Choosing An Engineering Course: What Your Teen Should Know

As the counselling season rolls around, it will soon be time for your engineering aspirant to choose a stream. We tell you all you need to know before making this important decision.

By Rohan George Philip

Choosing An Engineering Course: What Your Teen Should Know

As parents, it is natural to dream of your child studying in a prestigious institution. So, to turn this dream into a reality, there are a few factors you need to consider. It is also essential that you understand and take into account the likes, dislikes and interests of your child before arriving at a decision.

In India, a wide range of engineering courses are offered and it can be a daunting task for a child to choose one that works the best for him. In order to make the selection a smoother process, it is essential that your child does his research and knows his first, second and third choices of courses. Some of the courses offered in our country are:

Computer Science Engineering:

This is currently the most in-demand course that is offered in our country. It deals with computer software creation and hardware management and maintenance. If your child is interested in front-end or back-end coding, then this is the choice for him. This stream offers opportunities in the field of back-end programming, database management, web development and several more.

Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE):

ECE is one of the older and more classical streams of engineering and can be daunting for a student who is not interested in learning the basics of how electronics works. But, this stream provides many opportunities to work in several core electrical companies and even in the field of IoT, (Internet of Things) which is considered to be one of the most lucrative and promising fields of study.

Mechanical Engineering:

This is one of the oldest fields of engineering and is highly respected. If your child can visualise the physical working of simple objects and if mechanical physics interests her, this is the course for her. Mechanical engineers can pursue their career in the fields of aircraft development, machine design and so on. This degree will also open up opportunities for higher studies in several sub fields such as automobile engineering or aerospace engineering.

Civil Engineering:

This stream deals with the construction and maintenance of structures used for public consumption. This includes work on roads, buildings and waterways. Your child can pursue a career in the field of design or surveying and construction management, both in India and abroad.

Electronics and Electrical Engineering:

This course deals with core electronics and your child can choose to be a control and instrumentation engineer or deal with manufacturing system analytics and other such options.

Chemical Engineering:

A course in chemical engineering trains students to efficiently produce, transport and utilise chemicals and the energy it provides. This course offers opportunities in the field of analytical chemistry and your child can also choose to be a design or production manager.

Apart from these streams, several institutions across the country offer courses in the following -

Other courses in engineering

  • Aeronautical engineering
  • Aerospace engineering
  • Agricultural engineering
  • Biomedical engineering
  • Bioinformatics
  • Automobile engineering
  • Bio-chemical engineering
  • Industrial engineering
  • Marine engineering
  • Mechatronics engineering
  • Petrochemical engineering
  • Polymer engineering
  • Production engineering
  • Robotics
  • Telecommunication engineering
  • Transportation engineering
  • Food process engineering

But, before your child starts applying to various institutes, he should be able to ascertain if he has the skills required to be an engineer.

Skill-sets an aspiring engineer should possess

  • A good understanding of intermediate level mathematics and calculus.
  • The ability to think on one’s feet and apply concepts learnt in the class during an examination.
  • The ability not to get shaken by failure.
  • The ability to balance extra-curricular activities with academics.
  • The ability to analyse and read data.
  • The ability to solve complex problems related to engineering.
  • The ability to plan and organise.
  • The ability to pay attention to details.

Once your child is confident of his abilities, he needs to prepare himself for entrance tests. To get to the counselling stage, your child will first have to meet the various criteria specified by the university he has applied to. One of the ways by which he can directly qualify for the counselling stage is to have a score in his +2 board exams that is greater than or equal to the cut-off score set by the university. Several colleges have started conducting entrance examinations that take place after a student’s board examinations. These examinations are open to students from all over the country. Based on their performance, they are ranked according to their score.

Some important entrance examinations in our country

JEE Main: This examination is used as a qualifying standard by several institutions, most notably, the National Institutes of Technology. It also allows the students a chance to qualify for the JEE Advanced examination.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in April.

JEE Advanced: This examination is used as a qualifying standard for students applying to the Indian Institutes of Technology and the candidates qualify based on their performance in JEE Main.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in May.

BITSAT: BITSAT is the qualifying examination for the Birla Institutes of Technology.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in May.

VITEEE: This examination is taken as the qualifying standard for those students applying to Vellore Institute of Technology and its branches.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in April

WBJEE: This is the admission test for all engineering colleges in the state of West Bengal.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in May.

MHTCET: This examination is taken as the qualifying standard for those students applying to various colleges in Maharashtra.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in May.

KCET: This examination is conducted to evaluate students applying to various colleges in Karnataka.

  • When: The examination is usually conducted in May.

SRMJEE: This is the test conducted by the SRM group of institutions and is used as their qualification standard.

  • When: SRMJEE is conducted in the month of April.

Apart from the above, there are several other qualifying exams that are conducted all over the country. Identify which colleges you and your child are interested in and register for the exams accordingly.

As parents, it is your responsibility to identify and nurture your child’s interests. If she is interested in engineering, make sure she understands what each stream of engineering entails and guide her to make the correct decision.

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