A career option that has evolved

A career option that has evolved
Engineering is considered to be a conventional career option. It is the primary choice of top performing students in school. In the years gone by, it had essentially four to five branches of study.

Today, we have over 40 highly specialised branches. The engineering technologies have evolved in every sphere — from communication to travel, healthcare, sports, bioengineering, environment, agriculture, avionics, space technology, nanotechnology to entertainment, they have paved a way towards a more modern and efficient world.

Technology is deployed in finding solutions to complex real life problems. The globally recognised IITs offer seats to approximately 10,000 students every year, then there are other reputed institutions including the NITs, IIITs, state-sponsored colleges and a few top of the line private engineering colleges offering cutting edge engineering programmes, collectively offering about one lakh seats.

An important question here is – “Are there enough prospects for so many engineers and/or are they all employable?” The answer is yes. As India is tipped to be the workforce engine of the world over the next decade – there will be serious need of talented and skilled engineers not just in India, but across the globe. Those with potential and the right attitude with willingness to learn and do innovative things will have plethora of opportunities knocking at the door.

Typically, engineers have two options ahead of them — higher studies or a job. If one decides to go in for higher studies, it could be either in the field of management or technology. For management, one has to clear management entrance exams like the CAT to get into the IIMs and for technology, one has to clear GATE (to pursue PG programmes from the IITs) or GRE (to pursue PG programmes from international universities).

On the other hand, if a student wishes to take up a job immediately after engineering, then they get to work in three broad sectors – public, private and government undertaking.

For government jobs, UPSC conducts many exams to fill technical and non-technical vacancies; to explore openings in the public sector, GATE score is considered these days by most of the companies and/or might have their own selection procedure; whereas for private jobs at large reputed companies, the firms visit the college campuses to hire engineers much before the final semester.

The innovative and passionate ones will have entrepreneurship opportunities. Today, we have a large pool of investors scouting for brilliant ideas that will solve life problems and drive growth in emerging markets. Hence, starting one’s own enterprise has become a lot easy these days. All the brilliant startups that we see today are the brainchild of engineers.

The big question

Are all engineers successful? The answer is again, yes. Pursuing engineering from the finest of institutions brings out the best within a student. The reason behind this is that these engineers are trained and conditioned to be logical, analytical, strong ability to reason it out in their quest for solution to a problem.

These skills come handy no matter which field you choose to work in future. They are strong in science and maths — after all it’s the use of these subjects that enables them to find solutions to real life problems. This is precisely the reason why these engineers bag the highest paying jobs available in the market.

To pursue engineering from the best of colleges in India, one must appear for entrance exams. The biggest of all engineering entrance exam is the JEE (Main and Advanced). JEE (Main) is conducted by the CBSE; securing goods marks/rank in this exam makes a student eligible for JEE (Advanced) which is conducted by the Joint Admission Board of the IITs.

Good rank in JEE (Advanced) enables a student to seek admission into the IITs. While with good JEE (Main) rank students can apply to NITs, IIITs, Centrally Funded Technical Institute’s (CFTI), State sponsored government colleges and few reputed private engineering colleges. Needless to mention, the competition will be quite stiff as lakhs of students aspire to get to their dream engineering college. To be able to get to your dream college and turn this into reality, one must start early preparation to beat the competition.

Along with this, a student should constantly prepare and appear in competitive exams from Class IX onwards so that they get to assess their progress with respect to other students at the pan India Level.

These are to be treated as milestone exams during their journey towards their final goal.  A few popular competitive exams for school students are State Level Talent Search Examination; Junior Science Olympiad (JSO); National Talent Search Examination (NTSE); KVPY; Senior Science Olympiad on Physics, Chemistry, Maths, Astronomy, Informatics, Biology etc.

In this way, a student gets to prepare and clear each milestone, thus giving them the confidence and helping in developing competitive approaches in their entire endeavour. Most importantly, that extra time takes away the pressure of time management and balancing issue (between school studies and competitive exam studies).

Thus a student is more balanced and composed. Hence it is imperative for an engineering aspirant to plan the mode of preparation for all relevant exams and off course, join the right college.

(The author is head, Chemistry department & centre head, FIITJEE Punjabi Bagh Centre.)
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