The following are a sample of questions posed to the experts during interactive session held as part of The Hindu EducationPlus Career Counselling here on Sunday.

What are the career prospects in farm sciences?

H. Shivanna, Dean (Agriculture), University of Agricultural Sciences, Bangalore: There is no dearth of jobs in the agriculture industry. The three important sectors which students can opt for are: agriculture, horticulture and veterinary science. Students can also pursue subjects such as B.Sc Forestry, B.Sc Sericulture, B.Sc Agri-Biotechnology, Bachelor of Home Science, B.Tech in Food Technology, B.Tech in Diary Technology, Bachelor of Feed Science, B.Tech Feed Science & Technology, B.Sc Agricultural Marketing and B.Tech in Agriculture Engineering.

Issues such as food security and nutrition security will need attention in the future more than today and students who take up agriculture and related subjects today will be in demand in the future. This is an area that can never be neglected.

What are the emerging subjects in the field of engineering education?

K. Rajinikanth, former principal, MS Ramaiah Institute of Technology: While at the undergraduate level there are no subjects that are path-breaking in nature, it is at the postgraduate level that students can opt for subjects such as nanotechnology, material technology and robotics. Engineering education at the UG level forms a basis for these niche subjects. Another major area that is developing is the interface area of medicine and engineering.

What is the difference between B.Tech Computer Science and Engineering (CSE) and B.Tech Information Science?

Dr. Rajinikanth: There is no fundamental difference between the two subjects. It is only at the final year level that about five or six subjects are different. Nearly 80 per cent of the subjects are the same. The only discernable difference being that CSE is a little more abstract than information science which is more of an applied subject. Though perceptions about the subject may vary, students of both the stream will be able to perform equally well in the industry with a little extra self-motivated learning.

How lucrative a field is robotics in India?

Dr. Rajinikanth: Robotics is an interdisciplinary course that combines a bit of mechanical engineering, electronic engineering and programming. Though there are not many colleges offering this subject at the UG level, it is available in a few colleges in Tamil Nadu. While it is a very key area, the subject does not have high pace of development in India.

Can someone working in the industry for a few years take up research?

P. Anandan: Yes, we need more people from the industry to contribute to research. About 30 years ago, it was the case that someone with a BE degree had to struggle to find a job despite completing undergraduation from the IITs. Today, freshers have great opportunities in the industry; and this could be one reason why there are fewer students taking up academics.

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