Decide a course, not based on the past performance of a particular sector, but on the future prospects of that sector. Because what did well in the past need not do well in the future, Jayaprakash Gandhi, educational consultant, said here on Sunday.

Speaking at The Hindu Education Plus Career Fair 2011, he said it was not enough to choose a subject merely based on interest, but on the opportunities it would offer in terms of employment and growth prospects.

“The next 10 years is the decade of power / energy. World is moving towards renewable energy in the form of biomass, solar energy and wind energy. A study shows that almost 72 per cent of the courses that have been introduced or redesigned this year are all related to the disciplines of energy and civil engineering,” Mr. Gandhi said.

Infrastructure was growing by leaps and bounds. There were huge opportunities for civil engineers. According to a survey, the other verticals that held great promise were IT, ITes, energy, infrastructure and pharmaceuticals.

He said communication was no longer in a leading position for the best course, as it had reached the saturation point and did not have future prospects in terms of innovation and growth. Mr. Gandhi also said that though the automobile sector was in need of manpower in the mechanical discipline, it was not looking for engineers, but only diploma holders.

He advised students who were keen to take up mechanical engineering, to specialize in renewable energy. Pointing out that engineering was heading towards a point of saturation, Mr, Gandhi said some other courses that could be preferred in terms of innovative jobs, were geoinformatics, material sciences, law, economics, and company secretaryship. Some new courses like that of the B.Tech. in Poultry Technology of the Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University, and the B.Sc. Sericulture course of the Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, were highly recommended by him. In medicine, after the conventional MBBS and BDS, he said the six-year Doctor of Pharmacy was a popular one.