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“With the market opening up, the focus will soon be back on sectors like marketing and services. That’s when mechanical, civil and electrical engineers will see a job boom”
O.P. Sharma, Head, training and placement, Delhi college of engineering
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Until recently, it was the stock one-liner that middle-class India swore by, when it came to contriving an opinion about the career options of the next-door neighbour’s high school-going kid. “I hope your child is planning to sit for the engineering entrance examinations. If he misses out on an engineering seat, it’s as good as over.”
true, the sentence is being less repeated these days, what with the flurry of other career options today. But all said, engineering still remains a viable career to pursue, and signifies a ticket to a prosperous life for thousands of hopefuls across the country.
Arindam Lahiri, vice-president of Career Launcher, an institute that prepares students for engineering entrance examinations, explains why engineering continues to be a public obsession. “An engineering degree automatically increases the employability of a candidate,” says Lahiri, himself an engineer from jadavpur University, Calcutta. “Compared to an ordinary graduation, a bachelor of engineering (BE) degree- irrespective of where it is earned from- definitely fetches a higher price in the job market. It’s one of the reasons why average students, who may not have the potential to break into the IITs or their likes, still root for a BE degree.”
A career in engineering is founded on a strong mathematical grounding, so a knack for numbers is a prerequisite. A comprehensive knowledge of physics and chemistry is equally important to start off with. Having secured admission, students-based on their entrance ranks-have the option to go in for different streams. Higher up the order are information technology (IT) computer sciences, electronics and communications, followed by electrical, mechanical Civil, etc.
Like phases of human life, engineering streams also pass through different twists and turns, depending on contemporary demands. “And the recent past has seen a sudden growth in sectors such as IT and electronics and communications,” says Anshul Kumar, professor and dean of undergraduate studies, IIT, Delhi. “It is only reflected in the vast number of engineering colleges which have inducted these streams in their curricula.”
Clearly, these are great times for engineers with an IT background . At present count, India lacks more than 40,000 computer engineers, while having a surplus of 75,000 mechanical engineers.
But that’s not to say that students in other streams get left out once they complete their engineering courses, “It’s true that IT companies come shopping in greater numbers during campus recruitment these days, but our records show that students in other streams get very good placements as well,” says P.R. Bose, professor of civil engineering, Delhi college of Engineering.
Hard fact only goes to support Bose’s comment. A couple of fresh civil engineering graduates from the Delhi college of engineering, according to college sources, where lapped up during this year’s campus recruitment by a Dubai-based construction firm for a whopping annual salary of Rs 12 lakh. This at a time when software giants such as Google and Yahoo barely went up to Rs 8-9 lakh to round in their catch.
And things really hot up if one goes in for a management degree to cap off a BE or a Btech degree. With a MBA degree one can think of going into consultancy, either as a system analyst or a business consultant working in sales and marketing,” says Rudrangshu Sharms, an engineer currently pursuing an MBA at IIT Delhi.
O.P. Sharma, head of the department of training and placement, Delhi college of Engineering, says salaries for engineers have shot up by roughly 40-50 per cent over the past three or four years, and not only in the IT sector. “With the market steadily opening up, the focus will soon be back on sectors such as marketing and services,” he syas. “That’s when mechanical, civil and electrical engineers will see a job boom once again, and be at par with IT.”
However, Sharma is wary of a bob pyramid which has taken shape in the engineering circuit. “Most big employers feel that students from prestigious government institutions are brighter than those passing out of lesser-known private colleges. As a result, the big payers make it a point to hire from well-known colleges only, instead of exploring the B-grade colleges for talent ,”he says.
It’s perhaps a point to be noted, both by employers and aspirants who settle for private colleges on not being able to get through to government institutions. But not many seem to care. For an engineer will always remain an engineer, give or take a few thousand rupees here or there.


WHERE TO STUDY
Indian Institute of Technology
Delhi, Hauz Khas, New Delhi 110 016
Phone: 011 26591735
Website: www.iitd.ac.in
Birla Institute of Technology and Science (BITS)
Pilani 333031, Rajasthan
Phone: 01596 245073 / 4
Website: bits-pilani.ac.in
Institute of Technology
Banaras Hindu University,
Varanasi – 221005
Phone: 0542 23684271
Website: www.itbhu.ac.in
Delhi College of Engineering
New Campus Road, Bawana Road, Delhi – 110 042
Phone: 011 27871018
Website: www.dceonline.net
Indian Institute of Technology, Roorkee
Roorkee – 247667, Uttaranchal
Phone: 01332 276469
Website: www.iitr.ernet.in
Indian Institute of Technology, Madras
Chennai – 600036
Phone – 044 22578221
www.iitm.ac.in
Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati
North Guwahati – 781039
Phone: 0361 2692795
Website: www.iitg.ac.in
IIT Bombay
Powai, Mumbai – 400076
Phone: 022 25722601
Website: www.iitb.ac.in
P R O F E S S I O N A L     I N S T I T U T E S
THIS LIST IS INDICATIVE
 
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