A lot of young students ask me this question? Instead, they are more inclined to make careers in different fields, except Engineering, like Banking (IBPS exams), Civil Services and other SSC exams. The reason for this is twofold. One, the declining number of campus placements for Engineering graduates, and number two, the declining quality of Engineering education delivery in Colleges. Both these reasons have affected the students as well as the psychology of general public towards engineering education and a career option.
But, all these notions about Engineering do not consider one fundamental fact, that Engineering forms the basis of modern civilization and the importance of it is far from over. In fact, young graduates should keep themselves more informed and up to date in regards to the latest Engineering trends, rather than thinking of changing their field, altogether. One more reason, for young graduates shifting career lines swiftly, is that when you pass out of an Engineering college, the main motto is to earn money and be successful. And, clearing non technical government exams is deemed easy for these graduates. But, one wrong step in the wrong direction, while choosing a career can lead to a lifelong feeling of helplessness and frustration.
The main aim of this article is NOT criticism of what young Engineering students think, but to give them an idea of how the four years of their life, when utilised to think rationally and with reason can give them a life of success and happiness. So, how can a Graduate Engineer make a successful career and lead a happy life? Furthermore, all the negative notions and anxiety, leading young Engineering students to take wrong decisions in their career is because, like OLD Days, CAREER and FUTURE are still the two most important things of concern for them. According to my personal opinion, a good career and future depends upon:
2. Desire to succeed
3. Positive Attitude by being involved in right: ENVIRONMENT, EDUCATION and EXPERIENCE
4. Strategic Planning
6. Hard Work
The major structural conflict in the minds of today’s young engineers is that almost 90% of them think that they are unworthy of a good engineering job and career and feel powerless. The current reality and their negative attitude make it tough for them to achieve their goals and visions. But, they completely forget, that they have been given a chance to spend 4 years of their life to think as logically as is possible, be rational and reasonable in their approach towards a problem. Therefore, they should use all the tricks and guidance received during their 4 years at any Engineering college to build a great career, and believe me Engineering is the way to go in the future!
One thing, young engineering graduates should keep in mind that the future economic strongholds will be formed by countries and societies having a Strong KNOWLEDGE BASE. This can be put in easier words, describing the future economy as a Knowledge Economy. This means that the role of knowledge, in comparison to natural resources, physical capital, will take, and in fact has taken a far greater importance. Economic success is now based on the effective utilisation of intangible assets such as knowledge, skills and innovative potential. Education & training, information infrastructure, economic incentive and institutional regime and innovation systems are of utmost importance.
According to a report, India will have a total of 204 million graduates, i.e. around 15% of world’s total share of graduates. This means, we will more have more graduates than USA by the year 2020! This further means that the effective utilization of this huge of young graduates will determine that whether we are a superpower or not? Also, according to a report by Planning Commission, D & B India the key growth driver in the phase 2011-20 will be substantial investment in physical, agricultural and social infrastructure, as compared to investment in service industry and rise in private consumption demand in the phase spanning 1990-2010. This means, the government will increase investments in infrastructure development, which includes rails, roads, transportation, projects, new thermal and refineries coming up in the new decade. Infrastructure investment will surge to 12.1% of GDP by FY20 from estimated 7% of GDP in FY11 (source Planning Commission, D & B India). All this means that new job opportunities will be created for Engineers, and well educated and trained engineers will be required to take up the challenge.
Now, the question arises, how do you get that job, which will be created in the near future. The only answer to it, lies in the paragraph 3 of this article, from points 1 to 6. The starting point for young engineers is that they should start preparing for GATE, while in their 3rd year of Engineering, so that by the time they pass their course they know where to go and what to do and not depend upon their Engineering college to help them with placements. GATE stands for Graduate Aptitude Test in Engineering, and is an all India test conducted by IITs every year to select meritorious students for various ME/ MTech programs in IITs, NITs, Deemed Universities. Apart from this, a large number of Public Sector Units (PSUs) are recruiting via GATE scores. The future jobs mentioned in the above paragraph, will only be possible through PSUs, so it becomes very important to take this exam seriously. An added benefit of working for PSUs through GATE, is that, the starting pay packets for a GET and MT is around INR 6-10 lakhs p.a. CTC, which is way more than what a young fresh engineering graduate would get in a private organisation. This means, in the recent years, GATE has transformed itself from just an exam to a symbol of excellence and competence. And the day is not far, when even private sector organisations will also start recruiting through GATE scores.
This one exam, if taken seriously, can transform your life and help you build a great future and career. Not only this, preparing for GATE paves the path for UPSC Engineering Services Examination preparation. Apart from this, a lot of Exams are held during a year, which recruits Engineers through written exams requiring preparation on the lines of preparing for GATE. A few examples to support my previous sentence, ISRO recruits young engineers in April every year, SSC recruits JEs for various departments in May every year etc. This means preparing for just ONE exam, i.e. GATE, can help you in sitting for multiple exams.