Students, after completing their 12th examination or their higher secondary, find themselves in one of the most critical thresholds of life and decision making. It is in this phase that numerous career options throw in front of them.
The choices they make at this time is what they need to continue for some time at least till their academic years in the future and most likely also in the career they choose.
This is one of the most crucial junctures, students are often advised to take career guidance at this stage from a professional career guide.
A professional career guide can take rational decisions based on objective facts, is more aware of possibilities, and can analyze the outcome of such possibilities.
Personal guidance on the other hand, is almost always heavily colored with bias. This is the situation a student is expected to know or be aware of the courses that are available for them depending on the stream chosen in the higher secondary.
There are three streams to choose from in the twelfth exam, namely the science stream, arts stream and the commerce stream. There are multiple possibilities within each stream, such as the choice of subjects.
For example, a student can choose Maths as an elective, even in the Arts stream. Such students can most certainly pursue Economics as a subject at graduation or even geography, both of which require extensive usage of maths, in a certain way.
Similarly, a science student can choose to select PCM or PCB as his or her main subjects in the higher secondary. PCB is Physics, Chemistry and Biology, whereas PCM is Physics, Chemistry and Maths.
Physics, Chemistry, and Biology students mostly desire to pursue medical sciences or proceed to study – zoology, botany, physiology, biotechnology, microbiology, or forensics.
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Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics students, mostly move into the Engineering, subject to clearing the entrance exam. Many other fields open up for them, but engineering remains a top choice and a more popular one.
According to various sources, India has over ten thousand engineering colleges along the length and breadth of the country, Tamil Nadu has the highest number of engineering colleges, followed by Uttar Pradesh. But the number is not enough to fulfill the desires of a whopping 13 lacs of aspirants who appear for the entrance tests.
There are multiple entrance examinations which provide an entry into these colleges in India, which select a eliminate students from this huge number.
In India, there are more than 50 such entrance tests which are mainly categorized into different levels based on their applicability – national level, state level, institution level.
Once the students sit for these exams, their score determines the rank of the College they will get through.
After completing the tough choice of choosing the best college according to one’s score, a student finally gets admitted to pursue their B.Tech (Bachelor of Technology) or B.E (Bachelor of Engineering) degree. However, the choice doesn’t end there.
Even after admission, students need to choose the field in which they would want to get their engineering done.
Mechanical, Civil, Electrical, and Chemical engineering were the four basic types of Engineering specializations available for students to choose from.
However, with the advent of science and modern technology, engineering has split up into multiple branches and sub-branches. One such branch which came up a couple of decades back was “Computer Engineering” and Electronic Engineering.”
However, in the past decade, multiple other engineering fields have opened up for the students, mostly due to the advancement of electronics and the internet. Some of the specializations available today are:
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- Aerospace Engineering
- Computer Science Engineering
- Mechanical Engineering
- Electrical Engineering
- Civil Engineering
- Electrical and Communication Engineering
- Information Technology
- Aeronautical Engineering
- Automation and robotics Engineering
- Architecture Engineering
- Electronics and Computer Engineering
- Chemical Engineering
- Electronics and Telecommunication Engineering
- Petroleum Engineering
- Information and Communication Technology
- Biotechnology Engineering
- Electronics Engineering
- Applied Electronics and Instrumentation Engineering
- Agricultural and Food Engineering
- Nuclear Engineering
- Electronics and Power Engineering
- Civil and Structural Engineering
- Mining Engineering
- Biomedical Engineering
- Software Engineering
- Dairy Technology
- Fashion Technology
- Biotechnology and Biochemical Engineering
- Textile Engineering
- Genetic Engineering
- Food Technology
- Instrumentation Engineering
- Internet of Things (IoT) engineering
- Artificial intelligence
To dive deep into each field of engineering is not within the scope of this article. However, a basic understanding of them helps.
The last three branches mentioned in the list above are the latest additions to the specializations available. It would not be incorrect to mention that the list is ongoing will see several other additions in the years to come.
To begin with, understanding some of the core branches of engineering and what they deal with will help a student decide where their interest lies and what they are willing to and choose to learn. The choice is also directly related to the kind of career they wish to have in the future.
Mechanical engineering : Mechanical Engineering is one of the most basic and the oldest fields of engineering with which Engineering began. It uses physics, mathematics, and knowledge of the material to build, design, maintain machines or any mechanical systems. Every Engineering college offers Mechanical as a branch of engineering courses for their students. Most manufacturing companies need mechanical engineers for their Companies. Several subsets of mechanical engineering came into existence later on, as these were more specialized in terms of knowledge and requirements. One such example is an automobile or automotive engineering.
Civil engineering: Civil engineering is another old field of engineering, which began with technicians who were needed to construct civil works or public infrastructure such as roads, bridges, roadways, Railways. Today they are also required by private companies for large private construction. Environmental engineering, Geotechnical engineering are some of the subsets of civil engineering, which came into existence at a later stage.
Chemical engineering: Chemical Engineering uses a wide variety of knowledge in fields such as Mathematics, Biology, Physics, and definitely chemistry to produce, refine, transport, extract, manufacture, use, preserve chemical substances or machinery that uses chemical substances. Chemical engineers are required in almost every manufacturing industry where the raw materials or produced goods or semi produced substances need to be used, preserved, transported in a regulated or controlled manner. Food technology, Biomedical engineering, Petrochemical engineering are all sub-branches of Chemical Engineering.
The newest additions to the fields of engineering are more specialized and are the next big thing given the tremendous growth and focus on these fields. The advancement of technology is happening in their direction. Some of them are:
Robotics Engineering: Robotics Engineering was an earlier part of Automation engineering and later (of late) separated from its mother subject to become an independent field on its own. The usage, manufacture, popularity and progress of robotics has become a phenomenal movement. This branch mainly deals with the design, manufacturing, operation, usage, and control of robots. It is a specialized field of engineering, which also includes the computer systems and peripherals for the control, feedback mechanism and responses, and responsiveness of robots through sensory mechanisms.
Internet of Things: Internet of Things is a network of products -electronic or mechanical, which are connected through the internet and wireless. This technology is rapidly taking over multiple aspects of the world of electronics and technology. Primarily Internet of Things (IoT) engineers makes use of cloud computing, machine learning, IoT platforms, Big Data to seamlessly integrate efficient smart products into one network. The degree combines Electronics engineering with computer science and incorporates knowledge of sensory devices, cloud computing and internet technologies. RFID is a practical application of IoT. Already IoT technology is used for assembly line manufacturing setups where machinery is wirelessly connected through the internet and they feed information to each other. IoT is also used in remote construction sites where machinery such as bulldozers are operated through IoT remotely. IoT is expected to replace the way of life in the next decade and is a much-in-demand field of study and research.
Artificial Intelligence: It is a combination of science and engineering which enables a machine or computer to mimic natural “thinking” or “intelligence” process of human beings. Machines or robots or computers manipulate physical objects using intelligence computing and they also simulate “learning” and “problem solving.” Artificial intelligence uses Big Data to become more and more efficient. Artificial intelligence is a big innovation in the field of technology and many fear that it is going to overtake or overpower human beings or natural intelligence. Banner ads popping up based on one’s internet searches, anti-spam filters are some of the most popular usages of Artificial Intelligence. All machines which use NLP or natural language processing such as Alexa also uses Artificial Intelligence to understand and respond to human language.
These are their most advanced form of engineering electives or branches which have evolved and has great importance in building up a career in their respective fields. While these are subjects that are getting incorporated in the curricula of engineering courses, not many colleges in India have these subjects.
BMU’s School of Engineering and Technology (SOET) offers four courses in engineering: Mechanical Engineering, Electronics and communication engineering, Computer Science and Engineering and Engineering sciences.
Under these courses, the specializations offered are – Automobile engineering, Robotics and Automation, Internet of Things, Cyber Security, Data Science and Artificial Intelligence, Environmental Science, Geospatial Science, Materials Science, and Nano Science.