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Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Career options in Engineering: Guest Post by Vidyabhushana Hande

Presenting the 3rd guest post in this blog (read first and second ones). Vidyabhushana Hande works for a reputed IT Company and has 20+ years of overall Industry experience. This particular article, published in two parts, is designed to help students considering engineering as a career option. As an industry veteran VidyaBhushan Hande shares his insights on the matter, addressing several tough questions prospective engineering students face at the time of their admission. It’s an honor to have this post on enidhi.net -Admin


Career options in Engineering
-Vidyabhushana Hande
As one completes pre-university (10+2) graduation in the science stream, the important question that arises in the mind of the individual and their parents is about the career option. I am writing this article just to share different view points on the subject. This is not written with an intention to suggest someone to follow a certain / specific direction. I strongly believe in - ‘No decision is good or bad in it self. True differentiation is in the executioner and the way decision gets executed.’

This article may give some pointers to help you take some decision. However remember that after taking the decision your journey just begins. You have to finish the journey in style and prove to the world (if not to the world, at least to yourself!!) that you had taken the right decision!

Every action and decision must have a purpose. So, if we need to look at engineering options, the decision has to be arrived from the endpoint perspective. For most, that would mean- having a satisfying, stable job. So the engineering discipline one would pursue is a mean to achieve their dream career option.

1. With the backdrop of severe impact of global recession in almost all countries, is it worth to pursue Engineering study?
With the impact of global industry slow-down, across the segments, many are confused in taking engineering as a career option. However the fact is - engineering and technology would continue to advance and the job opportunities would continue to grow. Further almost all industry segments like Automotive and Aerospace industries undergo business cycle consisting of boom and recession. Some industries undergo fast cycle and some slow. It is more likely that by the time the students under taking engineering study now graduates, the industry scenario could be totally different and possibly experiencing boom period. Let the current industry scenario not guide your decision to pursue engineering.

2. How do you see the several engineering branches available for study?
Today multiple engineering branches are available for study. There are more than 70 engineering branches! Some of them are closely related and some are application or domain specific. I would group the available engineering branches into 4 broad categories.

Core Engineering: Engineering branches like Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics and Civil fall into this category.

Growth oriented engineering: Based on the last decade’s industry experience, I would put computer science and Information Technology under this class.

Allied Engineering: Instrumentation Technology, Telecommunication, Mechatronics, Architectural Engineering and Industrial production falls into this category.

Specialized Engineering: Petroleum Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Food engineering, Green Engineering, Aeronautical engineering etc are engineering branches under this group.

3. What recommendations you have for the aspirants in core engineering branches?
I have always held the view that in order to ‘engineer’ the engineering, one should take up core engineering subjects like Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics and Civil. The fundamentals-of-engineering is dealt heavily in these subjects which would be of immense use in any vertical application. I still remember one of the customers demanding –‘I love to have someone who loves noise and signals in my team’. [He was referring to Mechanical (Noise) and Electronics (Signal) engineers]. If one wishes to continue their education after graduation, several universities across world offer multiple streams of specialization.

There are multiple private tuitions / coaching centers available with very good infrastructure and much required experienced staff in every city. These centers provide ample opportunities for anyone to hone the skill of computer science and / or IT in parallel to what they are pursuing in engineering college.
So, if one engages in the core engineering stream, their value would be very high as they always have a chance to get a main stream job in multiple industry segments. In addition, their chances of getting IT industry job are equally good.

4. I heard IT related branches are losing demand. Should I opt out of studying IT / CS engineering branches?
The view point in the question is in the backdrop of global slowdown. I do not believe in impulsive decision.

In the last decade the computer science (CS) and information technology (IT) disciplines have been most sought after by engineering aspirants. CS and IT fields have paid rich dividends in terms of rapid Industry growth and uplifting the overall economy of the individual and industry.

IT companies have grown both in size and service offerings. In order to scale up and manage the business needs, IT companies have put in a system and process in place to groom an engineer from any discipline into an IT engineer. This, in a way, has reduced the importance of computer science and IT fields.

Today, Computer science and IT branches are oriented more towards the job market in the service industries. There are less job opportunities in the area of fundamental R&D and product engineering related to these engineering fields. While one would enjoy the power of Vitamin M (Money), the job satisfaction may not be high.

Every company in the globe has realized the importance of IT to manage their systems, processes and or products better. Their IT budget is always a lion share of total spend of the company. This trend will continue at least for some more years. Thus, based on the global economy, the scale of growth may be higher in the IT industries. In the last decade I have seen people taking up higher responsibilities every alternate year along with higher pay package. The trend is likely to continue, if not at the same rate. At the same time, one should be aware that in the downturn of the industry, the risk of losing the job is also fairly high.

Service Industry provides an excellent travelling opportunity across the globe. If you are an avid traveler, I am sure you would enjoy this job. So from this perspective as well pursuing IT related branches in engineering is a wise thing to do.

---------------End of part 1----------------------------------------------------------------
Read Part 2

Possibly related posts: My innovations wishlist * Sandhya Ravishankar's workshop on broadcast journalism *

6 comments :

Manoj said...

Very Informative-but I'm reading it two years late...

Mridula said...

What a tough thing it is to choose what to do after 12th in India! But it is seen as a job ticket hence students would do it whether they are interested or not.

jag's software guide said...

Very interesting and informative post. I'm from India. My qualification is Master in Computer Applications (MCA). Do I eligible applying for the post?

Shrinidhi Hande said...

Manoj,
We also wish we could publish it little earlier.

Mridula,
Agree.

Jag,
Thanks. Your question is not clear? you wish to contribute articles to this blog?

Joe Raman said...

In that post it gives lots of information on the engineering career option also it would get more information on the related topic.

Get more information on career Options in India.

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