Even as IT companies recruit students from most streams in engineering colleges, the herd mentality among engineering aspirants seems to continue with more students opting for electronics and communication engineering during government’s single window counselling this year for private engineering colleges in the state.
Asked about the trend, Prof M. Sekar, dean, College of Engineering, Guindy, and member of Anna University convenor’s committee, said it is not that one branch is superior to the other. All branches are equal; the difference comes in the way you do hard work.
“Three agricultural engineering students from our college have joined an Indian Institute of Management for higher studies and a few more from material sciences have been enrolled in top laboratories in Germany and Japan to do world-class research. So, it is not the branch which decides the future, but the student’s aspiration,” he said.
Pointing out that the choice of the programme based on popularity turns out to be counter-productive, Prof S. Vaidhyasubramaniam, dean (planning and development), Sastra University, Thanjavur, said it would create mutual destruction.
“ECE is emerging to be the most preferred choice despite the fact that there is tremendous need for civil engineering graduates. Parents and students should not ride the popularity wave, but be guided by industry requirement,” he said.
Though huge infrastructure projects are being lined up, core disciplines like civil or electrical engineering fail to attract bright students. This is unfortunate and needs immediate course correction failing which there will be a wide gap between industry demands and graduates’ delivery resulting in mutual destruction, explained Prof Vaidhyasubramaniam.
Trends in the first four days of counselling show that students preferred ECE, mechanical engineering and computer science followed by electrical & electronic engineering.
More irrational is the branch preference. In the early part of this decade, students rushed to take up information technology seats.
This year, the chase is after electronics and communication engineering. The crowd seemingly follows this trend blindly.
The placement officer of a private engineering college said IT companies prefer students from other branches also so one need not go after just one course.
“IT companies have projects in mining so even a student who studies mining will certainly get a job provided he scores high marks,” said the officer.