Know Your Degree: B.E. vs B.Tech.


There has always been a confusion on the difference between a Bachelor of Engineering(B.E.) degree and a Bachelor of Technology(B.Tech.) degree. While both degrees are awarded after completing a four-year undergraduate engineering programme in India, the different names of the degrees never fail to make one try to differentiate one from the other.

The General Notions: Things You’ve Heard People Say

  • B.E. is more of theory-based while B.Tech. is more of application-based.
  • B.Tech. is skill-oriented while B.E. is knowledge-oriented.
  • Premium or institutes of national importance provide B.Tech. degrees while BE degrees are given out by most of the private colleges affiliated to regional universities.
  • Deemed universities or private universities offer B.Tech. degrees.
  • The universities that offer many degrees in multiple fields like Arts, Commerce, Sciences as well as Engineering award B.E. degrees while universities that offer only Engineering degrees award B.Tech. degrees.

Peeking into the History of Technical Education in India

There is another notion, not so general, that the colleges/institutes that were established during the British Raj award the B.Tech. degrees.

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However, the first college established by the British, viz. The Madras Survey School, which later came to be known as College of Engineering, Guindy, is affiliated to the Anna University and offers BE degrees to its engineering graduates. This might be the only exception to the notion of the pre-independence era colleges offering B.Tech. degrees but it sure does eliminate the possibility of such a rule in the nomenclature of the engineering degrees.

Other Notable Exceptions/Curious Cases

  • Birla Institute of Technology and Science(BITS), Pilani offers Bachelor of Engineering degrees to its engineering undergraduates. However, BITS Pilani is an officially recognised private university since 1964.
  • Adhiyamaan College of Engineering, an autonomous institute affiliated to Anna University, Chennai, offers both B.E. and B.Tech. degrees. It offers B.Tech. for Chemical, IT and Bio-Technology engineering while rest of the eight engineering courses offer BE degrees.

Engineering vs Engineering Technology

Theoretically, engineering and engineering technology are defined as separate yet closely related fields in countries like USA and Canada. Following are the major differentiators.

  • Engineering focuses more on the theoretical aspects and conceptual design while engineering technology focuses more on the practical, application and implementation aspects.
  • Engineering programs typically focus more on higher-level mathematics, including multiple semesters of calculus and calculus-based theoretical science courses while engineering technology programs focus on more practical courses and algebra, trigonometry and applied calculus.
  • Engineering graduates are called engineers while engineering technology graduates are called technologists(four-year programs) or technicians(two-year programs).
  • Engineering professionals often pursue entry-level jobs involving conceptual design or research and development or graduate-level work in engineering. Engineering technology professionals are most likely to enter positions in sectors such as construction, manufacturing, product design, testing, or technical services and sales. Those who pursue further study often consider engineering, facilities management, or business administration.

AICTE view

The All India Council of Technical Education(AICTE) has the ‘responsibility for uniform development and qualitative growth of the Technical Education system and preparation of syllabi to maintain uniform standards throughout the country’. AICTE’s model curricula for different engineering programmes do not differentiate B.E. curricula from B.Tech. curricula and considers them both as “Undergraduate Programmes of Study in Engineering & Technology”. As a result, both BE and B.Tech. curricula have the same guidelines for practical as well as theoretical subjects.

 Concluding Notes

While all the general notions have had at least one exception to them, what remains of the difference in both B.E. and B.Tech. is little and has no significance in the terms of job scope, prospects and other employment opportunities. Although it could be argued that the B.Tech. degree from IITs or NITs hold more importance over a BE from a private institute but this is true only because IITs and NITs are considered the institutes of national importance and offer excellence and not simply because their degrees are called B.Tech. degrees.

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