In India, once the higher secondary examinations get over, students are relieved—school life is over. However, there is one burning question that is always at the back of their minds: what to do after Class 12. This creates stronger anxiety for those who have picked up the science stream, with any combination of physics, chemistry and mathematics branch.

For them, engineering is one way to go. However, deciding upon the right engineering branch is always tough for both students and their parents. The dilemma begins right after sitting through the several entrance examinations that are at offer in India.

While we say the scope for our field keeps changing over time, the truth is engineering as a branch has a lot going in it. Which is why there should be a lot of thought that goes into choosing the right discipline.

Think of your interest

Go for a branch that is of your interest. No matter what the ‘current trends’ are, or what pays the most. Always consider if you would like to do it. Things that you do best will always give you better results than things that you might be able to be ‘okay’ at. As we see new trends coming up every year, the reality is that every branch has good scope and opportunity if you perform well in it.

So if you are good at chemistry but can barely understand a computer language, you should perhaps pick an engineering stream that is chemistry based—once you learn more, you will find there are more options for you in a chemistry-based engineering stream, such as chemical engineering or environmental engineering than computer science engineering.

So it is important for your to opt for a branch that is of your interest than go for something that might seem to be of value.

Pick your combinations

Mathematics and science have always gone together in India. However, if you like, let’s say chemistry and biology better than maths and physics, stick to fields that provide more of insight with chemistry and biology, such as biochemical engineering. If you like mathematics the best, you can always opt for statistical engineering.

Think of it this way: maths and physics, what can I do with those. Should I opt for calculus based or not. Or, physics and chemistry, what options do I have in engineering where I can study these two together?

The best part about engineering is that there are combinations provided of any number of subjects. In fact, with the right combination of math and physics, you can actually design stuff.

There are always sub disciplines

Even the core engineering disciplines come with a wide range of subjects to study. For example, in the core electrical vs mechanical engineering, there are many sub-disciplines that is not just one specific field, but comes with many sub-fields under them.

Now, if you still want to have open idea, probably best to study the broad branch. Like you might be interested in automobiles later on, but you are not sure, so pick mechanical engineering instead of automobile engineering, as then you get to be able to choose automobile later in your four-year course.

What college offers best

After the branch has been chosen, choose the college rightly too. Read through college websites and course material they offer.

Picking colleges and branches should NOT be a random decision. All your decision to choose the branch should be based on the electives and the course material given under each course in each college.

What comes next

It is also critical to understand what kind of professional work is expect out of you after graduation. For e.g. civil engineering means a lot of field work, if you are not suited for that, better opt for a specialization within civil engineering where you can keep your interests, as well as do something that would keep you out of the field for long duration. Keep in mind your job prospects, and thus return on your investment so that it can give you at the edge in the long run in your career.