Engineering Careers and Education in India
In order to reach this Web page, you used a computer, mobile device or tablet along with an Internet connection. You might be wondering what any of this has to do with a career in engineering, but none of these things would exist without the expertise of an engineer.
According to the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology, engineers gain knowledge of the mathematical and natural sciences through study, experience and practice, and they apply this knowledge with judgment to develop ways to utilize, economically, the materials and forces of nature for the benefit of mankind.
In short, engineers create things to help make the world a better place, whether that means building a space shuttle or designing a new subway system. And while that may seem like a simple definition, engineering is anything but straightforward. Think about the complexities of designing a cable-stayed bridge like the Bandra-Worli Sea Link or a synthetic polymer like silicone.
The Engineering Career Industry in India
Engineering is an extremely broad field with more than 25 specialties, including the following:
- Chemical engineering
- Civil engineering
- Computer engineering
- Electrical engineering
- Mechanical engineering
The India Brand Equity Foundation (IBEF) notes that India's engineering industry is broken down into two major segments, heavy and light engineering. Heavy engineering includes categories like heavy electrical and automotive, while light engineering is more technology-oriented.
IBEF states that the country's engineering field employs more than 5 million people. IBEF also cites a projection by Nasscom and Booz & Company that this field should continue to see growth thanks to a talented workforce, scarcity of engineers and flexible and efficient business models.
What are my engineering degree options?
India is home to several universities that specialize in technology and engineering, including colleges within the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) and National Institutes of Technology (NIT) academic systems.
IITs have their own entrance exam, called the Indian Institutes of Technology Joint Entrance Examination, while NITs and many other universities require students to take the All India Engineering Entrance Examination. However, in 2013, both of these are expected to be removed in favor of a centralized joint entrance examination.
Whichever school you decide on, the most common engineering undergraduate degree programme is a bachelor of technology (B. Tech), with a specialization in a particular discipline. These degrees usually take four years to complete, based upon scheduling, the student's ability and the particular degree program.
While most engineering programmes include foundational science and math courses, classes are typically dependent upon which specialty you choose to study. For example, civil engineering students might study topics like structural design and construction management, while chemical engineering subjects could include polymer science and fluidization.
A master of technology (M. Tech), which generally takes two years to complete, is a common engineering degree programme for postgraduate students. Five-year, joint-degree undergrad/postgrad programmes are also available from certain institutions.
What are my engineering career options?
The great thing about engineering is the diversity of careers available to you.
If you enjoy taking apart gadgets as much as using them, you might find yourself designing new processor chips, input devices and other hardware technologies as a computer engineer.
Maybe you're interested in urban planning, and want to make cities a more pleasant place to live. As a civil engineer, you could help design the infrastructure that cities rely on, including roads, transportation and water supply systems.
Or perhaps you're just someone whose head is always in the clouds -- then you might consider a career in aerospace engineering. Aerospace engineers develop products and technology for air and spacecraft, including structural design, navigation and defense systems.
There really is something for everyone in the world of engineering.