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How to choose your career after 12th? IPM vs Engineering?

IPM vs Engineering​

Courses after 12th

The academic ride of a science student starts by selecting a science stream after 10th class. How to choose your career after 12th, is one big question troubling youngsters. There is no dearth of courses after 12th, but time and again students find themselves surrounded with, what to do after 12th? Also, which course is best after 12th is a disturbing question for parents and students alike. Biology students who aspire to become doctors opt medical entrances such as NEET, while others prepare for the IIT/NIT or other engineering entrance exam to start their 4 years journey to become an engineer. The next academic step that is becoming very common nowadays is enrolling for MBA which is a 2-year post-graduate degree course. Hence, students devote 6 years to complete an MBA after engineering. So why go for engineering if you decide to go MBA at last? Are there any other options available?

IPM (Integrated Program in Management) is a five-year program in management offered by the Indian Institute of Management, Indore (IIM Indore) and IIM Rohtak for the students who have completed their secondary education. This program provides a great opportunity for students who want to pursue a career in management. It helps the students getting a head start in the field of management much earlier than they could have through the more traditional approach of Engineering + MBA. IPM is an attractive course among many career options after 12th commerce.



The following table gives the eligibility criteria that should be fulfilled by the students if they want to appear for the admission process in particular fields. 




Min Marks
(For General and NC-OBC

60% (Class 10th & 12th)

75% (Class 12th)

Min Marks (For SC/ ST/ PwD)

55% (Class 10th & 12th)

65% (Class 12th)

Max Age
(For General and NC-OBC

20 years

No limit

Max Age (For SC/ ST/ PwD)

25 years

No limit

Selection Process - IPM vs Engineering

IPM as career after 12th

IPM is a five year integrated programme in management. Out of all the students who passed out of after 12th class, approximately 19000 students appear in the IPM selection process. IIM Indore and IIM Rohtak offered 150 and 160 seats respectively for the IPM course to domestic students. Therefore, IPMAT conversion rate is 1.6%. The eligible students need to fill the online application form to appear in the IPMAT (Integrated Program in Management Aptitude Test). IPMAT Indore has the following structure:

Section NameQuestions
Number of
Marks per
Ability (QA)
Short Answer
Verbal Ability
Multiple Choice (MCQs)40404/-1

Each question carries 4 marks. MCQ questions if answered incorrectly attract a -1  mark penalty but there is no negative marking for QA (SA) questions. The candidates, who got shortlisted in this aptitude test (AT) based on individual and total cut-off, appear in Written Ability Test (WAT) and Personal Interview (PI). A final score is calculated by considering weights of AT, WAT & PI as 50%, 15% & 35% respectively. IPMAT Rohtak also follows a similar selection process to screen students for IIM Rohtak.


Engineering after 12th

Every year, approximately 12-13 lakhs students appear in the IIT-JEE Mains (Indian Institute of Technology – Joint Entrance Examination Mains) after 12th. The craze of engineering entrance exams is so much that 13674 number of seats offered by 23 IITS, brings the conversion rate to a meagre 1.05%. That means 105 students make it into IITS among every 1000 students.   

IIT-JEE Mains is the first step. Thereafter, 1.6 lakhs students gets shortlisted for IIT-JEE Advanced. Out of these, the students who clear the individual as well as aggregated cut-offs get All India Ranks and then have to participate in the joint seat allocation process conducted by the JoSAA (Joint Seat Allocation Authority). Joining an engineering course is certainly not a cake-walk. However, there are other private engineering colleges where seeking admission is easy. 

The syllabus and exam paper is set by the NTA (National Testing Agency).

Below is the pattern of IIT JEE Mains exam:

SubjectSection A*Section BMarks
*In Section B (Numerical Value Type) student is expected to any five questions in each of the subjects.
There are a total of 75 questions which are a mix of MCQ & Numerical-Based. Each question carries +4 marks and -1 for incorrect answers and 0 for unanswered questions. There is no negative marking for numerical-based questions.
The pattern of IIT-JEE Advanced is always a surprise for the students and it does not have a fixed structure. There are 2 papers of 3 hours each. Each paper consists of questions that have only one correct option, multiple options correct, or numerical-based. The marking scheme also varies. So, students are advised to read the instructions carefully before starting the exam.

Points of Comparison: IPM vs Engineering

The most important question that arises here is: Should we take the option of IPM or Engineering? Dual degree program may not seem as the best course after 12th. But certainly, one must consider IPM as its is the best course to take in college.

Let’s summarise the differences between these two in a table.




Number of aspirants (approx.)


13.5 Lakhs

Conversion Percentage



Number of attempts per year


2 (January & April)

Age Limit



Entrance exam


IIT-JEE (Mains + Advanced)


IIM (Indore & Rohtak)


Final Degree

MBA (Masters)

B.Tech (Graduation)

Duration (Years)


4 (+2 years if want to do MBA)


The main difference in selecting IPM or an Engineering degree is your final decision. The status-quo shows that most of the IITians give CAT exam to pursue their career in MBA. Hence, if your final aim is MBA, then why not save a year and take the opportunity to study in IIM after 12th class by joining an MBA integrated course. Less competition, better conversion rate, and early preparation for becoming a good management student is what you can expect from IPM option. 

Therefore, IPMAT exam is certainly a shortcut to apply for integrated degree courses. Also, if you decide to do an MBA after engineering, then again you need to give CAT (Common Admission Test) or other management entrance exams and compete with approximately 2 lakh students to get a seat in IIM. But if you want to see yourself as an engineer, then prepare for IIT-JEE. Even I am an engineer and wanted to be a Marketing Manager when I was there in the final year of my B. Tech degree. If I had known about IPM, I might have chosen a different path. Which course after 12th do you wish to choose?

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