The economy relies heavily on the engineering sector, which comprises several core branches. Engineering students design their curriculum and incorporate additional non-engineering courses such as IT, software, analytics, consulting, accounting, finance, or even arts.
Why do engineering students take non-engineering courses, and how can they sustain themselves in the core engineering fields?
Engineering students turn to non-engineering courses because they do not have placement certainty depending on going in relation to one course. From an industry point of view, due to automation technology, they require less workforce, and they do not hire freshers. Additionally, engineering education is costlier, but jobs are only sometimes readily available.
Engineering education comes with a significant cost, yet the job market for core engineering fields can be uncertain. This has led some students to opt for non core jobs, often offering more lucrative salaries. However, this trend has policymakers concerned about how the economy will fare if too many core students continue to choose noncore careers. Mr. Anurag Mehra, a professor at IIT Bombay, is grappling with the challenge of managing this shift in career preferences among students.
Core VS Noncore fields:
Regarding career choices, non core jobs may appeal to those who wish to work outside of a core field. It has become a trend for students who have studied in core branches to pursue non-core jobs. Noncore fields often offer more attractive salaries, and students may find them more comfortable. Students who cannot secure jobs in their core field may apply for non-core employment. Some students may have completed their education in engineering but wish to switch to a non core field. Noncore fields offer many job opportunities in finance, banking, sales, digital marketing, or even the arts.
Students need to choose a career that aligns with their interests and passion. The investment in engineering education is significant, so it is necessary to consider what is being paid for.
Here are several key measures that can help sustain core engineering fields:
- Encouraging and promoting science, technology, engineering, and mathematics education at all levels, from primary school to tertiary education.
- Investing in research and development to drive innovation and advance the field of engineering.
- Promoting collaboration and partnerships between academia, industry, and government to share knowledge and resources.
- Developing and implementing policies and regulations that support the growth and development of core engineering fields.
- Providing opportunities for professional development and continuing education to keep engineers up-to-date with the latest technological advancements and industry best practices.
- Attracting and retaining top talent in the field of engineering by providing competitive salaries, benefits, and a supportive work environment.
- Fostering a culture of diversity and inclusion to promote the participation of underrepresented groups in engineering fields.
Mechanical engineering involves designing, producing, and managing power-producing machines like combustion engines, air conditioning systems, and refrigerators. Companies like Maruti, Hero, Samsung, Bosch, and Voltas hire mechanical engineers in the private sector, while the government sector also provides opportunities, particularly in railways and public sector undertakings (PSUs).
Civil engineering deals with designing and constructing buildings, bridges, roads, dams, railways, and other similar projects. It is one of the oldest engineering branches and is always in demand, particularly in the government sector, where most development projects are undertaken. PWD and railways are two major sectors where the government hires civil engineers. Construction companies and builders also hire civil engineers. Companies like Bechtel and TATA construction companies also provide opportunities for civil engineers.
Electrical engineering deals with electrical networks and electronic devices and components. Though it has selective demand in the private sector, many companies like Havel’s, Phillips, Electro herm, and LG hire engineers from this field. Students of this branch study electrical behavior and how electronic components work.
Conclusion: Students are also paid well in non core jobs. However, core engineering jobs offer ample opportunities in areas such as Civil Services, Indian Railways, Indian Armed Forces, PWD, Municipal Corporations, Electricity Boards, Power Transmission Departments, NTPC (National Thermal Power Corporation), BHEL (Bharat Heavy Electricals Limited), ONGC (Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited), and other PSUs.
Private companies such as B.L. Agro Industries Ltd., Mahindra & Mahindra, TVS Tires, Honda Motorcycle & Scooter, Taurus Powertrains Pvt. Ltd, ITC, Hoot Transmission Pvt. Ltd, Berger Paints India Ltd, Jindal Electric & Machinery Ltd, and Larsen and Toubro also offer opportunities for core engineers.
Regarding salary, compensation packages in core engineering are designed for a longer-term orientation, and as engineers gain experience, they grow financially. The education system should change its curriculum to an industry-oriented syllabus, involve practical knowledge, and add indispensable technology, modern skills, and personality development details to grooming skills, management skills, and English language fluency classes.
The government and private sectors should increase multiple core job opportunities with good package salaries, and the placement drive purpose should be understood for medium and low-level students. Overall, core engineering jobs are as lucrative, if not more, than any other industry.