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How to pick the best engineering stream

Last updated on: June 03, 2015 14:00 IST

In an online chat with readers, career counsellor Amit Bansal shared advice on how to pick the right engineering career.

Do you want to pursue a career in technologies like Big Data, Cloud Computing, Internet of Things?

How can one make the right choice?

What is the best course and stream for you?

To know about all this and more, had organised a chat with career counsellor Amit Bansal on Wednesday, June 3, 2015.

For those who missed the live chat, here's the unedited transcript:

Senthilpalaniarjun: hi bansalji, I am very much eager to chat with you on the exciting and tremendous future opportunities available for Mechtronics engineers in the future.

Amit Bansal: Dear Senthil, Mechatronics is a very exciting career option.

The next revolution is taking place in the area of Internet of Things for Industrial automation.

GE is calling it the Industrial Internet.

Some companies are working on enabling machine to machine communication and making them smarter.

In short, this field is going to witness dramatic growth and throw up good professional growth

Rajas-Joshi: Hi Mr Bansal, My son is appearing first year exam of mech. But now he want to change branch(civil) for second year and also want to change college.

Is it possible? College will give NOC for the same? Thanks in advance.

Amit Bansal: Mr Joshi, while it is possible to change branch and college after first year, the key parameter is that the target college needs to have vacancy there.

Venkataramanan Ramaseshan: Dear Sir, in the next five years which branch of Engineering in your opinion will have the best job prospects.

Amit Bansal: Mr. Venkataramanan, over the next 5 years, most of the roles will demand cross-functional skills.

While the candidate may choose 1 stream (CS or EC or Mech...), one needs to get additional skills in adjoining domains.

SANJIV KALIA: Dear Mr Bansal... Hello... my Son who got 10 CGPA this year and selected Non Medical as his line for future.

He don't know How and which stream will be in good demand after his B-Tech, though he has interest to go in the field of Astronomical Physics, please guide us, how to help him to make is future.

Can you please support us with yr experience, best option.

Amit Bansal: Sanjiv, I strongly believe that the career choice has to be a mix of 3 elements -- what you are good at (skills), what you like doing (interest) and what you want to do (goal).

While your son may not be able to define his goals crisply after class 10, it will be possible for the two of you to discuss the skills and interest.

If these 2 point to astro physics, let him chase his dream!

Madhumita Gosh: sir I am very much interested I doing mechanical engineering, what is the percentage required for doing mechanical engineering?

Amit Bansal: Madhumita, most of the good engineering colleges take admission through an entrance exam like the AIEEE, CET etc. Marks in class 12 are just for qualifying for application. However, the key is to ensure that you get a good rank in these competitive exams.

SANJAY SINGH: Dear sir, Is there any big difference in course content (syllabus) in different branches of Engg. of various Private Engg. colleges throughout the country and top IITs / NITs (Govt. funded Engg. institutions).

Amit Bansal: Sanjay, there is a difference. Essentially, there are state universities and all colleges affiliated to a univ need to follow the syllabus prescribed by the affiliating univ.

Private univs and autonomous institutions have flexibility in deciding the syllabus.

The key is to look at syllabus as well as execution -- many univs may copy the latest syllabus but may not have infra or faculty to teach.

M Srinivas: My daughter will be joining engineering Btech this year. Which branch suits her?

She is not very comfortable with physics as compared with maths and chemistry. She has scored 95 per cent in XII.

Amit Bansal: Mr Srinivas, hard to give a generic advice but in general people who are not comfortable with physics tend to struggle a bit with electronics & communication. If she is overall good with logic, computing science is a good fit from skills perspective.

Shriram Bhat: Respected Mr. Bansal, My Son who got 90% in this year 11th. He is interested in Aeronautical and / or mechanical engg. We don't know which stream will be in good demand after his BE as his preference is self employment after few years job, Please guide us, how to help him for better future.

Amit Bansal: Shriram, the number of opportunities in aero are relatively limited as compared to mech.

If your family (and your network) does not have a business background in aero, I would recommend mech as a safer option.

sheetal vani: Hello Mr. Bansal its a perfect platform to share. My son is in class 8 what should be done to get admission in the best college in India he is interested in robotics engineering please guide.

Amit Bansal: Sheetal, it's good to know that your son is interested in Robotics.

I am sure he would have done some hobby classes in robotics and would have got exposed to mindstorm or equivalent robotic kits.

For your son, if you are looking at BE overseas, it will make sense to make him develop an overall portfolio (project work, community work, school positions etc.). For India, he still needs to crack JEE.

swarup vijh: Hello Sir , I am graduating in BE this June and interested in M.Tech, pl suggest some good options.

Amit Bansal: Swarup, MTech is the time to choose an area of specialization.

If you are keen on a career with the industry, you should pick a program that gives you depth in one of the cutting-edge technologies.

Some of the areas are Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing, Security, Internet of Things for Computer Science students and Embedded Systems (IoT), Auto Electronics and Embedded Systems for EC...

srinath dammur: Dear Sir, my son has got 79 per cent in inter whereas less rank in CET. Now intends to take Civil Engineering..what is your opinion when compared with Mech or Computer?..He is not interested in Computer?. my first son is already in final year Mec? advise

Amit Bansal: Srinath, for your younger son, it is important to look at a mix of good college and branch.

Doing computers from a bad college does not do any good.

There are good opportunities in civil and computing as India will continue to witness growth in infra as well as IT in the coming decade as well.

soma sundaram: How good are the prospects for BArch course in India? Which one gives better employement opputunities either BE civil or BArch.

Amit Bansal: Soma, in terms of number of job opportunities, civil engg has more number of jobs.

However, the field of architecture provides more opportunities to become an entrepreneur and be self-dependent.

SANJIV KALIA: Thanks Mr. Bansal for your reply....

As we discuss with him and he wish to become a Scientist / wish to do some research in the field of Physics, as he is good in Physics and also carry good interest.

In fact he is good in all PCM upto now. So what field should he follow for future.

Amit Bansal: Sanjiv, there are physics programs at Undergraduate level at most of the IITs and IISc in Bangalore is the best in India for pure sciences research.

Deepak Lodaya: Hello Mr. Bansal, can you list out 5 latest streams in engineering which has potential for next 20-25 years.

Amit Bansal: Deepak, I am not too sure about 25 years as the technology cycles are shrinking.

It used to be 15 years in 80s, came down to 8-10 years in the 90s and is down to 4-6 years now.

However, the top areas that will have a huge impact through this decade would be The Internet of Things, Big Data and Analytics, Cloud Computing and 3D Printing.

About Amit Bansal

Amit Bansal is a career counsellor and serial entrepreneur who is currently nurturing a start up that is committed to the cause of helping youngsters in their pursuit of higher education.

He is an MBA from XLRI, Jamshedpur and completed his engineering from PEC, Chandigarh.

He has over 18 years of experience across positions like CTO at Pearson and CEO of PurpleLeap and technical product experience at Riverrun and Talisma.

He is passionate about education and holds a strong belief that given the intent and the right learning environment, every individual can pursue a dream career.

Lead image used for representational purposes only.

Photograph: Jo Yong-Hak/Reuters


5 tips to pick the right engineering college for you