Occupational therapy is one of the best paying jobs in the healthcare field. Many educational institutions offer occupational therapy programs in India. The aim of OT course is to train and prepare students to assess and provide appropriate interventions to improve the well-being of patients by promoting independence in daily life activities and improving their quality of life.
“8” Factors to Consider Before Choosing an OT College
If you are planning to become an Occupational Therapist, the first step is to find the right college for you. There are multiple factors to be considered while choosing an educational institution. Here we discuss the key factors that include:
- Before choosing a college or institute, it is important to ensure that the college/institute is recognized by UGC and approved by ACOT (Academic Council cell of All India Occupational Therapists’ Association) and WFOT. To be eligible for higher education or job placement, it is necessary to complete the academic program from a college/institute accredited by ACOT. You must complete the course from an accredited college to get registered and licensed under AIOTA(All India Occupational Therapists’ Association). AIOTA provides student membership to Occupational therapy students and Life membership after completion of course.
- Degrees Offered
- To get admission in OT colleges, you need to pass higher secondary school examination 10 +2 (or 12th) in science stream with subjects physics, chemistry and biology or equivalent examinations.
- Bachelors of Occupational Therapy (BOT) is the basic UG program offered in universities/colleges in India. Upon completion of BOT, one can pursue higher academic programs such as Post graduate degree program Masters of Occupational therapy (MOT) and PhD. All these courses include theoretical and practical/clinical hours.
- Specialization courses are offered at postgraduate level and the fields of specializations available in India include:
- Developmental disabilities/Paediatrics
- Mental health/Psychiatry
- Hand and Musculoskeletal disorders/Orthopaedics
Not all institutions offer all the above specialization programs. It is important to keep in mind the candidate’s area of interest, and assess the different streams of specializations along with job prospects in the respective stream, before choosing the most suitable specialization.
- Course duration
- BOT – 4 years + 6 months internship
- MOT – 2 or 3 years (varies depending on universities offering course)
- PhD – 3 or 5 years (varies depending on universities offering course)
- Cost of course
- The fees of all the above educational programs vary from institute to institute. The fee is different for private and government colleges.
- Entrance examination
- To apply for the BOT program, a candidate should have a minimum score of 50% in 10+2 or equivalent examinations. Colleges offer admission on the basis of merit or entrance test.
- Those who wish to study MOT in India must have successfully completed BOT from a recognised or accredited universities/colleges with a minimum of 50% marks. Admissions can be based on merit or entrance test. While merit based admission considers BOT course score, in entrance based admissions, self-conducted examination scores gain value. Students who are shortlisted on the basis of these scores get admission to MOT.
- Candidates desiring to get admission into PhD must have successfully completed MOT with a minimum of 55% marks from recognized universities and must qualify in the entrance examination.
Note:- Minimum score criteria may vary for different colleges.
- Campus placement
- OT colleges provide placement opportunities in various private and government institutions such as clinics, hospitals, rehabilitation centres, educational institutes, special schools, etc. The salary package differs on the basis of job place, position, experience etc.
A candidate can check on the placement opportunities in different institutions by tracking previous records of campus placements and salary median before arriving at a decision.
- Learning at an institution with state-of-the-art infrastructure and tie-ups with institutions of repute for internships will be an added advantage. This will provide a student with most practical hands-on exposure and competency.
- Updated curriculum with practical learning
- An educational institution that provides an updated and evidence-based curriculum with options for students to choose from different related courses is a better choice than an institution that fails to keep in pace with the changing demands.
Occupational Therapy Offers a Meaningful Career – Choose the Best Institution That Offers Quality Education
Occupational therapy is a creative and life changing profession. Choosing the right place for higher education is important as it is the stepping stone towards your career and a satisfying life ahead. Different institutions offer different facilities and opportunities. Remember to consider all the above factors and choose the right place for pursuing Occupational therapy program course in India.