Wednesday, March 25, 2015

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Should I study Engineering ?

Engineering is one of the most coveted degrees all over the world. It is, in fact, the dream job of every student to work in a reputed engineering company. Obviously, there are some exceptions who never liked this field and they mainly concentrated on other segments like medical, management, education, etc. 

Before independence and even after independence also till late 80’s, there was a craze among all students to go for engineering courses. Sadly, there were not many premier engineering institutions and hardly a few seats were available compared to now. Noticing such a huge interest and response among numerous students, more and more colleges started to setup engineering department since then. Automatically, the intake of the students increased by a great number and more students got the opportunity to learn engineering after their 12 standard examination. 

Initially, hardly a few seats were left in this branch and engineering was in its peak condition. It was profitable for a college management also as apart from taking students via entrance examination, the colleges started to receive capitation fees to admit a student in the management quota. Parents of several students who didn’t qualify for a particular college in terms of entrance test, used this option to get admission in any leading college by paying a lump sum amount. The tradition goes on to date in several colleges across India but in a reduced manner. There are many colleges in India who is not having a full capacity of engineering students and the number of students taking admission is on the downside of the curve. 

Engineering means all related streams

Engineering domain is not about of graduate ones under BE / B Tech, but also for diploma / polytechnic and for ITI also. Each and every segment is co-related and a big engineering house require all three categories of employee. While ITI is the lowest category with hard physical skills, diploma is slightly upper than an ITI engineer. Graduate engineers remain at the top of these three categories and under their supervision, a project is normally executed. So everyone needs to be involved in terms of employability, then only other people will join in this trade after carefully observing their seniors. This is applicable for all the departments of engineering, be Civil or Mechanical or Electrical or even Electronics / Telecom / Computer Science / Information Technology and others.

AICTE & Knowledge Commission Suggestion

Now the question arises, why such fall in the engineering department? Once it was the heart throb of all students, but now somehow that appeal is missing.  Although a large number of students still are going to engineering colleges, but there are other side also of this. Even the Knowledge Commission Report prepared by AICTE also indicated the same. As the apex body, AICTE is very much concerned about the future of engineering education in India and that is why they have come up with some initiatives so that engineering as a stream again comes into the limelight. The regional imbalance where two-thirds of engineering colleges are in South India, employability of engineering students after passing out and inferior quality of the teaching are main worries as per the Knowledge Commission Report. 

To overcome such, some of the below-mentioned initiatives have been proposed:
1. Reforming the regulatory framework
2. Improving governance of institutions
3. Attracting & retaining faculty
4. Curriculum reform
5. Integrating science & engineering education
6. Encouraging research
7. Industry – academia interaction
8. Improved access
9. Mentoring

Why such?
If one tries to look for the reasons for such a less interested approach by the students in terms of engineering education in India, one can find lots of reasons behind that. Here are some of those:

a) Other Career options are available – Now students can think of Management, Medical, Academics and Research & Development apart from engineering stream

b) Less Engineering Jobs in Indian Market – Compared to the number of engineering students passing out every year (around 15 Lakhs from 3500 Institutions in B Tech & around 1 Lakh students from 2500 Colleges in Diploma level), the job scenario is not as bright as it should be. 

c) Lesser Salary for Engineering Graduates – Students nowadays can compare engineering division with any other streams where salary is much higher in several cases. Also, the growth factor is better in terms of a management personnel rather than an engineer. 

d) Lack of Infrastructure – Many colleges are not equipped with requisite items that an engineering college should have and students are hardly getting any practical exposure to the same. Also, a section of the faculties are not enough motivated to teach the students. All these attribute a negative impact on the engineering field. 

Positive Approach
A majority of the engineering students are from Computer Science, Electronics & Communication and Information Technology which are heavily dependent upon the foreign clients. So recession hits in this sector faster than any other resulting jobless condition for several employees. Students nowadays do calculate all these options before opting for engineering course after 12 standard examinations. Of course, a large number of students are going to take admission in engineering stream every year, but also the number of seats remaining vacant in many major institutions is an alarm for the future. 

Many colleges across India have stopped taking admission in certain disciplines of engineering due to lack of students. Proper steps should be taken in order to overcome these conditions and due to that such commissions with their suggestions / initiatives must be taken care seriously. Student teacher ratio should be increased as well as the infrastructure of several colleges. The labs must be enough for all the students to practice and one must explore all the job possibilities for these young graduates.  Then only one can see a positive future in the engineering domain.

Engineering with MBA can be a better option
One can’t ignore the importance of engineering educated people in a developing country, so India should have a large pool of qualified and intelligent engineer in all streams. But few numbers of available jobs throughout India is a big worry and the industrial policy need to be revised to attract investors to set up infrastructure in every state of India. Then only, a bulk employability option will arise and students of next generation will feel attracted towards this great stream of science.

About The Author
A Techie with 15 years of experience in Academics & Corporate Industry. A Corporate Trainer, Lecturer, Systems Administrator & IT Expert in various capacity. A Freelance Content Developer & Editor for last 10 years. Passionate about anything new. 
Twitter: @SaikatGupta1976