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NDA vs IIT which is better? Benefits, Career and Job Security

NDA is the National Defence Academy. It is one of the most prestigious institution that trains cadets for entry into the Indian Armed Forces. Graduates of the NDA join either the Army, Navy, or Airforce. To enter the National Defence Academy, aspirants have to take the NDA exam which is conducted after 12th class. It is known for its rigorous selection process and high standard of training. 

IIT is the Indian Institute of Technology. It produces India’s as well as world’s best Engineers. Known for its excellence in education and research in the field of technology, to get admission into an IIT, candidates have to take JEE mains and JEE advance exam after class 12th. 

NDA and IIT both are conducted for 12th pass candidates. Both are of a competitive nature that  needs full dedication and efforts  to  crack this exam, only those who are willing to sacrifice their comfort zone are able to get the opportunity to enter these prominent institutes. NDA is for joining the Indian Armed forces whereas IIT is for joining the country’s best engineering colleges. 

Who Can Apply For NDA and IIT?

Students of any stream can apply for NDA
For Indian Army- Any Stream
For Indian Navy- Physics and Maths in 12th
For indian Air Force- Physics and Maths in 12th
Only for students who opted Physics,
Chemistry and Mathematics in class 12th

Download NDA 2 Notification 2024

Difference Between Entrance Exam of NDA and IIT

The level of the Entrance Exam is higher for both exams.Lakhs of students apply for them every year to get admission into these honorable institutes.Both needs dedication before and after getting selected .NDA and IIT both are Two Stage Exams. The first stage of both is a written test having objective wise test papers. Whereas, the difference lies in the 2nd stage, after NDA a 5 day long SSB Interview is conducted on the other hand, after IIT Mains , IIT advance entrance exam is conducted.  

Stage I NDA written test conducted offline JEE mains conducted online 
Stage II 5 day SSB Interview JEE Advance
Syllabus Maths, General Awareness, English Physics , Chemistry, Maths

NDA exam have a selection ratio of 0.1% , whereas IIT have a selection ratio of 0.7% . Which makes NDA tougher than the IIT exam. The number of candidates who apply for IITs are higher than NDA. A Total of 11 lakh candidates apply for the IIT exam, and for NDA it is 5 lakh candidates. Students with PCM background do well in NDA but have to struggle with general awareness and english. A Candidate preparing for JEE main can easily do well in the Maths section of NDA. 

IIT is an Extremely competitive exam compared to NDA. A candidate scoring 40% in NDA can easily crack the written NDA whereas in IIT JEE exam, a candidate has to fight hard for getting admission even after scoring more than 90% marks. 

NDA focuses on producing leaders in Indian armed forces who exhibit qualities of discipline, integrity and leadership.  IITs aim to produce top notch engineers and technologists who excel in their fields and contribute to innovation and development.

The reason that the percentage of NDA selection rate is high is because of the NDA SSB INTERVIEW process. Out of thousands of candidates only few are able to get recommended for the Armed forces.As it access the candidate on the basis of overall personality. A Physically and mentally delicate but academically intelligent person can get into IITs but not in NDA. 

Life After NDA and IIT

Cadets are offered:-
BA/BSC for Army Cadets
BTech degree for Navy/ Air Force Cadets
Graduates are offered:-
BTech in discipline of choice
After completing the training at NDA, cadets are commissioned as officers into the Indian Army, Indian Navy and Indian Air Force. They perform active duties as per their roles and responsibilities.. They take roles of leadership and works for the safety and security of our nations After completing the graduation from IITs. Students get placement at high paying jobs in MNCs, IITians have technical education which opens a wide range of career opportunities for them. They indulge in entrepreneurships. 

Monetary Benefits

Cadets are offered a stipend of 56000 in training period. After training, cadets join as Officers in the forces and their starting pay scale is level 10 which gets increased with rank as it gets upto level 18. Apart from this, cadets are offered various allowances like dearness allowance, transport allowance and others related to respective services. On an average, IITians get placement of 10-20 lakhs per annum. This can go upto 1 crore plus depending on the risk taking ability of the them.

Job Security

Job security is a strong factor that influences the choice of a student in choosing their profession. Both NDA and IIT offer a promising and stable career. 

As you will be working under the Central Government, you will be paid till your retirement irrespective of the economy of the country.   Your income may fluctuate depending on the firm you are working for. But as a good IITian, you will be able to earn better than others.  
No risk of laying off Risk of being laid off

What Should You Join? NDA or IIT

Both NDA and IIT provide respect and dignity if we talk in terms of society preference. One is incomplete without another. The defence sector of our country is getting technologically advanced with the combined efforts of both Engineers and Officers. It totally depends on the personal choice, inclination and interests of a candidate.

NDA offers a career in the Indian Armed Forces that focuses on a combination of physical fitness, academics and leadership skills..it is ideal for those interested in serving the nation and leading a disciplined life in the military.  It provides opportunities in various fields of engineering, technology and research. It is suitable for those passionate about science, technology, innovation and research.


Officers commissioned in permanent commission are entitled to Pension after retirement. They are not entitled to pension. However, they have a choice to be at a senior level position in a firm. They need to have enough savings.

Lets See The Positives and Negatives of  NDA and IIT

Positives of Joining NDA

  • Adventurous life
  • Serve the nation 
  • Pride and dignity
  • Leadership
  • Brotherhood

Negatives of Joining NDA

  • Sacrifice
  • Family
  • Physically fit
  • Pressure 

Positives of Joining IIT

  • Top notch education
  • Prestige 
  • Network
  • Growth

Negatives of Joining IIT

  • Workload 
  • Academic pressure
  • Health issues


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