On the first day of sports quota counselling for admission to engineering and architecture colleges in the State, through Tamil Nadu Engineering Admission (TNEA) 2014 on Monday, mechanical, civil and electronic and communication engineering (ECE) were the most popular choices.

The counselling for this quota is for 500 seats, with 900 students who have excelled in sports called in for the process that takes place over two days. Those who miss out can then appear for counselling through the general quota.

While this is not necessarily an indication of what will happen during the general counselling, for the past three years, mechanical, civil and ECE have been gaining popularity amongst students, an official from Anna University said.

When asked, many of the students said they preferred not to opt for computer science engineering or information technology, because the chances of getting placed in a good company at the end of four years were uncertain.

C. Hema Rani from Thanjavur had decided that she wanted to do mechanical engineering when she started class XII. When she consulted people she knew who were working in IT companies, all of them discouraged her from studying IT.

“Also, not too many women have studied mechanical engineering, so I think I will have a distinct advantage,” the State-level Silambam player said.

According to R. Kavibharathi from Eraiyur, he and his friend N. Anand preferred to study civil engineering. “Both of us enjoy working hard, and I think there will be several opportunities for civil engineers in the future,” he said.

Speaking on the trend, former Anna University vice-chancellor E. Balaguruswamy said, courses like mechanical and civil engineering were very difficult, but it was a good sign that people were opting for them.

Many major automotive and manufacturing companies are unable to find a sufficient number of quality engineers to fill vacant posts, he said, adding that it was likely that in four or five years, there would be a larger demand for civil and mechanical engineers.

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