Engineering is one of the most popular career fields for students, heavily vouched for by parents and respected by society. The field is touted for its stability, which leads many to perceive it as a relatively predictable field.
However, that is definitely not the truth. While the traditional streams like computer science, mechanical, electronics, electrical, and chemical engineering remain ever-popular, there are multiple other specialisations and careers coming up in the domain. Engineering today is offering students the opportunity to revolutionise the way we live our lives every day with new and ground-breaking advances in technology.
Engineering involves the application of scientific concepts to innovate, design, construct and operate structures, software and processes to solve problems. If you are an innovative problem-solver, but don’t want to pursue the same old specializations, then don’t worry. There are plenty of new-age career options the field has on offer.
Here are 6 new-age career options B.Tech students can consider.
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1. Machine Learning/Artificial Intelligence
Machine Learning and Artificial Intelligence (AI) are a part of computer science and involve instilling ‘intelligence’ in machines enabling the machines to function independently, make decisions as required and ‘learn’ from experience. Intelligence is displayed directly by machines, allowing them to complete tasks efficiently and productively. Robotics involves the practical completion of tasks by machines, and while AI is not mandatory, combining AI with robotics increases the potential of robotics multifold.
The market for machine learning and AI is growing at a rapid pace, with applications across numerous industries ranging from autonomous cars, military simulations to intelligent routing of content delivery and automated customer service departments.
The most popular route to making a career in this field is through a B.Tech/B.E degree in Computer Science Engineering, followed by certification/PGP courses in artificial intelligence and machine learning. However, a few universities have also begun offering specialised B.Tech degrees in artificial intelligence and machine learning.
After completing studies, you can make your career as a Machine Learning Engineer, Data Scientist, Artificial Intelligence Engineer, Data Analyst or Machine Learning Architect.
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2. Internet Of Things (IoT)
The concept of the Internet of Things (IoT) started out at a slow and steady pace but has rapidly picked up and the potential of the field is massive. The internet has transformed the digital space, and imagine the possibilities if the features of the internet were connected with normal objects around the house. The Internet of Things refers to a connected network of objects that can receive and send data through transmitters.
While the IoT has already expanded into smartwatches and wearable health monitors, there are plenty of opportunities for applications of IoT ranging from smart fabrics to smart toasters, refrigerators, and even smart sofas! IoT also includes the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), which uses applications of IoT in the industrial sector.
Although there are certain B.Tech degrees offered with a specialisation in IoT, the degree required would also depend on which role you are interested in working in. You can make a career in areas such as device and hardware, networks and architecture, mobile and UI development, or data analytics.
For example, if you are interested in device and hardware, a B.Tech in electrical, electronics and instrumentation engineering would help. Courses are available at B.Tech level as a specialisation B.Tech. in Computer Science and Engineering (IOT (Internet of Things)) offered by a few universities. Short term courses are also available to gain expertise in specific areas of IoT.
Cryptocurrencies, especially Bitcoin, have shot up in popularity over recent years and are an excellent application of blockchain technology. While the use of cryptocurrencies has expanded mainly into the banking and financial services industry, there is great potential for blockchain application in other industries as well.
In broad terms, a blockchain is a decentralised store of data (such as banking transactions) and is essentially a record-keeping technology that ensures safety from hacker attacks. A blockchain setup can be used in healthcare, voting, government transactions, stocks, trading, Internet of Things, identification, insurance, music, real estate, supply chain management and contracts.
Considering that the field of blockchain is still evolving, there are not many long-term courses available. There are, however, specialized certificate courses and online courses from websites such as Edx, and Coursera.
Career opportunities include working as a Blockchain Developer, Blockchain Quality engineer, Blockchain legal consultant, Blockchain designer, and Blockchain Project Manager.
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4. Environmental Engineering
The environment is degrading at a rapid pace as non-renewable resources are depleting while the population and pollutions levels are increasing. The damage to the environment that humans are inflicting is unprecedented in the history of the world. Increasing awareness about such issues has influenced a few people to try to change their habits, but a lot still remains to be done.
If you want to make a direct impact on improving the environment, environmental engineering is the career for you. Environmental engineers use scientific methods and technology to improve the environment in a proactive manner, and by designing, constructing and managing waste management systems.
Courses in B.Tech Environmental engineering are offered by a variety of universities including IIT Madras, Delhi Technical University, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Annamalai University, etc.
In the past few decades, the opportunities and demand for environmental engineers have increased exponentially as leading industries are now hiring environmental engineers to reduce their negative impact on the environment. In addition, many government agencies also require environmental engineers.
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5. Aerospace Engineering
Moving beyond travel by land or sea, the future is to travel by air and in space. Aerospace engineering has been around since the first planes were developed, however, the field and its technology are advancing at a rapid pace. Aerospace engineering is based on the designing and development of aircraft and spacecraft, including new aviation technologies, defence systems as well as space exploration for commercial and military purposes.
As space exploration increases and more commercial companies like SpaceX enter the market, the demand for aerospace engineers is set to increase further. Current space systems are not always commercially viable, and air transport is often expensive, but advancements in aerospace technology can change that.
Multiple universities offer B.Tech and B.E in Aerospace Engineering. However, you can also go for a degree in Mechanical Engineering to get into this field. After completing studies you can work as an Aerospace Engineer, Aircraft Production Engineer, Aerospace Designer Checker, Aircraft Production Managers, Assistant Technical Officers and Thermal Design Engineers. Job opportunities are available with Corporate Research companies, Aviation industry, Airlines, Air Force, Defence Ministry, ISRO, and others.
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6. Polymer Engineering
Polymers are essentially molecules that are formed by combining together smaller molecules whether synthetic or natural. While the market for polymers initially grew driven by the development of various plastics, awareness of the harmful effects of plastics, especially their lack of degradability has led to the expansion of the polymer market as never before, in a search for alternatives.
Every industry requires some sort of material and polymer engineers design and develop different materials, such as moulded materials, rubbers, synthetic fibres, and more, using thermodynamics, chemical engineering and the properties and characterization of polymers. There is immense growth potential in the field of polymer engineering driven by the need for new materials that are usable, cost-effective, and recyclable.
Courses in B.Tech Polymer Engineering are offered by institutes such as Cochin University of Science and Technology, Chandigarh University, and BITS Hyderabad. Career options are available as Polymer Engineers, Polymer Scientists, Polymer Technologists, Production Supervisors, Mould Designers and Production Planners. Job opportunities are available in private and public sector companies, including polymer corporations, petrochemicals engineering plants, and research firms.
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The overall field of engineering may have been around for quite some time, but due to the variety in streams, development of new focus points and innovations in technology, there is always something new available. If you are interested in creating and developing concepts, whether it is software, a new material, or new modes of travel, engineering has endless possibilities. If you are confused about which engineering specialization is best for you, try career counselling to get your answers.
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