Top 12 Computer Science Engineering colleges in India

We’ve got camps arguing that where you go to college makes all the difference, and then we’ve got the opposition who insist that this choice is not some “sweeping judgment” of your ability. I remember this line from a New York Times blog post: Shiny diplomas from shiny schools help. They do, don’t they? However much I’d like to be idealistic, reality says something else. Even then I can’t help but wonder if a college degree is only as good as its prestigious reputation.

College can be stressful enough. Deciding which one to go to is worse. The faculty that educates the novice programmers, the peer group that bolstered them to learn and build new things, or the infrastructure that provided them with the facilities to program their ideas to reality—everything matters. This debate has been going on for ages. Sigh!

Did you know that by 2018, India is expected to be home to over 5 million developers? Well, building or honing programming skills never looked more imperative, did it? I agree that you don’t need to depend on top computer courses to become an ace developer, but it can make life so much easier. To that end, we’ve put together a list of the best schools for computer science/information technology courses, in no particular order, in India.

  • IIT Bombay
  • IIIT Hyderabad
  • IIT Kanpur
  • IISc
  • NIT Trichy
  • NIT Warangal
  • IIT Kharagpur
  • BITS Pilani
  • DTU
  • NSIT

It came as no surprise in 2016 (yet again) when 67 of the top 100 ranks in the Joint Entrance Examination-Advanced opted for IIT-B. Happily for India, Indian Institute of Technology-Bombay (IIT-B) is ranked 13 on the Quacquarelli Symonds University Rankings BRICS 2016. IIT Bombay has a very strong computer science program. IIT-B is ranked among the top 100 institutions for computer science on the QS World University Rankings by Subject list!  These IIT-ians are a regular feature at ACM ICPCs and a lot of students go to the Google Summer of Code program, working on very interesting projects. Also, IIT-B is one of the largest exponents of the startup tech workforce in India. You will find a lot of young engineers working on innovative programming at some of the country's (if not the world's) most impressive startups. Research shows that in 2015, for each of the 990 seats allocated for CSE across 18 IITs, there were 209 contenders! The IIT-B 2015 placements saw the average salary go up by 10 to 15 percent. About six students even bagged 1-crore offers from Oracle, Microsoft, and Visa!

This autonomous university, perhaps, has the most experienced CSE faculty in the country. It has a strong coding culture with students consistently qualifying for the ACM-ICPC World Contest finals; the curricula also focus on research. Google selected the most number of students for its GSoC program from this “mecca” of computer science—accepting 69 students in 2014 and 62 in 2015. A unique aspect of this college is its low intake of students, hence ensuring more focused training.

Read this answer on Quora which talks about International Institute of Information Technology –Hyderabad (IIIT-H). "IIIT-H has unique and consequential courses of study, blending Computer Science at one of the best CS schools in India with; well, any and everything you like. A.I. Artificial Intelligence, Natural Language Processing, Semantic Web (Web 3.0), Human–computer Interaction or be it Sanskrit, Ontology or Indian Culture and Tradition! You get to study in a small group of 10-15 people with some of the top-brass in of IIIT-H. Some of the courses take you right to the open fields where cutting-edge research is ongoing, both in IIIT and outside. It may not carry the coveted IIT tag or and an Ivy league batch, but at the end of 5 years, you'll walk out as a specialist in your field of interest and at least have something on your resume neither an IITian nor an MITian can boast of "Exact Humanities!"

With top faculty and consistent placements, Indian Institute of Technology-Kanpur (IIT-K) has everything that you'd expect from a high-end computer science institute. Perhaps the most important part of studying at IIT is the cross-disciplinary research that happens there. A 2014 Brown University study says that IIT-Kanpur is among the top 10 contributors of faculty to undergraduate computer science programs in the US. The placements are amazing. The first three days of the first-phase placement (December 2016) drive brought 315 offer letters! And Microsoft offered an IIT-K student a 1.5 crore deal to work on “software designing, implementation, and fixing the bugsat its Redmond facility. And here’s a fun fact for you: IIT Kanpur predicted Donald Trump's win six days before US polls.

This year, Times Higher Education spoke to 2,500 recruitment managers and decided that in the Global University Employability Ranking, Indian Institute of Science (IISc) takes the 38th spot. And, this is what Anurag Kumar, IISc Director, had to say about the findings of the BRICS and Emerging Economies University Rankings 2017: “India is making great strides. Its flagship university, the Indian Institute of Science (IISc), breaks into the top 15 for the first time this year in 14th place, thanks to improved scores for its teaching environment and research influence.” Placements are never a problem when you graduate from this over a century-old institute that has made the nation proud in so many ways. Two students, who will graduate in 2016, from the Department of Computer Science and Automation (CAS) have been offered jobs abroad for USD1,50,000. Now that is some amount! Great skills in software development and algorithm design got them these jobs said a source from the institute. “Students studying these (computer science, electrical and electrical communication engineering) subjects mostly dominate the placements with companies hankering for them. Their domestic salaries range anywhere from Rs. 15 lakh to Rs. 30 lakh a year,” added the source.

National Institute of Technology (NIT) Trichy has a variety of programming clubs which provide great peer exposure for its students. Also, a strong alumni interaction is reported in the college, which keeps the current batch up to date with the industry. In the Outlook India’s Top Engineering Colleges 2016 survey, NIT Trichy was ranked 9. The institute was given an overall score of 804.1—based on selection process, academic excellence, personality development and interface, infrastructure, and placement.  Placement for CSE students is rather good, with 80% of the salaries over 10 LPA.

Established in 1959, National Institute of Technology (NIT) Warangal continues to be one of the premier engineering institutions in India. NIT Warangal has a decent programming culture, and a strong peer group. In the Outlook India’s Top Engineering Colleges 2016 survey, NIT Warangal was ranked 11. The institute was given an overall score of 764.2. Data shows that on an average, a CSE student got a job offer of Rs. 9 to 10 LPA. In 2014, companies like Amazon and CodeNation hired from CSE students, offering salaries of up to 18 LPA and 24 LPA.

With notable alumni like Sundar Pichai and Anuradha Acharya, the Indian Institute of Technology-Kharagpur (IIT-Kgp) needs no introduction. The first IIT to be established, it “has the largest campus (2,100 acres), the most departments, and the highest student enrollment.” The CSE department, CodeClub, organizes BitFest every year which deals with programming, application and web development. HackerEarth and NetApp are sponsoring the event this year, with prizes worth over USD1000. The QS Employability Ranking for the year 2017 gives it top spot among Indian institutions. IIT-Kgp emphasizes employer-student connections, project-based learning, and innovative research. In an article about campus placements, The Times of India reported whopping salaries of up to INR1.5 crore in early December 2016. The institute also provides “additional grooming” for students who believe they need it before big companies visit.

Per the 2014 Brown University study, IIT-Madras is fifth largest contributor of faculty to undergraduate computer science programs in the US. That is surely proof of the CSE department’s quality! For the last 18 years, the Indian Institute of Technology Madras (IIT-M) has been successfully hosting its technical festival “Shaastra,” one of Asia’s largest, where the events include coding, robotics, Big Data, electronics challenges, and so much more. The success of this tech fest is proof why the institute is one of India’s premier institutions. And it explains why companies like Goldman Sachs, Adobe, Qualcomm, and Reliance have visited the campus December 2016 with pre-placement offers. Manu Santhanam, Training and Placement Advisor, told Business Line, “We have seen a good number of offers because of the active internship programme.” Going by reports, it looks like many global majors and PSUs are all making a beeline for this institute.

I don’t think I can still figure out why Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani (BITS, Pilani), doesn’t take top spot on the list of best tech universities in India. But India Today gives it rank 3 in the Directory of Best Colleges 2016: Engineering. If you read reviews on Quora, you will understand what I mean. As always, the reviews are a mixed bag; but overall, the CSE students have positive things to say about the academic ambience, faculty, peer group, and curriculum. Since 2013, BITS alumni (from all 4 campuses) have emerged as some of the most successful innovative tech entrepreneurs in India, launching nearly 500 startups.

Delhi Technological University (DTU) ranks 13 on the Outlook magazine Top 100 Engineering Colleges in 2016 list, with an overall score of 733.9. In mid-2016, Delhi Technological University (DTU) released an official statement saying that it “has added 221 seats to its Computer Engineering programme and increased 25 seats in the Information Technology discipline.” DTU had about 260 companies offer 1,200 jobs to the students in 2015. Research shows that, information technology, computer science, and electronics and communication engineering are the most sought-after choices for engineering aspirants in Delhi. Placements are great too. In 2015, Google offered one of the IT students a job for INR1.27 crore.

On the Outlook magazine Top 100 Engineering Colleges in 2016 survey, Netaji Subhas Institute of Technology (NSIT), formerly the Delhi Institute of Technology, was placed 12, with an overall score of 758.2. This is definitive proof that the university is home to top quality education. Tech giants are queuing up to CSE and ECE departments. For instance, in 2015, eight students from NSIT bagged amazing offers from Google (Mountain View) that were over a crore. You can read their interviews for more insight here.

Established in 1919, Banaras Engineering College got the IIT status in 2012. Although the institute is fairly new, it has big companies visiting its campus, with 3 international offers in 2015 and 4 in 2016.

This list is compiled from qualitative research. Your list could be different. Which colleges would you add to this? (Or remove?)

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About the Author

Raghu Mohan
Raghu is an engineering grad handles Marketing at HackerEarth. Prior to this, he was an editor at When he’s not working, you can find him at the nearest music shop having a jam session.