Sunday, 16 April 2017

Calling all engineers : 9 effective tips to follow during and after graduating engineering

9 effective tips to follow during and after graduating engineering

According to the internet, 1.5 million youngsters become engineers every calendar year.

It might interest you to know that in the year 2015, 16 year old adolescents when asked which career they want to take up, as much as 82% replied ‘Engineering’, according to a Times of India report.

Of course why won’t they?

Due to the emergence of the IT industry, getting job has been much easier in the previous and current decade compared to eighties & nineties.

Also, IT industry pays you enough to afford a house in Tier-3 cities.

And then comes theories and rumours from so-called pessimists, self-proclaimed realists and negative thinkers that IT industry has reached its point of saturation and is no longer going to grow.

There is a simple solution which comes from the positive thinkers and the bullish investors of the stock market that as long as there exists technology (impossible to remove)  in the world, there will emerge new challenges in the form of problems.

And who better can provide the solutions with extremely skilled labour and inexpensive prices than the Indian IT industry.

A contradicting Fact

Despite known worldwide as one of the most talented workforce, it is a bitter fact that only 20% of the engineering graduates are employed and 80% of them find it hard to secure a job in the early stages.

The situation of the 80% employed doesn’t seem to get any better.

When a bunch of Companies from diverse sectors (not just IT) was surveyed, a new concern surfaced that they often find a major chunk of these 80% graduates lacking in basic engineering skills and sometimes not fit for the job.

The above points may sound harsh but they are the facts.

My Personal Experience

During my graduation period, I observed a thing which appeared very relaxing and comforting at that moment.

Most of us would always seek to find questions from question banks that appeared in previous semesters and would focus preparing them.

Well, I must say this helped us a lot because we were able to clear all the semesters without fail and scored well too. J

But, if I retrospect now, I notice that I hardly studied anything. Had I really studied I would have had at least a piece of it in my personality.

Right now, I don’t even remember the names of most of the subjects.(I bet my condition is the worst J)

The bottom line is that Engineering has become very much examination-oriented rather than idea-oriented.

If you are an aspiring engineer or already an engineer, you would agree that most of your friends and colleagues just look forward to clearing the semesters and cracking campus-interviews rather than actually asking a simple question to themselves –

‘What is the purpose of studying engineering?’

Well, I would rather leave it to you to ponder over it.

It is very necessary to keep in mind a few things while pursuing engineering so that it actually makes sense to study it, feel it and embrace it.

So, in this post I am sharing few tips from my own experience that will help you to study engineering well and developing a good skill set for the rest of your life –

#1. Bygones are not bygones

When you move from one semester to another, I strongly don’t recommend you to forget what happened in the previous one.

That is why it is recommended to make notes every semester and try to connect what you study in the present with the topics studied in the last semester.

Whenever you get time, just give a superficial look at the topics you studied previously to build a strong knowledge foundation.

Always remember connecting topics will give you immense exposure and a great engineering experience.

It should be kept in mind that the next semester is an augmentation of the previous one and not something totally different.

#2. I am proud of my language but English is also necessary

English language creates and impression

Nobody can separate us from our indigenous language ‘Hindi’ and mother tongue or weaken our love for them.

We have been and will be proud to speak our own languages.

But, since Indian companies or foreign enterprises in India that employ our engineers get most of the business from the west hence I strongly recommend you to develop a grip over ‘English’ from as early as the first semester.

From my own experience, spoken English is always given very less importance but is the most important skill when it comes to cracking interviews and even after that on the job.

If you speak good English with confidence, without using fillers then you can create a great first impression on your bosses and colleagues in the corporate.

This skill can effectively disguise your weakness in any other skills and make you a shining star in no time.

#3.  Programming

By programming, I am going very much specific to IT and computer science engineering. But if I widened the scope by using the term ‘hands-on’ it would apply to other engineering branches as well.

From the last decade to the current year, the situation hasn’t much changed. More stress is given to theoretical learning and a very little importance is given to hands-on activities.

The above line has been written in reference to most of the colleges of the country and not IITs and NITs where a student has to score good in laboratory examinations as well.

Implementation is what is required to become a good engineer
I consider this as the major reason of the companies complaining of engineers lacking in basic necessary skills.

IT giants expect computer-science and IT engineers to enter with basic programming knowledge which most of them lack because not enough importance is given to it during the entire 4 years of engineering.

So, if you think that the current engineering system is not serious about thorough hands on in its curriculum, make sure that you gear up and develop great programming skills or hands-on skills relevant to your engineering branch.  

#4 Participation in events

A lot of tech-events take place across various cities in the entire calendar year and also on different websites. I would strongly recommend you to take part in them.

There are a lot competitions held in those events such as bug-tracking, algorithms creation, robotics, building circuit boards etc.

Even if you like to be in the organizing committee it’s well and good. Why?

Participate in as many technical events as possible

Since, you would unintentionally started working on your managerial skills at a very early age.

The only feeling which could stop you from participate in these events is ‘I don’t know anything, how will I do it?”

Well, Please Please Please ! Kill this feeling.

Even if you could do very less in those events doesn’t matter, but the kind of exposure and experience you will get in such events is totally incomparable and will strike sense in your head of what engineering really is about.


 #5 Learning must not stop at the job

Never Stop learning even after you get the job

Don’t think that once you got your first job, it’s time to totally chill. No!

What you studied in engineering acted as a ladder for you to get the job. Now, your attitude towards your job will act as a ladder for your retirement life.

Therefore, keep yourself updated with the latest stuff in your technology area and keep harnessing your skills.

Do not stop learning from books as well as from your seniors. The more you dig in, the better your future will be.

#6 Be creative

Engineering is all about simplifying manual efforts.

So, as a computer science engineer if you feel that a small program could reduce your effort by even a tiny amount just write it.

If you are a mechanical or an automobile engineer try to develop your interest towards machines and engines right from the start.

Engineering is all about creating and developing stuff

Small inventions done by you that can reduce the effort of you and your family can make a big difference.

This activity will make your mind addicted to creating something new every now and then and of course, you will learn something out of your own experience.

Boosting your creativity will make you understand the real meaning of engineering.

#7  Handle individual projects

A major chunk of your learning process depends on working on individual projects.
So, if you are an undergraduate assign yourself 3 projects per year and start working on them. If you could form a team that is well and good, however, if not then start solo.

With Google getting stronger, you can get help on the project topics from a large number of websites.

Projects give you an edge over fellow students or colleagues
To name a few you can start with building an android app, or an online store etc.

Flying drones are becoming increasingly popular these days and you cannot imagine the happiness you will receive when it will fly for the first time. 

Working on individual projects is closely associated with being creative.

Also, listing projects in the curriculum vitae can play a key role during your job interviews as the interviewer will automatically drift his questions towards the projects you have worked upon.  

#8 Networking starts at an early age

Build a string network of good and hard working engineers

The success of all the social media sites suggest how powerful networking is in 21st century.

Hence, I would suggest you to start building a network of efficient, hardworking and good engineers as early as possible.

I never had such a network but I consider myself lucky that I was able to secure a job at the right time.

The value of networking can be realized both in the times of strong job demand & job crisis.

Companies often conduct referral programs in which they ask their own employees to refer their own friends or acquaintances for the open job position.

And if you are good such referral programs can land you a good job in top MNCs.

#9  Seek alternate guidance

As I stated earlier that companies often complain of new recruits lacking in basic skills.

Well, the blame must be shared equally between the faculties and the graduates themselves.

It points out that somewhere something is wrong in imparting technical education. Of course, this post is not about what is wrong in that area hence we won’t dig more into that.

However, this signals the need for the undergraduates to seek guidance from other sources too.

The other sources can be your successful seniors, engineers from your own family, books, faculties from your own networks, blog posts (like this one) and many education websites.

Effective guidance is very much necessary because it shows you the path to your goals and then comes your choice of walking on it and achieving them.

Always seek alternate guidance

Wrap Up

The world of engineering is unlimited. It starts with the basic idea of simplifying manual efforts to automating the entire production process of a giant automobile company.

It is the time to set the germ inside the mind of exposing yourself to the creation side of Engineering rather than just thinking always about securing a job.

The message is do not limit yourself. Expose your mind to different dimensions of technical education and you will see the results.

So, do you agree with the tips mentioned here? Have they made a little difference to your thought process?

Do you have something more to share with us that help India produce better engineers?

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1 comment:

  1. A great and very valuable message to all engineering graduates !!!!!