Engineering Streams

Topic: Is CSE And ECE Behind Other Engineering Streams?


The data gathered from the engineering exam GATE 2020 (Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering) that was held on February 9, shows that the Computer Science Engineering (CSE) and
Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE) streams are witnessing the lesser registrations as compared to last year.

However, the core branches have witnessed stable growth or have a similar number of registrations as every year. Though knowledge of digitization and computers is a must these days, it is worth understanding why students are opting for other engineering streams rather than CSE and ECE. But having said that, it’s important to note that all the streams have their own importance and are not comparable.

The data below shows the number of student registrations in each B.Tech engineering stream in the last few years.


Engineering Stream2019201820172015201420132012
Electronics and Communication Engineering (ECE)1,25,8701,83,1521,52,3181,72,7142,16,3672,56,1351,76,944
Mechanical Engineering2,34,2271,97,7891,85,7581,85,5781,65,8141,12,320
Computer Science Engineering and Information Technology (CSE and IT)968781,08,4951,15,4251,55,1902,24,1601,56,780
Electrical Engineering1,46,2931,46,2931,25,8511,41,7991,52,3811,10,125
Civil Engineering1,53,0781,29,2251,18,1471,01,42990,872NA NA
Chemical Engineering14542

Though every student opts for a stream in their B.Tech engineering program depending on their skill-set and area of interest, the CSE field has a faster initial growth when compared to the core fields. However, there seems to be saturation in CSE now as many students have opted for it so far. Whereas, the graph of streams like mechanical and civil engineering have been constant or on the rise.

If we see the GATE registration data of 2012, more than 1.5 lakh students registered for the CSE stream, which went up to 2.2 lakh in 2013. But in 2018, it came down to nearly 96,878. Whereas, if we consider other engineering streams such as Mechanical, Electrical, and Civil, we can observe that students are showing more interest which can be proved by a greater number of registrations in GATE in these streams.

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Likewise, the ECE registrations in GATE in 2013 had the maximum number of registrations, around 2,56,135. But in 2019, this number reached to less than half (1,25,870) to what it was in 2013. In 2012, a significantly lesser number of students registered for B.Tech Mechanical Engineering (ME) and Electrical Engineering (EE) as compared to CSE for GATE. Around 1,12,320 registrations came for ME, there were about equal number of registrations (1,10,125) for EE. However, in 2019, ME had over 2.34 lakh registrations, EE had 1.46 lakh registrations, but CSE only had 96,878 registrations.

Civil Engineering (CE) stream has also remained popular with candidates. This engineering stream was introduced in GATE in 2014 and had only 90 thousand registrations. But with rising demand, CE had over 1.5 lakh registrations last year.

So, it can be inferred that the core branches of engineering are luring more students than the streams like CSE or ECE. Here are some probable reasons for this.

Reasons for core engineering streams gaining popularity

Core engineering is the backbone of the industry

No industry can function without machines, engines, electricity, and infrastructure. Without electricity and electronics, any machine cannot function. Other requirements like having an infrastructure such as buildings, bridges, water drainage systems, etc are only possible because of Civil Engineering. Hence, any industry can stand or survive with the support of core engineering sciences and its application.

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Equal demand for core engineering streams and specialized engineering branches

With specialized engineering branches and newer subjects taking over, the significance of core engineering streams cannot be overlooked. In fact, the specialized engineering subjects are basically an outcome of the core streams only. Though interdisciplinary knowledge is needed to solve about 10% of the technological challenges, the greater percentage of the technical issues can be resolved with the assistance of the core engineering disciplines.

Also, the engineers who have knowledge of the core subjects can opt for much wider and advanced aspects of the application in terms of design, development, evaluation, and execution of projects in any field in the future.

Job prospects in the core engineering fields

Though people mostly feel that with the job boom in the IT and Electronics sectors, the core engineering education is now an outdated concept. But the reality is that with Government’s schemes like “Make in India”, it is projected that almost 100 million jobs would be generated by the year 2022.

Engineering graduates with core engineering know-how and skill-set are likely to be in big demand and to spearhead the nation’s future growth. Thus, focus on fundamentals and core subjects is the need of the hour. We will require engineers who have a passion for designing, creating, and producing new things with strong knowledge on concepts of electronics, mechanics, civil, and chemical. There seem to be a plethora of opportunities for the core engineers in the near future, which will influence the growth of this country.


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