Plus Two students face a series of entrance examinations from the day they complete their public examinations. Parents are a worried lot. What next? This is the biggest question. Is it not time to come out of the conventional mindset? The choice of courses must be left to students based on their aptitude.
In engineering, there are umpteen number of job-oriented courses beyond the conventional streams of civil, electrical, electronics and communication, chemical and mechanical.
Career prospects are bright in the following areas: petrochemical, fire engineering, safety, mining, textile, nanotechnology, biomedical engineering, design, fashion and space technology.
For mining, Indian school of Mines (ISM), Dhanbad (www.ismdhanbad.ac.in), should be the obvious choice. Established in 1926 and located in a mineral-rich belt of India, ISM is known for its unique expertise in Mining Engineering, though other branches of studies are also available there now.
The Central Electro Chemical Research Institute (CECRI), Karaikudi (www.cecri.res.in), established in 1953, is one of the largest electrochemical laboratories in the world and conducts UG, PG and research programme in the fields of electrochemical science and technology including nanotechnology.
National Fire Service College, Nagpur (www.nfscnagpur.nic.in), offers B.E. in Fire Engineering. Cochin University of Science and Technology (Cochin www.cusat.ac.in) also offers a Fire and Safety Engineering course.
There is an exclusive Institute for Petroleum in Dehradun. The Indian Institute of Petroleum Dehradun (www.iip.res.in), has state-of-the-art facility to impart courses related to petroleum and trains students to meet the industrial requirements.
Sree Chitra Tirunal Institute for Medical Sciences & Technology, Thiruvananthapuram (www.sctimst.ac.in), is an institute of national importance in the health care industry. It is known for fusion of medical science and technology. Doctors, engineers and health care scientists find suitable courses and openings in this institute.
The National Institute of Fashion Technology (www.nift.ac.in), a premier institute, has 15 centres in the country and offers B.Des. and B.F.Tech. (Apparel Production). It also offers courses in textile and leather design, technology, management and merchandising.
The National Institute of Design (www.nid.edu), Ahmedabad, is internationally acclaimed as one of the foremost multi-disciplinary institutions in the field of design education and research. As per the Business Week, USA, NID is listed as one of the top 25 European and Asian programmes in the world.
Indian Institute of Space Technology (www.iist.ac.in), Thiruvananthapuram, is Asia's first space institute and the first in the world to offer UG, PG, doctoral programmes with specific focus on space science, technology and applications. It offers B.Tech. (Avionics Engineering).
Founded in 1931, the Indian Statistical Institute (www.isical.ac.in) focuses on teaching, research and application of statistics, natural sciences and social sciences. With Kolkata as the headquarters, it has centres in Chennai, Bangalore, Delhi and Tezpur.
The Forest Research Institute, Dehradun (www.icfre.org), established in 1906, offers three PG courses, two PG Diploma course and Ph.D. degree in Forestry.
It has centres in Coimbatore, Bangalore, Jodhpur, Jorhat, Shimla and Ranchi.
The Central Institute of Food Technology and Research Institute, Mysore (www.cftri.com), is known to provide a technologically-advanced and research-based courses in food science and technology.
Indian Veterinary Research Institute, Izatnagar, Uttar Pradesh (www.ivri.nic.in), established in 1889, is one of the premier research institutions in livestock research and development and has long scientific heritage. Known as the ‘Mecca of veterinary science', it has collaborative projects with USA, UK, Australia and other international organizations.
Likewise, Netaji Subhas National Institute of Sports is Asia's largest sports institute and known as the ‘Mecca of Indian Sports.' Established in 1961, it offers PG degree in sports coaching and PG Diploma in sports medicine.
State-of-the-art coaching is imparted with world class facilities at this institute.
The Central Institute of Plastics Engineering and Technology (www.cipet.gov.in) has 15 centres and offers courses at different levels in polymer science and plastic technology and sciences.
Well-equipped laboratories prepare the students to meet the global industrial need.
The Central Institute of Psychiatry (www.cipranchi.nic.in), Ranchi, established in 1918, is a premier centre for mental health in the country with many firsts to its credit: first Occupational Therapy department, ECT (Electro Convolution Therapy), psychosurgery and neurosurgery, full-fledged neuropathology section and many more. It offers courses in different disciplines of medical science.
National Institute of Mental health and Neuro Sciences (www.nimhans.kar.nic.in) is an institute of higher learning in the frontier area of mental health and neurosciences. AIIMS, Delhi (www.aiims.ac.in), PGI, Chandigarh (www.pgimer.nic.in), JIPMER, Puducherry (www.jipmer.edu), and CMC Vellore (www.cmch.vellore.edu) are internationally-known medical institutes where courses from nursing to super- speciality medical course and medical technologies are open to students, scientists and researchers.
Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR), established in 1929, is one of the largest institutions in the world. It has 97 institutes and 47 agricultural universities spread across the country.
In addition to the specific courses, there are also well-reputed and internationally popular research centres of very high standards offering courses in the fields of science, defence-related technologies and basic innovative research.
Defence Research and Development Organization (www.drdo.org) has around 50 laboratories and research establishments focusing in the areas of military technology, aeronautics, armaments, combat vehicles, electronics, instrumentation, naval systems, advanced computing, simulations and life sciences. The research carried out in these hi-fi establishments meet the need of Navy, Army, and Air services. World class standards are maintained and achieved in these research and establishments.
Department of Science and Technology (www.dst.gov.in) and Department of Biotechnology (www.dbtindia.nic.in) are other centres where one can pursue state-of-the-art research and development. Other institutes focusing on fundamental research constitute Tata Institute of Fundamental Research (www.tifr.res.in), BARC (www.barc.ernet.in), IGCAR, Kalpakkam (www.igcar.ernet.in).
There are lots more. It's time students and parents expanded their horizon of thinking to chart the right course in the ocean of opportunities.