Gone are the days when admission into a good engineering college ensured a decent job. The trend has changed. The job avenues have shrunk, while job seekers have swelled many folds. Even IITs and NITs are not untouched. It follows the logical economic principles which states that while demands increase in geometric progression, resources grow in arithmetic progression. The news of some IIT geek getting 70-80 lakhs INR salary pops up every year and most of us believe that everything is hunky dory and engineering degree lands you into a good job.But only the wearer knows where the shoe pinches. Most of the multi-million package is rupee equivalent of dollars offered by a multinational company for abroad location where the cost of living is proportionately higher. Hence the grandiose pay cheques are not as glamorous as they appear. Moreover, there are just 5 in the class of 100, who get such jobs. There are dozens who are unplaced. I am not gainsaying the fact that average package of premier institutes are higher, even for those placed in India, but as per a research published in ToI, only 5% of IITians grab those high paying jobs. This study also indicated that it creates pressure in the peer group leading to depression.
I am not here to intimidate you or discourage you from pursuing engineering. If you are passionate about it, this is the place to be. But you must change with the changing trend so as to stay employable. I only strive to disillusion you from the Utopian image that you have of engineering degree and give you a glimpse of reality before it hits you hard.
Firstly, choose college judiciously. Check its recent placement data before making any decision. Most college flaunt of hundreds of companies visiting their campus. You should specifically inquire about which companies visited the campus last year, only then will the real picture crystal out. Suppose a college lists Google and Microsoft as its recruiter, but you may discover that none of these visited the campus over the last decade. Moreover, you should look for companies as per your trade. A mechanical engineer will never be recruited by Google, so you should look for companies in your domain.
Secondly, there has been rise in finance and consultancy firms visiting the campus. Hence students are tested more for communication skills, analytical skills and aptitude than core competencies. In this regard, students preparing for competitive exams like CAT, GMAT, GRE, GATE get an edge. In the first place, you should be clear about your interests. If your analytical skills are not strong, still you force fit yourself into a trading company, you are destined to fail. Don’t be swayed by the packages or brand name. Rather spend some time introspecting about where exactly you want to be in the next 4-5 years. I have seen students applying for consultancy, sitting for some finance firm the very next day and then taking tests of some core company thereafter. This clearly shows a lack of vision.
One of my batch mate once taunted me
“You have done Bachelors in Mechanical Engineering. Still you opted for a trading firm. You have wasted your 4 years and BE degree”
“For you, I might have wasted 4 years. But I would not like to waste my entire life working against my will. It’s better to take a chance than to regret for life long.”
The point I want to drive home is that the first job you choose has a far bearing impact on your professional life. Hence, be wise and act wise.
It is often said that core branches like electrical, civil and mechanical are evergreen and are safe baits. That remains true even today but recent years has seen boom in computer science and IT given the expansion of these industries in India. Moreover, if you want to make some quick money, core companies can rarely fill your wallet.
Going for higher studies is also a good alternative. Bachelors can mostly land you to the testing or validation teams. Hence those who are inclined towards analysis, research & design should opt for higher studies. It also kick starts your career. Masters in Business Administration can land you into managerial posts. If you have knack for administrative jobs, yoe may also opt for administrative jobs through UPSC,SSB or UES.
In nutshell, to cope up with the changing time, choose your college judiciously. Be objective about your interests and opt for placements accordingly. Consider higher studies if none of the job opportunities excite. Plan early and plan well because the early bird catches the worm!!
This post was originally published at JEEtips.com
Its NOW or NEVER!!