Engineering for girls
Engineering offers a wide variety of courses to choose from and opens up a plethora of opportunities which girls prefer, writes Aakash Chaudhry.
Engineering is an extensive course, one of the most challenging ones among all curriculums. It carries 58 university exams, 130 series exam, and 174 assignments within 4 years with a maximum of 750 working days. Engineering is a vast subject with a lot of divisions, but not all the divisions are always considered.
Students have the freedom to study their desired course. This freedom has led to confusion among parents and students regarding the courses. Most of the parents see the market and current trends to make a decision for their children. For example, everyone simply seem to blindly pursue Electronics and communication Engineering or Electrical Engineering. Adding to the chaos, parents of students have started ranking Computer Science below Civil Engineering.
Instead of doing a little research or listening to people in the industry, most parents just read newspapers to make conclusions, which in the long run make a deep impact on students’ career and in turn on their whole life. Parents are more often than not worried, especially for girls as to which would be the best engineering course. Instead of merely taking advice, it is better to discuss the latest and the most popular engineering courses available and then leave it upon them to make a decision. Engineering is basically a combination of theory and practice. Keeping this and the kinds of courses available in view will help one to make a decision.
Kinds of courses
*Civil Engineering & Mechanical Engineering: Civil engineering is a wonderful course and almost every college has good infrastructure for this, both in terms of faculty and laboratories. At the same time, this is really a tough job and most of it requires going to sites and taking care of construction management. One cannot make good money in this field working for someone, and starting one’s own company needs good investment and contacts, which is difficult for a common Indian family. And Mechanical Engineering comes with similar issues.
* Electronics and Electrical Engineering: Electronics and electrical engineering are really good and highly job-oriented courses. But when it comes to faculty and practical exposure, most of the colleges do not have sufficient infrastructure. Moreover, on completing these courses, engineers work in software companies as there are no sufficient companies who work in core areas of Electronics and Electrical Engineering.
*Computer Engineering and IT: The infrastructure required for these courses is very easy to provide and if teaching is not good at the college, finding a tutor outside, even in a small town, is not a problem. More importantly, when Google, Microsoft and other top companies come for campus interviews, they look for graduates in CS and IT.
Even after Electrical and Electronics Engineering, one gets into software companies now-a-days. Moreover, top software companies do not allow them to appear for test and interview. Therefore, there is no logic in going for these courses if computer science or IT is available. There are more software companies than any other companies. These companies pay good salaries and also give a chance for foreign assignments that will further enhance your personal and professional skills.
Besides the above mentioned courses, there are many other branches of engineering that girls can consider.
* Aeronautical or Aerospace Engineering: This is a specialized and improved branch of mechanical engineering that involves learning about design and construction of airplanes, aircraft and spacecraft. This course needs a good understanding of basic mathematics and physics because a lot of fundamental principles from physics and mathematics are extensively applied in flight technology.
Usually students go for master of engineering in Aerospace Engineering. If your aim is to work for NASA, then you need to be exceptionally talented, patient and persistent. Few core companies that you can work with are Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO), Defense Research and Development Organisation (DRDO), and Hindustan Aeronautics Limited. There are a few private companies like Boeing, and GE, who offer job for aerospace engineers.
* Biotechnology or Bio-Engineering: Biotechnology in general is using technology in biological research or studies. Bioengineering and Bioinformatics are specialized domains of biotechnology. In BTech and MTech, students learn about basic principles of biology and engineering. They learn about using technology especially modern devices to create specific conditions for biological experiments. Most of the devices are related to experiments on cells and proteins, therefore biological courses related to cells and proteins are taught extensively.
Biotech is basically the use of technology for improving the speed of biological research, not developing devices. Most of the Biotech students go for higher studies abroad, as there is huge funding these days. They get good opportunities to work in well-established labs. Also, they have opportunities to work for the domestic and international pharma industry, though those are rare; to name a few, companies like Ranbaxy, Cipla and GlaxoSmithKlineg apart from many government funded research organizations and CSIR labs. There are good research opportunities abroad as well.
* Chemical Engineering: Chemical engineering studies involve all common engineering subjects in the first year. From second year, the specialized courses will begin that include fluid mechanics, chemical thermodynamics, chemical kinetics, surface science, catalysis and reaction engineering. Till final year, students will read about chemical process and properties and topics like chemical reactors, chemical thermodynamics and experimenting with latest technology and devices.
Though not considered much, it is a very hot branch of engineering, which has a lot of potential for growth because of its applicability. Its value and importance have risen in recent years because of the current environmental issues. Jobs in petroleum companies like Schlumberger, Shell, Aramco and other Middle Eastern companies make it a prosperous choice of engineering. Some of the core companies in India are ONGC, Reliance Industries Ltd., Essar Oil Limited, Gujarat Gas Company Limited, Indo Gulf Fertilizers Ltd, and Coromandel Fertilizers Ltd.
All the above courses carry both theory and lab experiments, and provide indoor jobs which means one doesn’t have to go out in the field unlike in other engineering courses like Civil, Mechanical and Petroleum Engineering.
For the above mentioned courses, one gets ample and well-paid opportunities in teaching as well as research which girls usually prefer.