Question & Answers: Options in engineering & scope in civil engineering


I would complete my A levels next year in the following: Physics, Maths and Chemistry. So, I was thinking which field of engineering I should take up. I am particularly interested in civil engineering but don’t know about its scope here. Please, advice.


Based on your interests and passion you need to decide what you would like to study. To help you with this decision, I would strongly recommend you talk to a college counsellor and also do a psychometric test. With numerous choices and overabundance of information it is quite easy to get confused but let your interest and aptitude dictate your choice.

If buildings and bridges, the environment and urban planning appeal to you more than circuits and wires then choosing civil engineering over electrical engineering would be natural. You will need to do extensive research on the courses available at various colleges and determine the career prospects for each discipline. You should seek out students and professionals in this field as their experience and views can provide useful insights.

Career in Civil Engineering

Civil engineering is undoubtedly a good career choice and the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Olympics has pushed this profession into the limelight by showcasing the ingenuity and expertise involved in successfully delivering the remarkable projects undertaken for the Olympics.

You may be aware civil engineering involves the creation, design and construction of a range of structures in the built and natural environment. But don’t necessarily presume that civil engineering is limited to the construction of buildings and dams. Considered as amongst the oldest engineering disciplines civil engineering encompasses environmental engineering, municipal and urban engineering, water resources engineering, material engineering and coastal engineering. The discipline takes place on all levels: in the public sector from municipal through to national governments and in the private sector from individual homeowners through to international companies.

A sound foundation in Physics, Maths, Information Technology and English is a prerequisite to gain admission into University. Apart from grades, you need to possess an incisive and innovative approach, ability to evaluate designs and plans, analyses of complex data, effective assessment of risk, resources and time and have good communication skills. There is a lot of emphasis on experience in this field and any exposure while you are studying by way of internship or a co-op program will provide not only a better understanding of issues but also provide practical exposure critical to your career prospects.

Due to increased demand for sustainable and eco-friendly structures, the field of sustainability and green building is expected to see significant growth over the next few years. This augurs well for Civil Engineers. Even while average job employment growth in this field is expected to rise through to 2014 we must appreciate that the career prospects in this discipline have a positive correlation to the state of the economy.

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