Engineering a future

Looking at the number of engineering colleges in Odisha and the number of engineers coming out of these colleges, the questions that form in everyone’s minds are, “does we need so many engineers?” 

In this global era, rather than focus on Odisha , the question should be whether the world needs so many engineers. The answer is a big, “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.

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.

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.

The correct way will be to spend some time assessing one’s interest for a particular branch and check if it matches well with the aptitude one has and the chosen branch of study.

It is because of such practices that we face problems of employability and dissatisfaction in existing jobs, which can lead to high turnover rates, low productivity and increase in the stress level of employees.

How to make the choice

There are some thumb rules to be followed in choosing an engineering education.

• The interest of the candidate and his/her choice of branch should be the criteria for admission.

• Every parent should orient the child towards finding out their natural interest and the aptitude for the particular subject or branch of study.

• Parents should avoid deciding for the candidate.

• For a strong-willed person, if the choice is made based on his/her liking and natural taste, then studying that branch will be the best thing rather than joining any other branch, for whatever reason.

• It is not wise to join a branch of study because it is popular or because the job opportunities are high.

• The choice of institution is also critical.