If you are an engineering student or know someone who is doing their engineering degree, you will probably know that one of the most controversial things talked about is which the best engineering branch is. It is quite a naïve question, considering that all fields of engineering are necessary for the overall development of society. However, there might be another reason why people might be asking about the best engineering branch - which branch to study.
What are Engineering Branches?
An engineering branch is a particular field of study within engineering that focuses exclusively on a certain set of methodologies. For example, civil engineering concerns itself with buildings, their construction, the materials used, and so on. Electronics engineering deals with electronic circuits, how they are operated, the problems they might have to face, debugging, etc. Similarly, each branch of engineering deals with specific things that come under the umbrella of engineering.
Is There a ‘Best’ Among the Engineering Branches?
First, let’s get this out of the way - there is no such thing as the “best engineering branch”. Every engineering branch is important in its own right and is necessary in its own way. However, when it comes to choosing one, you should not be asking about the best engineering branch among all the branches, but rather which is the best engineering branch for you.
A Few Tips to Choose the Best Engineering Branch for Yourself
There are several factors that come into play when it comes to deciding which branch might be best for you. If you are confused about this, fear not - for here are a few tips to help you figure it out.
Identify Your Strengths and Weaknesses
This is the most crucial step in deciding which branch works best for you. Draw 2 columns and make a list of your strengths and weaknesses. The strengths can be anything from having good mathematical skills to drawing skills. Seeing your strengths and weaknesses side by side like that will help you identify what engineering branch you will fit in most comfortably. For example, if you are good at drawing and good with numbers, architecture can be a great path for you. If your logical reasoning skills are sharp, IT or computer science engineering will be your best choice, although this can also help you with debugging electronic circuits which can be useful for electronics engineering. So, find out what works for you and choose wisely.
Branch vs. College
This is a very common occurrence in engineering where a student might manage to get into the college that they have been dreaming of, but would not get a seat for the branch they want to study. At the same time, they might get the branch they want to study, but in another college they might be relatively uninterested in. This raises a quite serious dilemma in the student’s mind, especially because this is not a temporary issue. What they choose to study then is what their entire career would be about. Hence, make sure that you take this decision very seriously and after much thorough introspection. While a good campus is necessary for a fun college education, it is even more important to think about what happens after the course ends. This brings us to the next point.
If you make a decision based on short-term gains like a good campus, chances are you might regret your decision later on. Your engineering degree is not the end of your career, it is just the beginning. More often than not, your career is decided by your degree, and if you pick a degree that you don’t like, you will virtually hit a wall in terms of growth.
Trend Spotting and Growth Opportunity
To paraphrase George Orwell, all branches are equal, but some branches are more equal than others…. in terms of opportunity. Yes, while most engineering branches do have a lot of openings, some branches will always have more openings than others. For example, in the first decade of the 21st century, there was a great increase in demand for civil engineering because of infrastructure expansion in different parts of the world. However, in the second decade, because of the emergence of faster computers and general technological advancement, the trend started shifting towards electronics, computer science, and IT engineering. Hence, make sure that you check the current trends before choosing.
This can be seen as an extension of the previous point but warrants its own explanation. The emergence of new technology has resulted in the formation of a wide variety of niche engineering branches that have formed as a result of the amalgamation of different sciences. For example, with the rapid advancement of the healthcare industry, biomedical engineering was born as a means of creating medical equipment that is more accurate and reliable. Similarly, there are many other branches like biomedical engineering, nanotechnology engineering, environmental engineering, etc. that have emerged as a result of the ever-evolving world we live in. These branches will definitely be relevant today because they are recent, and therefore, do your research before choosing a much more general engineering branch.
At the end of the day, it is your choice to decide what your want to pursue. Maybe you are doing an engineering degree just for the sake of completing a degree, but even then, make sure that you choose one that at least remotely matches your interests. Do the proper research before committing to a branch, because it is essentially the rest of your life that will be defined by your choice.