Successful career planning is a result of knowing the interests and abilities of the student and matching them perfectly with the requirements of a profession and a career. If you are choosing engineering program simply because it is the key to a great job, then think again. The scope of other career opportunities has increased dramatically in the modern economy. Today, there is no logical reason to shackle your feet with a career that you have no interest and thus prevent yourself from soaring in other interesting career path. Choose engineering only if you are quantitatively inclined and have an intense desire to know how things work and how they can be modified to work better. As an engineer, you are required to study the theoretical aspects of engineering and then apply them to real world problems. Skills in mathematics and problem solving are the key to understanding engineering curriculum.
Quite erroneously, in our country, engineering is perceived to be a superior degree and merely obtaining admission in engineering college or passing out with an engineering degree is regarded as the hallmark of success. This approach places complete faith on the colleges to somehow miraculously obtain best placements for the students. The reality, however, is bit different. Colleges in India are oversubscribed by students and undersubscribed by faculty and industry involvement. A large number of engineering colleges, government and private, face a resource crunch that makes it impossible for them to hire full-time faculty who are involved in teaching, research and industry consultancy. In this scenario, if students wish to succeed and obtain good placements, they need to take onus for their professional and self-development during college years.
One of the best resources that students can access outside of college is the industrial internship. Thus, while choosing the engineering college, apart from looking at the curriculum, faculty, ranking and placement records, students can consider the location of the college. Geographical location, an industrial town for instance, can determine the contact to industry that you may find while studying in a college. Industry exposure is a very vital component of engineering education, as it facilitates formal and informal internships. Internships are a great means of obtaining an insiderï¿½s perspective about the corporate world. Regardless of whether the college assists students in getting an internship or not, you can use personal social network, particularly in the SMEs(small and medium enterprise) sector to get an internship. Internships can help you acquire experience to add in your resume.
The other major external source of information that students can use is the library and the internet. Do extensive research online to learn more about the topics that you are studying. Highly ranked engineering universities such as the IITï¿½s, MIT, Princeton and several others share their lectures free on various websites. Utilizing such sources can help clarify your fundamental studies and also get a better understanding of the world outside of college.
The Importance of Self Learning
There are two significant differences between engineering education in India and education abroad. One of the main differences is the extent of self-learning students in prestigious universities abroad are required to do. The students are motivated to learn and are willing to work hard to build their careers. In fact, placement in many prestigious universities abroad is not a function universities perform. Universities instead have extensive career counseling facilities and students use these facilities to enhance their resume and interview skills. Thus, student empowerment is the key goal universities seek to perform. As the famous saying \\\"give a man fish to eat and you feed him for a day and show a man how to fish and you feed him for the rest of their life\\\".
The other main difference between education in India and abroad is the industry-education interaction. The industry interaction in education abroad is not limited to industry visits or internships but also extends to universities collaborating with industry to formulate curriculum and industries basing their research facilities inside the universities. Several universities are surrounded by industrial research parks such that a greater eco-system can prevail between industry and academia.
Thus, if you are hopeful of getting a good placement after an engineering degree, then focus on building a skill set that the industry requires. Some of the vital skills identified by the industry for providing jobs, irrespective of the subject studied in college, are soft skills such as communication, ability to work in a team and the capability to learn on the job. And students can develop most of these skills during college through participation in various clubs, festivals, and internships.
College is a great place to learn, grow and develop your abilities. So, do not let any external systemic deficiencies prevent you from learning. Choose your college subject in tune with your abilities and while in college sharpen your knowledge and skills to the best of your ability.
About the Author
Shivani Manchanda is an expert in counseling students on career development, stress prevention and international education. The enthusiastic speaker with over two decades of experience believes that students need to focus on building the skills sets that the industry requires in order to get a good placement.