Is it worth studying in IISER?

Is it worth studying in IISER?

The Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) have emerged as premier institutions in India, focusing on providing top-notch education and research opportunities in basic sciences. These institutes are declared Institutions of national importance by an act of Parliament, aiming to be the IITs of basic sciences. Still many students underestimate IISER. In this blog, we will explore why it is worth studying at Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.

Student Life at IISER:

IISERs are residential institutes, requiring students to stay on campus for the duration of their courses. The institutes provide modern infrastructure including following facilities:

  • Hostels
  •  Mess Facilities
  • Commercial Centers
  • Health Centers
  • Auditoriums
  • Sports facilities

The atmosphere is focused on fostering both academic and extracurricular growth. All the IISERs, except IISER Berhampur and IISER Tirupati have well developed campuses with modern and world class facilities to ensure an easy and comfortable student life.

Click here to know more about the student life at different Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.

Student Clubs and Annual Fests-

IISERs have a vibrant student life with various clubs and annual fests enhancing the overall experience. These clubs include science clubs for different disciplines and cultural clubs for activities like dance, music, drama, and debate. Annual fests, such as Karavaan at IISER Pune and Kyraat at Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research Berhampur, provide a platform for students to showcase their talents and engage in diverse activities.

Annual Meets-

The Inter Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research Cultural Meet (IICM) and Inter Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research Sports Meet (IISM) bring together students from different IISERs, IISc, NISER, and CEBS for cultural and sports events. These annual extravaganzas foster camaraderie and friendly competition among the institutes.

Career Opportunities for IISER Graduates-

One common misconception about IISER graduates is the belief that viable career options are limited. However, the truth is that the training received during the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research program equips students for diverse career paths. While the emphasis is on promoting research in basic sciences, graduates find opportunities in academia, research and development (R&D), and various industries.

The Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs) stand as bastions of scientific exploration, offering students a unique educational experience. Aspirants often ponder the opportunities that await them after completing the rigorous five-year BS-MS program or other programs like Ph.D. and Integrated Ph.D. In this section, we’ll delve into the post-graduate landscape for Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research students, exploring avenues such as placements, Ph.D. pursuits, and diverse career options.

IISERs are not conventional when it comes to placements. Unlike engineering colleges, they don’t have dedicated placement cells. The emphasis at Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research is on nurturing students passionate about basic science and fundamental research. Consequently, a significant number of IISER graduates opt for Ph.D. programs rather than conventional jobs.

Doing a Ph.D. after Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research involves engaging in a work-study program. During these years, students conduct their own research under an established researcher, often referred to as the principal investigator. Despite the absence of a placement cell, IISER students have a distinct advantage when applying for Ph.D. positions, both in India and abroad. These Ph.D. positions are fully funded, covering tuition fees and living expenses through grants or fellowships.

Ph.D. Abroad:

Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research graduates with impressive profiles and academics often find themselves admitted into prestigious institutions globally. Some favored destinations for Ph.D. include MIT, Stanford, Oxford, Cambridge, Max Planck, and ETH Zurich. Stipends abroad vary, but they generally provide a comfortable living. Here’s a snapshot:

  • United Kingdom: Average stipend of £18,662 or INR 19.36 Lakhs per year, with potential savings.
  • Europe (Denmark, Norway, etc.): Average stipends ranging from INR 49.75 Lakhs to 51.67 Lakhs per year.
  • United States: Stipends between USD 15,000 to 30,000 per year (INR 12.5 to 25 Lakhs per year).

Ph.D. in India:

While obtaining a Ph.D. in India is rigorous, IISERs, IITs, IISc, TIFR, and NCBS remain popular choices. The average stipend ranges from INR 31,000 to 37,000 per month, balancing the cost of living in the country.


Postdoc Years: For those eyeing academia, engaging in one to two years of post-doctoral work is common. Abroad, stipends range from INR 3-5 Lakhs per month, while in India, it’s around 57k to 74k per month.

Faculty Positions: Completing a Post-Doc opens avenues for faculty positions at various universities.

Industrial Sector-

Research Scientist Roles: Joining the industrial sector as a research scientist comes with an average salary of INR 7.8 Lakhs per annum in India. Internationally, roles like Data Analyst, Bioinformatician, Lab Chemist, etc., offer varying average salaries.

MBA Pursuits-

CAT, XAT, SNAP, NMAT: Many Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research graduates opt for MBA programs. Qualifying for exams like CAT, XAT, SNAP, or NMAT can secure admission to top institutes like IIMs, XLRI, SIBM, or NMIMS, with average packages ranging from INR 20-25 Lakhs per annum. Note that in the year 2020, an IISER Pune student was a topper of CAT.

Government Jobs-

Scientific Officer Positions: Opportunities in government research institutes and labs offer a starting salary of around INR 1 Lakh per month. Organizations like BARC, DRDO, and ISRO are popular choices.

Teaching and Coaching-

Ed-Tech Roles: IISER graduates, equipped with advanced degrees, are sought after by ed-tech giants like Physicswallah and Unacademy. Salaries in teaching roles vary from 40k to 1 Lac per month.

Click here to know in detail about the placement opportunities after Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research.

How To Join IISER?

IISER conducts an exam called IAT or IISER Aptitude Test. IAT is an offline computer based test that comprises questions from Physics, Chemistry, Mathematics and Biology.

Apart from IAT, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research also accepts admission based on scores in JEE. But IAT is the easiest way to get into IISER.

How to prepare for IAT?

SciAstra is an online learning platform that offers courses and guidance for students who aspire to join the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research (IISERs). IISERs are prestigious institutes that provide interdisciplinary science education and research in India.

SciAstra helps students prepare for the IISER Aptitude Test (IAT), which is one of the modes of admission to the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research. SciAstra’s courses cover the syllabus and pattern of the IAT, and provide mock tests, previous year papers, and doubt sessions. SciAstra also has experienced mentors who provide personal and emotional support to the students

SciAstra have produced many successful students who have joined the Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research and other reputed institutes like IISC, ISI, CMI, and IACS.

SciAstra is a platform that aims to make students love science and pursue their dreams of becoming scientists

Use SciAstra to get your tickets to IISER. Click here to know more.


IISER provides a perfect environment for a comfortable student life. So, when it comes to the environment and campus, IISERs are really good place to complete your graduation. Not just that, Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research are known for their graduate securing a successful career option. Hence, IISERs are nice place to study for securing your future as well. So in short, IISERs comes with a complete package and serves to be a perfect destination for studying.


  1. How can I get admission to IISER?

To secure admission to Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research, aspiring students need to appear for the IISER Admission Test (IAT). SciAstra offers specialized courses to prepare for IAT. Click here to know more about this.

  1. What are the most common career paths for IISER graduates?

While many IISER graduates pursue Ph.D. programs, there are diverse career options available, including roles as research scientists in the industry, government jobs, teaching, and entrepreneurship.

  1. Is it challenging to get into an Ivy League Ph.D. program after completing IISER?

While Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research graduates have a competitive edge due to their rigorous academics and research experience, gaining admission to Ivy League Ph.D. programs is still a challenging process.

  1. What funding options are available for Ph.D. programs abroad?

Most Ph.D. positions abroad are fully funded, covering tuition fees and living expenses through fellowships or grants. The stipend amounts in various countries are detailed in the blog.

  1. How do salary expectations after a Ph.D. differ between India and abroad?

Salaries abroad after completing a Ph.D. are generally significantly higher than those in India. The blog provides a detailed breakdown of average stipends and salaries in different countries.

  1. Can IISER graduates pursue careers outside of academia and research?

Absolutely! IISER graduates have the option to explore diverse paths, such as pursuing an MBA or securing positions in top institutes, leading to packages of INR 20-25 lakhs per annum after an MBA.

  1. What government job opportunities are available for IISER graduates?

Indian Institutes of Science Education and Research graduates can explore opportunities in the public sector, including positions as Scientific Officers in government research institutes and labs. The blog mentions specific organizations like BARC, DRDO, and ISRO, along with starting salary details.

About us:

SciAstra is a team of scientists and research scholars from the top research institutes around the world, like Oxford, Harvard, Cambridge, and so on. Our vision is to promote critical thinking and scientific temperament by helping students pursue careers in science.

We offer many free and paid courses where our mentors from the top research institutes like IISER, NISER, IACS, CMI, ISI, IISC Bangalore, etc., teach students in live classes, with study materials,  mock tests, books, and everything needed. We have taught more than 10,000 students already since 2021 and achieved over 1000 selections with AIR 1, 7,10, 12, and 13 in  IISc Bengaluru, IISERs, NISER, IACS, and so on.  If you are looking to prepare for IAT / NEST 2024, you can check out our courses and get access to live classes, recorded lectures, study material, mock tests, doubt-clearing classes, and much more!

To know more about us, click here OR download the SciAstra App from the Play Store and App Store!

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