Selecting the Right Stream-The Defining Moment of your career flow…
The toughest task at this point of time is always to troubleshoot the dilemma that haunts us all who are trying to figure out which stream should they opt for to pursue for the rest of their life (although that’s a different point that nearly 40% of the engineers still are hired into the IT Firms like Infosys, Hcl, TCS or Wipro).
When we are in 9th or 10th standard (probably) we all had dreams to be like Steve Jobs or Bill Gates or Larry Page or Henry Ford & be the revered names of our dream field, but probably the truth is not so cool.
We have so many streams now days:-
1) Computer Science & Engineering.
2) Electronics & Communication.
3) Mechanical Engineering.
4) Aeronautics Engineering.
5) Civil Engineering.
6) Information Technology.
7) Chemical Engineering.
8) Electrical Engineering.
9) Food Technology.
10) Textile Engineering.
11) Petroleum Engineering.
12) Metallurgical Engineering.
13) Industrial Engineering.
14) Packaging Engineering.
15) Paper & Pulp Engineering.
16) Automobile Engineering.
17) Robotics Engineering.
19) Bio Tech Engineering.
& Many more Hybrid & newly formed Branches…
Undoubtedly C.S.E. , E.C.E. & Mechanical hold the top 3 ranks from the past 2 decades, & behind every convention there is a reason which might not be so apparent.
So I will try to share my experience and dig some research based facts to help you decide so that you have a clear mind and are more certain about which should be your priority ranking series.
Although every college is specialized in a particular stream i.e. they focus more on 1 or 2 streams, providing all the infrastructures for it, PHD Faculties for the same, Top Companies as recruiters for it, but for that you need to do some background checks i.e. talk to the existing students studying out there and ASK THEM
These 3 questions:
1.> How is the faculty?
2.> What is the Infrastructure Standards?
3.> Which all Companies do visit the campus?
& try to inquire as many students as possible since you can’t be sure that the person you came across was sincere enough to give you an unbiased OBJECTIVE Opinion about his/her college.
Some college might be very good in Mechanical but equally poor in Electronics or some other stream, so you need to do the homework before you decide your own fate and career direction.
Apparently if you have got admission and still have the choice of streams then go for the alternate that the college is better at.
Coming to the various streams, I will discuss a few things about the main streams available throughout India and their scopes.
Computer Science & Engineering- Needless to say CSE is the hottest stream of current times, with ever-rising use of computers in almost every industry, CSE has ensured employability to majority of the decent programmers. Good thing about it is Packages can be as high as 1 lakh per month for the fresher itself BUT that is normally for IITians or Top NITians while Top Private institutes offer 50,000 per month average pay and average colleges are stagnant at 3.25 lakh package given by the TOP 4 IT Giants of India – TCS, INFOSYS, WIPRO, HCL, there are other companies like Cognizant, Dell, Patni Computers, Accenture, IBM but most would select and offer you the package ranging from 3 to 7 on the basis of your college and your academic profile and specialization in JAVA, .NET or Other languages. ULTIMATELY Off campus placements are quite tough since On campus itself recruits at mass scales hence it becomes a cut throat competition at limited seats off campus.
BUT Certainly it is THE EASIEST Stream and wants more of Logics & Understanding than Cramming.
Electronics & Communication Engineering: Entitled to be the NEXT Big Thing in India, electronics has been living with this tag since past 7-8 years, Speculations have been going around for long that the day India Starts manufacturing its own Microchips, Electronic Engineers will sell like Hot cakes, but sadly India still has a long way to go before it can imitate China in manufacturing Chips. ECE is the toughest & the most respected branch in India, Pay packages are good but CSE still leads, many subjects are in common with CSE but ECE is a lot tougher with 3 page derivations & umpteen no. Of formulas to remember, but it’s more closer to reality, you can actually feel the results if you are attached to the subject. YOU MUST look for availability of good faculty before you opt for ECE or otherwise you would have to rely on tuitions entirely to get a good hold over the concepts that will be asked in the interviews. Otherwise a great promising EVERGREEN STREAM which is respected and pays high.
Mechanical Engineering: if there is a science that’s the oldest in the field of engineering, it’s mechanical engineering. Right from ancient times, you can say from discovery of wheel, it was the mechanical engineering that rolled the humanity on the carts of progress. It is a never dying, ever consistent stream that pays decent, is much closer to reality and you can actually see all the implications of whatever you learn into practical terms, every now & then you see various colleges making sports car or fuel efficient car and showing it in some foreign exhibition, that’s right they are the mechanical engineering students.
WARNING: Sex Ratio is the lowest in it, 3-4 girls in a class of 50-60 students, whereas it is as high as 20-25 in streams like ECE, CSE, IT. So if you are the kind of guy who cannot survive without female companionships, you can start thinking about the excuse, since it is the favourite stream of most parents especially DADs!
The work profile is tough, the experiments demand a lot of physical inputs in running the machines, grinding the metals and many more jobs probably that is another significant reason why parents don’t allow girls to enter this stream.
Government jobs are many & high paying as 4.5-8 lakh in the starting itself although rise is NOT that spectacular and you can’t expect more than 15-20 lakh atmost within India.
All based on PHYSICS, guys can easily adapt to it BUT you need to be strong at CALCULUS i.e. INTEGRATION, DIFFERENTIATION & Trigonometry too.
CIVIL ENGINEERING: We build the Nation, CIVIL Engineers & Architects are the 2 classes that define all we see around us, while the latter focus on Buildings the former are concerned about transport, city planning, sewerage and other Major factors that must take into account all the safety factors, terrain and other properties to dwell a prosperous well functioning city through its layout. Lately the additions to the syllabi have brought the Civil Engineers closer to Architects and they are getting 5-8 lakhs package initially itself in Companies like DLF & likes. Like mechanical this too is a tiring stream where weather, terrain and other external factors take a toll on person’s energy level and once again the gender ratio falls short. You may be required to supervise a construction for hours on a sunny day. But it is more of a field job where you can learn engineering through actual practise. Salaries as mentioned already are high. Although the seats are fewer so you need to be from a good college to get a core civil company or else you might be trying your luck in another IT company that comes your way and then learning JAVA to adapt to the job profile.
Extract the list of companies visiting the campus and find out the campus placement ratio with jobs offered to each student individually and NOT that the batch topper being offered 5 jobs & average or below average getting None.
Information Technology: What comes easy, goes easier. So happened in case of IT, a branch derived from CSE no longer enjoys the respect it had suddenly gathered probably because it was not unique in itself, and now every IT company prefers to take the best students of each lot/stream, teach them the IT Working Skills in their extensive 6 months training and there they are adept in the technology that is actually implemented in the industries & NOT a century old curriculum taught by the Universities. It used to pay high as it was sort of a specialization but lately it has lost the value it possessed. So MY advice would be to avoid it and rather go for Core CSE or ECE or Mechanical if you can get.
Electrical Engineering: BHEL, BELL the 2 names almost every Indian would have heard, needing no introduction both are the Electrical Giants of India. Electrical is a sister stream of Mechanical Engineering, with being one of the primitive streams that goes hand in hand with mechanical, when Henry ford designed his first car, he couldn’t have managed it without knowing the nuances of electrical engineering. It is the heart of many inventions and soul of hydroelectricity. Not much is known about private sector jobs but certainly government offers a plenty of them to all the talented & hard working electrical engineers, the syllabi is easier when compared to electronics or mechanical. It is one of the robust stream that stays unaffected by the slump or global recession. If you liked KVL & KCL in your 12th standard, then this one is just for you, but once again you need to inquire and get the details about the companies visiting the campus.
Chemical Engineering: a nice interesting stream for those who love to appear like a high intellectual personality in his white lab coat. If chemicals seduce you, if you thought there would be an explosion and you would get the superhuman abilities, please don’t experiment in this field. It is no doubt one of the high paying job but limited seats, i.e. only the above average get the high paying rest are employed in testing or quality maintenance. It is Not available in all the colleges and even among colleges it is available only a selected colleges can manage to call companies who prefer B.Tech Chemical over MSc. Chemical.
Petroleum Engineering: A Very high paying 6-12 lakh initially itself job with limited number of colleges having the standards and infrastructure to support this field. RGIPT is one of the prominent name that gets you ensured placement with high package. It is all about discovering new petroleum sources, getting higher efficiency in refinery and all research about the petroleum industry and how it can be optimized to get the maximum output, considering the job you do, you might sometimes feel bored and discontented by the salary when you compare it to the profits the companies are reaping out of your hardwork, but that’s how the world goes, if not you, someone else would be willing to replace you without a second thought.
Metallurgical Engineering: This one is a stream that deals with ores and metal extraction, it is not so high paying but yes not bad either, it is more of a cramming based engineering than innovation probably that is why it is not so popular among students who reserve it among the last resorts. Some institutes like PEC still manage to get their students placed in good companies but NO job opportunities in NORTHERN INDIA but IT industry as always can come to your rescue if you are good at Aptitude & communication skills, atleast some IT Company would pick you up.
FOOD TECHNOLOGY: One of the rarest but high paying job 5-7 lakhs initially itself, jobs are abundant especially since FMCG sector is flourishing immensely. You would find this course very rare but Universities like PU would offer you great exposure and industry skills to carry out the best experiments to serve the taste buds of the masses, how does a job in Cadbury sounds? If you are tempted towards Organic chemistry which forms the basis of this stream then certainly you are tailor made for this stream.
Textile Engineering: Once again rare but pays average, TITS, Bhiwani is one of the oldest and highest paying college in India. It comes under a niche so people usually flinch away from it, but the rise in pay package is substantial. Don’t force yourself into this and go for this only if you are genuinely interested in this.
The streams left are : These are not so popular streams yet a lot of things can be said about them, leave your comments if you would like to have another article on the remaining streams.
1) Industrial Engineering. – Younger brother of mechanical engineering.
2) Packaging Engineering. – Available probably only in IITs.
3) Paper & Pulp Engineering. – Only IITs or a few dedicated colleges.
4) Automobile Engineering. – More of a Private college concept, a subdivision of Mechanical but Effective only if College promises a good placement track record.
5) Robotics Engineering. – yet to know more if this stream can survive alone as mere Robotics.
6) Mechatronics. – a Hybrid of Mechanical + Electronics.
7) Bio Tech Engineering. – A lot of hype but To say the truth in INDIA very less scope and outside they would prefer only IITians to be placed in their firms.
ALL THE VERY BEST, Chose Wisely, have a happy Engineering…