Trend Vs Obsession
As the years come and go, so does the newer and better of everything. The label ‘new’ has many categories enlisted within, from technology to business models to fashion and style, and the list goes on. In no time, the new approaches in each of these fields become an object of our fascination and capture our minds. Recent decades have introduced us to a lot of new things or rather, should I say, ‘Trends’. The more popular they are, the more trendy they become. When seen from a different angle, it wouldn’t be wrong to say that trends don’t take long before turning into obsessions.
India has its own share of tales told when it comes to trends. One such trend is that of Engineering education which somehow doesn’t seem to decline. Indians have forever been in love with wanting their children to become Engineers. But from where does this want arise? Well, the answer is quite simple and nothing out of the ordinary – being blinded by the perks that the job seems to offer. Engineering jobs are widely seen as a way to earn fat pay cheques or an opportunity to grasp a government job. Having said that, it can also not be unseen that when in confusion, people find it easy to just follow the crowd.
To satisfy the high demand, there are 6,214 Engineering and Technology Institutions in the country. Around 2.9 million students enrol for it and around 1.5 million engineers are released into the job market every year. That’s a huge number! There is a huge crowd of Indians wanting to possess a degree certificate in Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech), also known as Bachelor of Engineering (B.E). These trends have led to the setting up of many new businesses like coaching and tuition centres who make a lump sum out of this opportunity. At the end of the day, it is the students, the future of our country who are left suffering.
What The Numbers Say
A business solution company based in New Delhi, Aspiring Minds, conducted an employability-focused study based on 150,000 engineering students who graduated in 2013. The discoveries were rather shocking. Whether in software engineering or core engineering, as many as 97% of graduating engineers want jobs. Only 3%, however, have the appropriate skills to be employed in the software or product market and only 7% can handle core engineering tasks. The after-effects of an obsession is no less than an avalanche.
Trends, in general, can be defined as new ideas or developments in any field which stimulate growth. Hence, they play a vital role in the progress of our society. But becoming obsessed with them seems to have more casualties than success stories.
The decisions related to education are crucial in one’s life, and they should only be taken after proper contemplation.
As for engineering, it’s high time that we start seeing it as a pursuit of passion rather than a rat race which only leads to a dead end.
Engineering Is More Than Just A Degree
To shed some light on Engineering education, we invited one of our educators, who holds a degree in Automobile Engineering. Vivek Devaraj is an open and enthusiastic engineer who is interested in automotive technologies, the sourcing and development of products. He is the founder and CEO of OverSquare Automotive, currently spreading his experience to aspiring engineers. His aim in the years to come is to become a holistic product developer which integrates technology, user experience and business. He has experience working in companies like Renault Nissan, DAF Trucks NV, from mechanical equipment, hardware to software. He really enjoys engaging with children and sharing his expertise as an automobile engineer.
In the episode, Vivek broadly shares his views on engineering education, the stereotyping around them and why engineering can be made as a basic degree. The discussion starts on a lighter note, talking about his experience in teaching school children and college students. In time, the discussion drives deep, discussing the myths related to engineering education, suggestions while looking for good engineering colleges, increased number of people going for a degree in engineering, the challenges faced by them in the form of unemployment, and much more.
A few questions that you may find discussed during the episode: Why is the younger generation not keen on becoming engineers? What are the myths related to engineering education? What are the characteristic traits of an aspiring engineer? What should one keep in mind while choosing an engineering college? What advice can budding engineering educators keep in their minds?
If you like to build things or have a passion for improving/upgrading things then engineering as a career is a lucrative option. Listen to the entire conversation on
- Ramnath, Aparajith. (2016, Sept 15). The historical roots of our Engineering Obsession, The Hindu.
- Bansal, Samarth. (2017, Aug 23). BTech and bust: Why Indians rush to be engineers when there are no jobs, Hindustan Times.
- Rao, Rajkamal. (2019, Feb 17). Engineering education needs serious rethinking, Business Line.
- Sarkar, Sudipto. (2019, Jun 1). Employability Of Engineering Graduates In India: A Challenge Needs To Address, BW Education.