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NID vs. NIFT: Key Differences, Career Opportunities, Admission Process and Courses

NID vs. NIFT: Key Differences, Career Opportunities, Admission Process and Courses

Edited By Team Careers360 | Updated on May 21, 2024 02:36 PM IST

Candidates who aspire to pursue a career in design typically find themselves preparing for at least one of two major national-level examinations: NID or NIFT. The NID DAT is conducted by the National Institute of Design, while the NIFT exam is conducted by the National Institute of Fashion Technology. Students often get mixed up between the NIFT and NID entrance exams. This article will help clear up the differences between the two exams based on factors like focus areas, courses offered, career opportunities and much more, so candidates can decide which one is the best fit for your design career goals.

National Institute of Design (NID)

The National Institute of Design (NID) is a prestigious network of independent public design schools situated across India. NID offers a variety of courses including Bachelor of Design (B.Des), Master of Design (M.Des), and a Doctor of Philosophy in Design. To support students in their career development and job placement, NID has a dedicated placement cell that organizes various placement activities on campus.

National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT)

The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) is a premier institute in India for fashion studies. It conducts NIFT 2024 entrance exam for admissions into courses such as B.Des, M.Des, B.F.Tech, M.F.Tech, and M.F.M.The NIFT entrance exam includes a written examination and a Situation Test or Personal Interview (for postgraduate courses). For B.F.Tech candidates, only the General Ability Test (GAT) written examination is necessary.

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NID Vs NIFT - Comparison

Both NID and NIFT are prestigious institutes that offer excellent opportunities in the field of design. When comparing these instiution, its natural to have a question NID vs.NIFT which is better. Each institution had its own advantages and distinctive features. Lets see the difference between the NID, NIFT full form, NID and NIFT entrance exam, and NID NIFT duration .

Exam Structure

  • NID - NID full form is National Institute of Design. Design Aptitude Test (DAT) is conducted for admission to NID B.Des programme, lasts for 4 years. DAT evaluates the candidate's design aptitude, drawing skills, creativity, visual observation, analytical and lateral thinking, and writing skills.

  • NIFT - NIFT full form is National Institute of Fashion Technology. Creative Ability Test (CAT) and the General Ability Test (GAT) is conducted for admission to NIFT B.Des program, duration of 4 years. CAT evaluates the intuitive ability, power of observation in concept development, and design ability of the candidate. GAT evaluates quantitative ability, communication ability, English comprehension, analytical ability, and general knowledge and current affairs.

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Focus Areas

  • NID - Institute places a strong emphasis on the overall design aptitude of candidates. It assesses their ability to think critically, innovate, and solve design problems. Drawing skills, creativity, and an understanding of human factors are crucial.

  • NIFT - B.Des program at NIFT has a specific focus on the fashion industry. Therefore, in addition to design aptitude, candidates need to have an understanding of the fashion world, trends, materials, and techniques. Creative and innovative thinking is crucial, especially in the context of fashion design.

Situation Test/Group Discussion/Interview

  • NID - Portfolio of the candidate is also considered for admission to NID. This portfolio showcases the candidate's previous work, including sketches, design projects, and any other relevant creative work. It is an essential part of the selection process.
  • NIFT - After the written test, NIFT conducts a Situation Test for shortlisted candidates, followed by Group Discussion and Interview. This is to assess their approach to a given problem, communication skills, and overall suitability for the program.

NID vs NIFT - Courses Offered

The National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) organises the NIFT examination to select candidates for their B.Des, M.Des, B.F.Tech, M.F.Tech, and M.F.M programs. These courses are offered across 18 NIFT campuses, each renowned for its commitment to nurturing creative and technical prowess in the field of fashion.

Simultaneously, the National Institute of Design (NID) will be conducting the NID Design Aptitude Test (NID DAT). This examination serves as the gateway for admission into B.Des, M.Des, and Ph.D. courses offered by the participating NID institutions. These programs are designed to foster innovation and design thinking, equipping students with the skills needed to excel in various design disciplines.

NID Vs NIFT: BDes Courses Offered

While both NIFT and NID offer BDes programs, the specific focus and approach may differ. NIFT often has a more specialized approach, especially in the context of fashion-related design disciplines, while NID is known for its broader, interdisciplinary perspective.



NID offers BDes programs in disciplines like Industrial Design, Communication Design, Textile and Apparel Design, and Interdisciplinary Design.

NIFT offers BDes programs in various disciplines such as Fashion Design, Leather Design, Accessory Design, Textile Design, Knitwear Design, Fashion Communication, and more.

NID places a strong emphasis on a multidisciplinary approach,encouraging students to explore various aspects of design.

The curriculum at NIFT is designed to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of the chosen design field, including theoretical and practical aspects.

The curriculum is known for its holistic and experiential learning methods, integrating hands-on projects, workshops, and real-world design challenges.

Students undergo rigorous training in design principles, textile technology, market trends, and other relevant subjects.

NID focuses on fostering creativity, innovation, and problem-solving skills in its students.

The course also includes industry exposure, internships, and practical projects to prepare students for the professional world.

NID Vs NIFT: Admission Process

Aspirants who are interested in pursuing B.Des and M.Des programs at NID for aiming for admission into B.Des and M.Des programs at NID affiliated institutions are required to take the NID DAT 2024 examination. The NID DAT examination process is divided into two phases:

  • DAT Prelims

  • DAT Mains

  • NID Studio test

The final selection of candidates for NID DAT 2024 will be based on the scores obtained in all the tests, with each test carrying a prescribed weightage. This comprehensive process ensures that only the most qualified candidates are admitted to the B.Des and M.Des programs at NID.

On the other hand, Aspirants aiming for design courses at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and seeking admission at participating institutions are required to take the NIFT 2024 entrance examination. The examination process comprises the following stages:

  • Written Examination: This is the initial phase of the selection process, which consists of the Creative Ability Test (CAT) and General Ability Test (GAT).

  • Situation Test (B.Des)/ Personal Interview (PG courses): Candidates who clear the written exam are then evaluated in this stage.

NID v/s NIFT : Comparison in preparation strategies

Having the right preparation strategy is an important aspect of cracking any entrance exam. It is essential to note that the preparation strategy for two entrance exams cannot be the same and need to be tailored based on the NID and NIFT syllabus and exam pattern. To help aspirants appearing for NID or NIFT, here are some expert tips on exam-wise preparation strategy.




Exam Structure:

NID conducts the Design Aptitude Test (DAT), which evaluates a candidate's design aptitude, creativity, drawing skills, and problem-solving abilities. It also considers a portfolio as part of the selection process.

NIFT conducts the Creative Ability Test (CAT) and the General Ability Test (GAT). CAT assesses creative and intuitive abilities, while GAT evaluates general knowledge and other aptitudes. NIFT also includes a Situation Test and an interview in its selection process.

Design Focus

NID has a broader design focus, covering disciplines such as industrial design, communication design, and interaction design. Therefore, the preparation strategy for NID should emphasize a well-rounded understanding of design principles, creative thinking, and problem-solving skills.

NIFT, on the other hand, specifically focuses on fashion design and related disciplines. The preparation strategy for NIFT should involve a keen interest in fashion trends, materials, and the ability to conceptualize and execute designs in the context of the fashion industry.

Portfolio Emphasis

The NID selection process gives significant weight to the portfolio, emphasizing a diverse range of design projects and the ability to think innovatively.

While NIFT considers a portfolio, it may have a more specific focus on fashion-related design. The portfolio for NIFT should showcase a strong understanding of fashion design, materials, and trends.

Specific Skill Emphasis

Emphasizes a broad set of design skills, including but not limited to drawing, creativity, problem-solving, and a deep understanding of human factors in design

Emphasizes skills specific to the fashion industry, such as an understanding of fabrics, colors, trends, and the ability to create designs aligned with the fashion market.

Industry Orientation:

Prepares students for various design industries, including product design, graphic design, and user experience design.

Has a specific orientation toward the fashion and apparel industry, preparing students for careers in fashion design, textile design, and related fields.

NID Vs NIFT: Growth Opportunities

Scope or growth opportunities are major factors that students often consider before taking admission. Therefore, aspirants are below provided with the growth opportunities available to students after completing BDes from NID and NIFT.

Potential Career Opportunities After Completing BDes From NID

After completing BDes from the NID, graduates can have a wide range of career paths. Here are some potential career paths:

  • Graphic Designer/Visual Communication Designer: Designing visual content for print, digital media, advertising and branding.

  • Product Designer: Creating innovative and functional products for various industries such as consumer goods, electronics, furniture, and more.

  • Textile Designer: Specializing in the design of fabrics, patterns, and textures for the fashion, home décor, and textile industries.

  • User Experience (UX) Designer: Designing the overall experience of a user interacting with a product or service, often in the digital realm.

  • Automobile Designer: Working on the design and aesthetics of vehicles, including cars, motorcycles, and other modes of transportation.

  • Retail and Exhibition Designer: Creating visually appealing and functional retail spaces and exhibition setups.

  • Animation and Multimedia Designer: Working in the animation and multimedia industry, creating visual effects, animations, and interactive content.

  • Packaging Designer: Designing packaging solutions for products, considering both functionality and visual appeal.

  • Craft Designer: Working with traditional crafts and artisanal techniques to create unique and culturally rich products.

  • Illustrator: Creating visual representations and artwork for books, magazines, advertisements, and other media.

  • Teacher: Sharing knowledge and expertise by teaching design at educational institutions.

Potential Career Opportunities After Completing BDes From NIFT

  • Fashion Designer: BDes graduates specializing in fashion design are well-suited for roles as fashion designers. They create clothing, footwear, or accessory designs, working in fashion houses, apparel companies, or as independent designers.

  • Textile Designer: Those with a focus on textile design can work in textile mills, fabric companies, or as freelance textile designers, creating patterns and prints for fabrics.

  • Fashion Illustrator: Fashion illustrators create visual representations of fashion designs and concepts for marketing, advertising, and publications.

  • Accessory Designer: BDes graduates specializing in accessory design can pursue careers in creating jewelry, handbags, shoes, or other fashion accessories.

  • Costume Designer: Some BDes graduates choose careers as costume designers for film, television, theater, or the performing arts.

NID v/s NIFT : Similarities And Differences In Career Opportunities After BDes

Both the National Institute of Design (NID) and the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) are prestigious institutions in India that offer Bachelor of Design (BDes) programs. While NID focuses on various design disciplines, including industrial design, communication design, and textile design, NIFT specializes in the field of fashion and textile design. Here are some similarities and differences in career opportunities after completing a BDes from NID and NIFT:

Career Opportunities

Similarities between NID and NIFT

Design Expertise

  • Both NID and NIFT provide a strong foundation in design principles and techniques.

  • Graduates from both institutions have a comprehensive understanding of design processes and creativity.

Industry Exposure

  • Both institutes are well-recognized in their respective fields and enjoy a good reputation in the design and fashion industries.

Networking Opportunities

  • Graduates from both institutes have the potential to become entrepreneurs and start their own design-related businesses.

Global Opportunities

  • Alumni from NIFT and NID may explore international career opportunities, as their education equips them with a global perspective on design.

Career Opportunities

Differences between NID and NIFT

Focus on Design Domains

  • NID has a broader focus, covering diverse design domains such as industrial design, communication design, and textile design.

  • NIFT, on the other hand, is primarily focused on fashion-related disciplines like fashion design, textile design, and accessory design.

Industry Connections

  • NIFT has a more direct connection to the fashion industry, with strong ties to fashion houses, retail brands and textile manufacturers.

  • NIDs have connections in industries including manufacturing, technology, and design consultancy firms.


  • NIFT offers specializations in specific areas of fashion, such as apparel design, leather design, and knitwear design.

  • NID provides specializations in various design fields, allowing students to choose based on their interests and career goals.

Career Paths

  • NIFT graduates are well-suited for roles in fashion houses, retail, textile companies, and other fashion-related industries.

  • NID graduates, depending on their specialization, can pursue careers in industries like consumer electronics, automobile, healthcare, and more.

Approach to Design

  • NIFT's curriculum is tailored to the dynamic and trend-driven fashion industry, emphasizing market demands, materials, and styling.

  • NID adopts a holistic and problem-solving approach to design, focusing on innovation, user experience, and functionality across various design disciplines.

NID DAT Vs NIFT: Which is tough?

Both the NID DAT and NIFT entrance exams are tough and have a lot of competition. But, people often find the NID DAT harder because it tests many different design skills and problem-solving abilities. How hard an exam feels can change based on how much you’ve studied and your natural talents. So, it’s a good idea for students to really understand the exam pattern and syllabus, and prepare accordingly to increase their chances of success.

Securing a seat in NID can be more challenging compared to NIFT due to the difference in seat capacity between the two institutions. NID offers a total of 425 seats across all five campuses, whereas NIFT provides 5215 seats across its 16 campuses. The higher the seat capacity, the greater the chances of gaining admission. Hence, despite the rigorous nature of both exams, candidates may find it statistically easier to secure a seat in NIFT due to its larger capacity.

NID vs NIFT - Which is better?

Choosing between NID and NIFT depends largely on the individual’s interests and career goals. If you are passionate about diverse design disciplines (not just fashion), NID might be a better choice for you as it offers a wide range of design courses. On the other hand, if you are specifically interested in fashion and textiles, NIFT would be the ideal choice as it specialises in these areas. Both institutes are prestigious and offer excellent opportunities, so you should consider which one aligns best with your personal aspirations in the field of design. However, before you make your final decision, you may also want to compare the Nid vs nift salary, as there may be significant differences in the earning potential of graduates from these institutes. The average salary of NID graduates ranges from Rs.17 Lakhs to Rs.50 Lakhs per annum, while the average salary of NIFT graduates varies between Rs. 5 lakhs and Rs. 50 lakhs.

Frequently Asked Question (FAQs)

1. What is the NID DAT?

The NID Design Aptitude Test (DAT) is an entrance examination for admission into the Bachelor of Design (B.Des) and Master of Design (M.Des) programs at institutions affiliated with the National Institute of Design (NID).

2. What is the NIFT entrance exam?

The NIFT entrance exam is a competitive examination for admission into design courses at the National Institute of Fashion Technology (NIFT) and its participating institutions.

3. What is the difference between NIFT and NID entrance exam?

NIFT and NID entrance exams are for design courses, the NID DAT is often perceived as more challenging due to its emphasis on diverse aspects of design and problem-solving. The NIFT entrance exam, on the other hand, is more focused on fashion technology and design.

4. Which exam is harder, NID DAT or NIFT entrance exam?

The difficulty level can vary depending on an individual’s preparation and aptitude. However, the NID DAT is often perceived as more challenging.

5. How should I prepare for these exams?

It’s recommended that candidates thoroughly understand the exam pattern and syllabus, and prepare accordingly to increase their chances of success.

6. Are there any specific preparation tips for the NID DAT and NIFT entrance exam?

Practice is key for both exams. Regularly solving previous years’ question papers can help understand the pattern and type of questions. Also, enhancing your sketching and creative skills is beneficial for the design-based questions.

7. NID or NIFT, Which is better for product design?

NID is usually preferred for product design, as it has a strong emphasis on innovation, creativity, and problem-solving skills in various design domains. NID also offers courses in product design, automobile design, and user experience design, which are not available at NIFT. NIFT, on the other hand, may not offer as much depth and diversity in product design.


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