Let’s first take a look at some hard-hitting numbers. India has around 3,345 engineering colleges, generating more than 1.5 million graduates every year, according to The All India Council for Technical Education (AICTE) but only 20 percent of those graduates have the necessary knowledge and skills to get a decent job, says the National Employment Report for Engineers.
Don’t let the above numbers disappoint you, because there is another side to the story. India is set to become the global hub for engineering services, with revenue from engineering research and development likely to surpass $40 billion by 2020, estimates NASSCOM. More interestingly, core engineering disciplines, including civil and mechanical branches, are back in the demand, says Directorate of Technical Education (DTE). The country needs around 4 million civil engineers as against 642,000 to be available by 2020, according to a report by Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
This simply shows that the employment outlook for engineers is bright, but you need to be skilled, qualified and prepared enough to seize the opportunity. If you are planning to build a career in engineering, simply start by learning about the nitty-gritty of this profession.
Job DescriptionAlmost every engineer has a specialization in one or multiple areas of engineering, such as, chemical, automobile, civil, mechanical and electrical. Your duties as an engineer may vary depending on your area of specialization, but almost always involve planning, designing, testing, research, analysis, production and maintenance. While electrical engineers are often responsible for designing electrical systems, generating and distributing electricity; civil engineers handle the planning, designing, construction and maintenance of buildings and highways and mechanical engineers take care of the designing, manufacturing and maintenance of different machine tools. Responding to the new requirements of civilization, many new engineering streams, including aeronautical engineering, computer engineering and nuclear engineering rose to prominence in recent years. Irrespective of your area of specialization, your roles and responsibilities may include:
Discussing the objective, requirements and budget of the project with the client or managementDeveloping a project specification with team membersCreating design, layout or prototype, testing, receiving feedback from clients or managementIdentifying potential risks and giving advice, suggestions on risk preventionNegotiating with contractors and suppliersSupervising production site and responding to any issues that might arise during production
Educational QualificationYou need some formal education to enter into this profession. A bachelor's degree in engineering (BE) or technology (BTech) in your chosen discipline is a standard requirement but entry with a diploma in engineering from a polytechnic institute is also possible. For admission into a BE or BTech program, you should pass 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Eligible candidates also need to clear one of the many engineering entrance examinations, such as, Joint Entrance Examination (JEE Main), The Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT), VIT Engineering Entrance Examination (VTTEEE) and SRM University Engineering Entrance Examination (SRMEEE). If you rank among the top 1.50 lakh candidates in JEE Main, you are eligible to appear for JEE Advanced – a special entrance exam for admission into one of the 16 Indian Institutes of Technology (IITs) located across the country. After completing the graduate program, you can choose to enroll in a master’s program or take a job to start your career.
Skills RequiredEngineers require a diverse range of skills and some personal traits to excel in their career. In addition to science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) skills, an engineer should have strong analytical ability, creativity, excellent communication skills, leadership skills and problem solving skills. More importantly, you should continue to develop new skills and keep updated with the latest technologies and trends to be successful in this profession.
Career Opportunity and SalaryYou are likely to find an ample employment opportunity across various industries, depending on your area of specialization. For instance, aspiring biomedical engineers should look for jobs in laboratories and research institutes, while an agricultural engineer may find a suitable job in Food Corporation of India, agricultural institutes or agricultural tools manufacturing companies. You salary as an engineer may vary depending on your designation and duties. A junior engineer’s annual salary could be between Rs. 3 lakh and 9 lakh, while senior engineers may earn between Rs. 6 lakh and 20 lakh per annum.
As with most other careers, success in engineering requires hard work, patience, natural talent and a passion for learning. If you are a great problem solver with excellent math skills, engineering could be a rewarding career option for you.