As India celebrates Engineers’ Day today, here is a wrap up of how this profession evolved over the years and its future outlook as well.

Engineering is one of the favourite higher education stream for any Indian. It’s no joke that any average tenth grader Indian kid dreams of becoming an engineer, till his board marks put him to shame. Many others don’t lose hope till the cut throat competition at the entrance exams knocks them out.

There are jokes galore about Indians and their obsession with engineering, but nothing can undermine the fact that engineers have actually shaped up the fate of modern India, be it economy, infrastructure or society at large. Here is a take from hiring industry experts on how this profession shaped up and what the future has in store for engineers.

The Evolution of Engineers
As the economy evolved from being agricultural to industrial and later manufacturing led, the jobs too evolved accordingly. Among engineers, mechanical engineers were much in demand in the beginning of this millennium. That moulded to become a surge for software engineers later.

mechanical-engineering“Engineers have always been in demand, while Mechanical Engineers may have been preferred several years back, the trend changed over the last 12-15 years when the IT economy boomed,” says Joseph Devasia, Managing Director, Antal International India.

“Engineering graduates with specialisations in Computer Science, Electronics, Telecommunication are the most sought after ones from amongst all engineers now,” says Asim Handa, CEO of Gi Group.

Rakshita Diwedi, business head – products and hiring, plugHR agrees with this observation. “Over couple of decades, Computer Engineering /Software Engineering have evolved from being an just optional course along with main stream courses like Mechanical/Electrical/Civil to a full fledged stream which is much sought-after during the counseling sessions,” says Rakshita Dwivedi.

“This, however, doesn’t mean that the other courses lost sense but then engineering streams are weighted against placements and salaries they fetch and courtesy globalisation and outsourcing which bought more job opportunities in IT/ITES sectors. Hence a natural bend towards greener pastures,” says Rakshita Dwivedi.

The Way Forward
Joseph Devasia observes that today companies seek out the Computer Science Engineers first while traditional manufacturing based companies continue to look for mechanical, electrical or chemical engineers which generally see a lower interest from students. “As careers advance, the BE + MBA combination seems to be a much sought after academic credential from candidates,” he says.

Asim Handa observes, “While the demand for Mechanical Engineers is still there, more and more engineers are getting into non- engineering industries such as Consulting, Financial Services & E-commerce because service industry pays better than the traditional engineering companies. Because of advent of infrastructure and EPC (Engineering, Procurement, and Construction) companies there are rising opportunity for engineers to be employed with them. While oil & gas sector remains the most solicited domain in engineering, opportunities in power sector are also coming up in a major way”.

There’s another tangent to it. “Future is about being ‘SMART’ from buying televisions to houses. I just need an app to control the air conditioner temperature in my house even when I have not reached home yet. And that’s not even future..its happening in present. Babies are learning ‘QWERTY’ faster than ‘ABCD’. I see applied engineering where it is an amalgamation of tech, management, design all at one place example, technology to improve manufacturing process and fasten quality control. Something like nanotechonology which is where pure sciences along with technology get to work hand in hand,’ says Rakshita Dwivedi.

 

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