Career guidance: Engineering a future?
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Making good use of an engineering degree needs careful thought before and after making the decision
Looking at the number of engineering colleges in India and the number of engineers coming out of these colleges, the questions that form in everyone’s minds are, “does India need so many engineers?” Are they all employable? The negativism brought forth by such questions has crippled engineering education in India.
In this global era, rather than focus on India, the question should be whether the world needs so many engineers. The answer is a big, “yes.” Is there a need for scientists? The answer is again, “yes.” The world needs in plenty well-equipped, talented graduates with the right attitude. There are job opportunities for those who have the potential. In addition, opportunities for self-employment are also plenty for innovative and energetic minds.
I will look at the Indian education scenario from the point of view of parents whose wards are applying for admission to colleges. As the trend goes, most students would like to pursue professional programmes such as medicine and engineering. Since fewer seats are available for medicine, getting an MBBS seat has become extremely difficult and the majority is left with the next popular option—engineering.
Our school education system offers combinations of courses in the higher secondary level such that a student by choosing these groups can pursue engineering or medicine, even though these two streams call for entirely different aptitudes. The ideal higher secondary system would orient the student towards evaluating their aptitude and choosing to pursue one of the two streams. This would ensure that the chosen stream matches their aptitude. This is not happening now.
In the absence of proper
orientation in the system, parents and their wards follow an inappropriate
procedure while selecting their branch of study in the college. During
counselling, we notice that the selection of a branch of study is based on the
following: (1) The most sought-after branch in counselling, (2) The branch
having good job opportunities as seen by the previous year placements, (3)
Parental pressure and (4) Peer pressure.