Off-beat engineering specializations and colleges that offer them in India

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Engineering is often termed as one of the oldest disciplines known to the mankind. But with the changing times, the domain has evolved phenomenally to give rise to developing technologies. The 21st century which is rightly called as the ‘age of technology’ has seen the engineering disciplines spread out beyond its traditional boundaries of civil, mechanical, electrical and other core engineering domains. Today, students vying for engineering courses look for something over and above, something beyond these core engineering domains to satisfy their creative and curious personality.

Catering to these demands, the many top engineering colleges in India have started offering B.Tech and B.S. courses with unique and offbeat specialization. These new engineering sub-disciplines have opened up a variety of new avenues for engineering students to exploit and scale new heights of technological prowess that would take the human civilization to the next level.

Ethical Hacking
With the world largely becoming dependent on computer technology, safeguarding the virtual world has become the prime priority for all of us and this is where ethical hacking comes in. Generally speaking, hacking is an attempt to exploit a computer system without proper authorization for illicit purposes. Ethical hackers are the soldiers of this virtual battlefield to safeguard the computer networks and all the critical data / information that they hold. Be it safeguarding the banking networks or nuclear codes; ethical hackers have their work cut out for them.

Keeping the rising need of ethical hackers and computer forensics, cyber law and information security in the tech world, many engineering colleges have started offering credible programmes in ethical hacking. While students may not find many full-time graduate level programmes, but computer engineering graduates will surely be able to take up higher studies in this domain. IIT Guwahati, IIIT Hyderabad, IIIT Allahabad, IIIT Delhi, JNTU Hyderabad and NIT Bhopal offer academic programmes in Ethical Hacking.

Energy Engineering
With the traditional energy sources depleting quickly; the world is suffering from scarcity of resources to meet its global energy needs. India being home to the second largest population in the world is no exception to the energy scarcity. To meet this new challenge the new domain of energy engineering has evolved in the last decade.

Although not very popular yet, the energy engineering concerns itself with energy efficiency, energy services, facility management, plant engineering, environmental compliance and alternative energy technologies. This essentially means that students who opt for B.Tech in Energy Engineering will play a pivotal role when it comes to taking the next step forward towards a sustainable future. Currently, IIT Bombay and IIT Kharagpur offer undergraduate programmes in Energy Engineering.

Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering
If you have always dreamt of joining the Navy, an innovative way of doing so would be through Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering. From making the paper float boats during childhood as monsoon playtime to actually designing and designing and developing warships, submarines, hovercraft, hydrofoils and merchant ships; Naval Architecture & Ocean engineers are the technicians that ensure every single vessel on the sea reaches its destination safely.

While traditionally the discipline of Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering was limited to defence needs, the expansion of marine trade gas transformed the domain into a mainstream engineering discipline. There is tremendous growth potential for naval engineers in India, be it for further studies as MS or MBA or as professionals designing floating cities that can move people and cargo alike.

When it comes to Naval Architecture & Ocean Engineering have been the traditional strongholds as far as engineering institutes are concerned. International Maritime Academy, Chennai, Cochin University of Science & Technology and Institute of Shipbuilding Technology, Goa are a few other institutes that offer credible academic programmes in this domain.

Sound Engineering
Many of us claim to be a music buff but only few will be able to understand and decode the mysteries that are associated with sound. Sound engineering is for engineering aspirants who fall in the second category.

Sound engineering is an engineering domain that concerns itself with technical and creative aspects of recording, editing and using different sounds for various purposes (closely related to art performances). What makes it a very good proposition for engineering aspirants is that it involves a very balanced mix of technical aspects and creativity. This makes it ideally suited for students who are looking for this balance.

Sound engineering is again a path not treaded by many engineering aspirants, but it is definitely a very lucrative career options thanks to the ongoing spurt in the digital entertainment industry the rising demand of sound / audio engineers thereafter.  

Colleges offering good sound engineering programmes include IIT Kharagpur, NIFFA Kolkata, FTII Pune, Asian Academy of Film and Television Delhi and Ramoji Academy of Film and Television, Hyderabad.

Agriculture & Food Engineering
Primarily being an agrarian economy, it comes as a surprise that Agriculture and Food Engineering has still remained a niche study domain in India. Simply put, Agriculture & Food Engineering deals with the science and technology of producing food grains. This field combines the core engineering principles with the disciplines of animal biology, plant biology to develop agricultural engineering principles to enhance agricultural production and develop technologies for food processing for longer shelf life of the products.

The dominance of agriculture in the Indian economy makes Agriculture & Food Engineering one of the most sought after engineering sub-disciplines among the different food processing units. Therefore, it makes for a great career choice for students.

Some of the prominent institutes offering programmes on Agriculture & Food Engineering include Allahabad Agriculture Institute, Marathwada Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, Mahatma Phule Krishi Vishwavidyalaya, College of Agricultural Engineering and Post-Harvest Technology (CAEPHT), Gangtok and many more.

Every time human civilization has faced an existential threat, science and especially the engineering domains have evolved their disciplines to provide a viable solution for the problems. The above-given domains have all evolved as the result of such needs and are therefore the most viable offbeat engineering specializations for students today.

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