Engineering options after the 12th grade

Thinking of pursuing a Bachelors in Engineering after your 12th grade? Education Consultant KARAN GUPTA takes you through the different specializations and career options that Engineering offers

You know you are good at science and love to solve complex Math problems. If you have an inquisitive, curious and analytical mind, choosing engineering might be a good option for you. With several specializations available to choose from, how do you decide which specialization is right for you? The IITs alone have more than 35 course options in Engineering ranging from Aerospace Engineering to Mining Engineering.

Software Engineers and people who are well versed with coding are in great demand around the world and hence the most popular specializations are Computer Engineering and Computer Science. Some of the courses you will study under Computer Engineering or Computer Science include Operating Systems, Computer Networks, Digital Signal Processing, Database Management Systems, Mobile Computing, Wireless Networks and Network Security. For someone who wants to work in artificial intelligence, big data or even ethical hacking, a good starting point is an undergraduate degree in Computer Science.

Electrical Engineering is another sought after degree at the undergraduate as well as at the graduate level. Students who study Electrical Engineering study subjects such as Power Systems, Circuit and Field Theory, Electrical Machines, Power Electronics, Microprocessors and Microelectronics. A degree in Electrical Engineering can make you a Controls and Instrumentation Engineer or even a Broadcast Engineer.

Mechanical Engineering is a great option for students who want to work with machines or even design cars. Thermodynamics, Kinematics, Manufacturing Processes, Power Plant Engineering, Fluid Power Engineering, and Heat and Mass Transfer are the subjects that you will study if you choose Mechanical Engineering as an option.

If you desire to set up your own factory or manufacturing plant, a degree in Industrial Engineering would suit you best. You will study subjects such as Reliability Engineering, Manufacturing Strategies, Quality Management, Machine Tool Technology and Industrial Laws. Industrial Engineers find ways and means to make production processes more streamlined.

Should you be concerned about the difference between the degree title of Bachelor of Technology or Master of Technology versus Bachelor of Engineering or Master of Engineering? The value and scope of the B.Tech/M.Tech and BE/ME is the same and the difference is only based on the accreditation that the engineering school receives. Hence, this distinction should not be considered a factor in your decision making process.

Recent reports have indicated that several students who have studied Engineering are now finding it hard to find jobs. Be sure to do ample networking while you are in college and connect with alumni of your institute. Doing internships and projects in areas where you would like to work after graduation is also a good way to eventually land up with a job. If you want an edge over other applicants consider taking online courses from top universities worldwide. You will expand your knowledge, learn from international faculty and can even list these courses on your resume.

As far as admissions are concerned, remember that your 12th grade marks as well as your scores on entrance exams are critical. All engineering colleges are competitive and some engineering specializations are even more competitive and hence you have to be among the top of your class if you desire admission in leading engineering institutes.

Studying Engineering can be fun and stimulating but the study can also be hard and technical, especially for someone who did not really want engineering in the first place. Finally be sure to choose engineering as your undergraduate degree option only if you have real interest in the field. Taking aptitude tests and internships are good ways to find out if you really are interested in this field.


The author is an alumnus of Harvard Business School and is based in Mumbai, India

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