Engineering colleges throughout the country have been seeing a drop in interest in certain branches like mechanical engineering, civil engineering, electronics and telecommunications engineering, electrical engineering, and a few other branches. In the last two years, almost 11000 seats in mechanical engineering have been done away with. In the last two years, almost 10000 seats have been reduced in civil engineering. So what are these branches being replaced with?
New, emerging areas of engineering such as artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML), data science, computer engineering are some of the new-age courses in very high demand in all colleges. Some of the other emerging branches of engineering are:
- cyber security and forensics,
- cloud computing and virtualization
- sustainability engineering
- environment engineering
- electrical and computer science engineering (instead of pure electrical engineering),
- robotics and automation
- Internet of Things (IoT)
- aerospace engineering
- drone engineering
- petroleum engineering
- geomatics engineering
- data science
While students rushing to AI, ML, data science, etc will have good job prospects, branches in civil, electrical, mechanical cannot be closed down. There will be a shortage of engineering graduates in these fields in the next 4-6 years.
The challenges faced by colleges with these new emerging branches of engineering are a shortage of qualified faculty and courseware. It will be sometime before these emerging branches have their academic boards because now these courses are being managed by faculty from computer engineering, information technology, physics, mathematics, and statistics departments.
Students with an interest in mechanical, civil, electrical engineering, and electronics engineering can adopt a multidisciplinary approach and take electives based on AI, ML, data science, robotics, etc. Engineering will be more data-driven and hence more reliant on computer science and engineering, AI, and cyber security.