Saturday, June 15, 2024

Engineering Beyond IT Sector: Which Non-IT Stream To Select In 2017?

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Today, Indian engineering has matured. Students are in fact preferring to apply their engineering knowledge more towards solving societal issues rather than to land fancy jobs. In this scenario, it only makes sense to throw light on aspects that enable engineers to exactly resort to practically applying what they have mastered at the academic levels.

Now, with the Information Technology enabled services (ITes) known to be a dominator (branch) and still amongst the most preferred branch of study, it is only natural that engineers are educated about the ‘other’ engineering branches mastering which physical issues in the real-world can be solved. Also, with the scope of ITes engineering branches like Computer Science Engineering (CSE) well known, prospective engineers would naturally ponder over the scope offered by the streams that are outside the realm of ITes.

With scope for non-ITes branches being the criteria, we consulted domain experts to effectively highlight what these branches offer for to-be-engineers in India. This point is now appropriate considering the fact that undergraduate professional counselling for selecting engineering seats in now underway in most states of the country.

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Engineering of solutions for society, outside of Information Technology – The Beginning

With ITes engineering branches preferred by students in their quest for lucrative jobs, domain experts choose to downplay associated myths as far as non-ITes is concerned. “Engineering definitely exists beyond IT, students should think about societal issues and the ways and means to solve these problems before even opting to study engineering in India,” states Dr Radhakrishnan HK; an expert career counselor with over two decades of experience in guiding students towards right career paths.

The above sounds completely valid because students today tend to lean towards engineering branches which they think offers them rewarding careers only in terms of finance. However, this mindset too is not completely illogical.

“Engineering solutions to issues should get you money, you needn’t worry. But focus on completely utilising your engineering potential towards a holistic society,” adds Dr Radhakrishnan.

Now, with ITes streams of study on one side, experts feel that complete utilisation of engineering talent takes place when physical entities are created to address societal issues. This means that students should opt for branches using which real-world models can be built to challenge questions plaguing the atmosphere around us.

“Always go by the traditional rule book. An entity engineered physically any day gets more attention than the behind-the-scenes elements,” states Dr Radhakrishnan.

This means that for students preferring to study non-IT engineering streams, the key factor should be the scope, offered by each of these branches, for research and development (R&D). Leeway offered in terms of quickly adapting technology is also a factor in deciding the right engineering branch outside of software.

Step 2 – Evaluation of excitement factors from an academic perspective

Though this aspect is a tad offbeat, counselors and career experts advise students to carefully note down the aspects that arouse maximum interest level and analysis. These could be trivial, right from an advertisement that showcases how cement is used to construct buildings effectively; to displays that show latest motorcycles. Identification of these leads to proper evaluation of academic interests of a student and thereby lead to innovations.

“Evaluation of interest aspects is vital, this has to be done right from the level of school to pre-engineering. In these situations, students could exhibit interest levels that go beyond ordinary. These scenarios could also lead to students coming out with ideas to solve critical real-world problems,” advises Dr Krishna Rao who is head of department of Mechanical Engineering at a reputed engineering college in Karnataka.

Now, blending curiosity with engineering academics has proven to be a great result fetcher. Therefore, prospective engineers should take time out to understand their strength areas and select engineering disciplines (non-IT) accordingly.

The priceless query – Which engineering branch to select based on scope and pay packages

“There is equal scope for all branches of engineering without distinction,” states Raja Shankar who is Head of Department of CSE at a Bengaluru-based engineering college. Prof Raja also emphasises the fact that even universities across the country view engineering as a common aspect, rather than create divisions thereby serving as shots in the arm for students spoilt for choice regarding selecting the stream of study.

“From my experience, as far as non-IT streams are concerned, students can look at mechanical engineering as a preferred choice. This is considering the fact that modern society cannot do without industries and the opportunity for improvisation that the sector offers,” states Dr Krishna Rao.

Dr Krishna Rao’s statements are in line with the traditional belief about mechanical sectors offering highest number of industrial design jobs in India. USP here is the fact that mechanical engineers can work in a variety of industrial domains and organisations ranging from factories to large multi-national corporations and thereby keep their skillsets updated. Projects on offer are also comparatively high in this sector.

“Mechanical engineers are sought after by governmental agencies to work on projects like national infrastructure, transit models, and more. This definitely widens the scope whilst offering lucrative careers,” states Rajesh Prasad K – a Bengaluru-based independent mechanical engineer who consults for government agencies on various projects.

Rajesh also advises students to take up mechanical engineering and work in governmental agencies such as steel corporations, heavy machineries, and manufacturing.

As far as pay scales are concerned, experts state that fresh engineers can expect anywhere between  ₹2 –  ₹3 lakhs per annum depending on the firm. MNCs generally offer comparatively higher pay packages.

Industry experts advise mechanical engineering aspirants to take note of the fact that career growth in the sector is directly proportional to effort put in (without riders).

Examine options carefully

At this juncture, it is worth noting that branches like Civil, Electrical, Industrial Production, Telecommunications, Aeronautical, Textile, Instrumentation and offbeat streams viz. Jewellery Design; are relevant albeit with a slight variation in domains and work sub-sections.

“Civil engineering is also preferred more by students today as this stream lets engineers solve issues like infrastructure that are critical for the progress of any nation,” adds Vinay Kulkarni – a Bengaluru-based Civil Engineer.

According to Vinay, pay packages and incentives, here, are directly proportional to the amount of creativity that goes into designing projects. Fresh Civil engineers can expect ₹2 lakhs per annum to start off with. USP here is that the number of firms looking to hire are more, than any other engineering branch.

There are also Industrial Production and Industrial Engineering Management options to choose from, along with Instrumentation. These streams, according to Dr Radhakrishnan, receive the highest number of queries from students with respect to careers.

“These engineering streams lead to the creation of models and tweaking of existing models; to solve real-world problems. These offer decent pay packages for fresh engineers; starting from  ₹1.8 –  ₹4 3 lakhs per annum,” signs-off Dr Radhakrishnan.

Grouping the leaders together

In summary, experts we spoke to viewed non-ITes engineering domains in the following manner:

Mechanical engineering topped preference, followed by Civil and Instrumentation. The other branches viz. Aeronautical, Industrial Production (and Management), Jewellery Design, Chemical, Environmental have been placed uniformly using an inverted pyramid approach.

“At the end of the day, it is all about engineering interest, therefore, eliminate your engineering doubt with respect to non-IT streams of study and do what you are best at,” signs-off Dr Krishna Rao.

Non IT engineering branches; Key Learnings

Engineering in India also goes beyond ITes
In non-ITes branches, you get to develop physical models
Non-ITes engineering branches add comparative value to your study and work
Non-IT engineering careers are also lucrative

Contributors to the story

Dr Radhakrishnan HK a Bengaluru-based career counsellor possessing more than two decades of experience in guiding engineering students
Dr Krishna Rao Head of Department of Mechanical Engineering at a reputed engineering college in Karnataka
Vinay Kulkarni Bengaluru-based Civil Engineer
Rajesh Prasad K Bengaluru-based independent mechanical engineer who consults for government agencies on various projects
Raja Shankar Head of Department of CSE at a Bengaluru-based engineering college

Further guidance available here.

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