATE is a single-stage exam while the IES/ESE consists of three different stages, including the Prelims (two objective type papers), Mains (two conventional type papers), and Personality Test. Also, GATE is conducted for as many as 24 engineering disciplines whereas IES/ESE is held only four engineering branches including Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Electronics & Telecommunication Engineering.
Eligibility criteria and number of attempts
To apply for GATE and IES/ESE, a candidate needs to hold at least a bachelor's degree in engineering. There is no minimum or maximum age limit to appear for GATE. Also, there's no limit on the number of attempts. For IES/ESE, the age limit is 21-30 years of age. Candidates can attempt for an unlimited number of times until they reach the maximum age.
Validity of the GATE and IES/ESE scores
The GATE score of a candidate is valid for up to three years while the IES/ESE score is valid only for a year. However, GATE scores are valid for three years only for taking postgraduate admissions as PSUs consider only recent GATE scores for recruitment.
Who should go for GATE?
Candidates who want to pursue higher education, including at reputed engineering/technical institutions, but are also interested in PSU jobs can go for GATE. It is advantageous because if they are unable to get a PSU job, their GATE score will be valid for three years to join postgraduate programs. Also, the difficulty and competition levels of GATE are considered lower compared to IES/ESE.
What about UPSC IES/ESE?
UPSC IES/ESE is for candidates who are job-oriented and are purely interested in securing central government jobs under different ministries/departments. ESE is more difficult compared to GATE in terms of difficulty and competition. Also, IES officers enjoy immense respect and stature in society.