22 Dec 2020 18:10 IST

How does one compare various branches of engineering?

Among the various branches of engineering which holds the best opportunities for jobs and research, as also overseas education? - Shreya

There are quite a lot of opportunities in all the branches. We cannot look at it as one branch versus the other. For example, if you take metallurgy, it contains conventional lessons such as how to extract copper, iron. Those conventional lessons are by now a well-studied technology. There might still be some research work connected to these old lessons, but the scope to research anything new in this area is limited. But let us not forget that metallurgy directly leads to nano materials. Therefore, in the newer forms in which metallurgy is studied today, there is a lot of scope for research. In the same way, if you look at traditional mechanical engineering, of course, most of it has been widely covered as it is an old branch of study. But robotics is also a part of mechanical engineering. When you combine AI with mechanical, there is a huge growth opportunity. Internet of Things uses certain parts of mechanical engineering, too. Drones, for example; you can think of it as aerospace engineering as well as mechanical. The same principles of engineering will be useful there.

Growing areas

In the field of civil and environmental engineering, there is quite a lot to be done. Electronics engineering has a very conventional scope as it deals with standard communications; it is still a growing area. If you look at medical devices, such as a robotic arm performing an operation, it is going to be a mix of mechanical engineering, a bit of metallurgy and material science, and, of course, some amount of electronics. Within each of these branches there is an area of engineering which is already well covered for over a hundred years or more. Apart from delving into the conventional studies, there are newer areas that are opening up, and in those sections there are a lot of research possibilities. Today’s engineering is not like that in the past, with separate branches; it is like a hybrid version now. It is at the interface of two or three branches where research gets done. So, all these branches have scope, and all of them have research possibilities. At the bachelor’s degree level, all these branches are fundamental engineering subjects. You can pick any of them; there will be very good scope.

(Answers by experts from Ahaguru, a coaching centre, www.ahaguru.com.)