With the race to get admission in any of the popular ‘mainstream’ courses getting tougher every year, a lot of chatter has been around ‘offbeat' courses that may be more aligned towards the students' passion and their career goals.The Quint, along with our knowledge partner CollegeDekho, lists some up-and-coming 'hatke' options and their scope.1. Food Flavourist/ChemistEver wondered who is behind some of the wacky, weird combinations of food that still taste great?A food flavourist or a food chemist may have a role to play, as he/she would "specialise in the assessment of combination of ingredients, colour, of palette, cuisines, and also labelling, packaging and branding of food and food-related products."Options?According to CollegeDekho's Jayita Ekka, the degrees offered in the field of food chemistry/technology include a BSc and MSc, as well as a BTech and an MTech.“You can even do a PhD or an MPhil in food technology and food science,” she adds.Among the institute options for BTech in food technology, there's IIT Kharagpur, ICT Mumbai, Jadavpur University and NIT Rourkela.For a BSc in food technology or sciences, the options include Quantum School of Agricultural Studies, Dev Bhoomi Group of Institutes, Hindustan Institute of Technology and Science, and Sam Higginbottom University of Agriculture in Prayagraj.Which Colleges Offer English Literature Other Than DU? 2. Urban PlanningThere are many problems that come up while creating living settlements in urban areas – from traffic woes to drainage issues. Know who can help solve them in the long-term? It's urban planners."Even though many Indian institutes now offer courses in urban planning, they are only able to produce about 700 urban planners per year. That is not enough for the second-most populous country in the world," claims Sakunth Kumar of CollegeDekho.According to him, some of the top colleges offering urban planning courses in the country are IIT Kharagpur, which offers a Masters-level course, and School of Planning and Architecture in Delhi and Vijayawada, which offer Masters as well as Bachelors in urban planning.Career ScopeCareer options for students pursuing this field include jobs in central or state governments, private construction companies, city municipal corporations, as well as in UNESCO and the WHO.3. Sports ManagementBy now, most of us are fairly well-acquainted with high-profile sporting leagues like IPL, ISL and Pro Kabaddi League. But have you ever thought about how much planning goes into organising and managing these sporting events?"Sports management is basically management and organisation of various sporting activities in India and bringing them to the fore at a more commercial level," Ekka points out.Courses in the field, Ekka adds, are usually offered at the post-graduate level – with the degree being MBA in sports management – for which you need not be an athlete but need to have an interest in sports.Where to Go?“Since it’s a relatively new course, there are not many institutes in India that are offering this course at the moment. But the ones offering it include International Institute of Sports Management, Alagappa University, Indira Gandhi Institute of Physical Education and Sports Science, and National Academy of Sports Management.”Jayita Ekka, CollegeDekho, to The QuintWith a degree in this field, there are job opportunities in not just sports management-related activities, sports marketing and advertising, but also in the Sports Authority of India or other such government-funded organisations.4. Artificial IntelligenceIn recent times, artificial intelligence has become ubiquitous. One example being how the Google ecosystem has adopted it – with its virtual assistant and map applications making use of it in a big way – among others.“This is one of the most popular and upcoming domains in India. Very few institutes in India offer this course... IIT Hyderabad is the first institute in India to launch a special BTech course in artificial intelligence. Apart from IIT Hyderabad, AICTE has included artificial intelligence and machine learning in its curriculum for Computer Science, Mechanical, IT and Electrical Engineering. And by next year, some of the premiere institutes of India, like IIT Kharagpur, IIT Kanpur and IIT Delhi are also planning to launch a course in artificial intelligence.”Sakunth Kumar, CollegeDekho, to The QuintDU Admissions Finally Underway: Answering Some of Your Queries We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated. The Quint is now available on Telegram & WhatsApp too, Click here to join.