Dr. Satbir Sehgal
Engineering has always been one of the most preferred streams among students all over the world. Although there has been shift in trends from one branch to another, the craze for choosing engineering as a career has remained unabated. Statistics show that 80 per cent of the students in the 15-18 years bracket in India are interested in pursuing engineering as compared to only 30 per cent in the US and 20 per cent in the UK in the same age group. With more than 1 million engineers passing out every year from Indian universities and institutions, India currently ranks second and is only behind China that produces a whopping 1.3 million engineering graduates every year. With infrastructure, manufacturing and technology sectors growing rapidly there is demand for engineering graduates. But the flip side of this growth story is that most of the students passing out of engineering colleges each year are not industry ready. This lack of employability skills is a major concern for the industry as well as the students which makes the choice of college and course very important. Barring a few thousand students passing out of the IITs, NITs and some top notch private colleges, the rest of the students face a bleak future as they have to settle in for jobs that are not in accordance with their degree just because of lack of standardized curriculum and training structure in the country.
Choosing the right college
The virtual mushrooming of engineering colleges has made the choice of colleges an extremely tough one as on the surface all these institutions “dress up” their courses and facilities extremely well with the help of professional marketing and advertising props. The much-hyped rankings by different media houses as well government agencies, too, are not 100 per cent foolproof. The most prudent way is to begin by understanding the role that you see yourself as playing four years down the line. Most of the jobs offered to engineering graduates either require planning and execution or development and innovation of products and processes. While the first category requires highly chiseled communication skills, the second type needs thorough grounding in technical skills, understanding and the ability to apply engineering principles. However, it is a pity that most of the colleges severely lack the means as well as intention to prepare students for the second kind of roles. So, if a college passes this litmus test of having sound practical training base then that is the right one for you.
Selecting the right branch
If you have decided to be an engineer then choosing the right stream is the most crucial decision that you will be taking. You are advised to choose the stream which interests you rather than the popular one. While most of the top ranking students go for Computer Science, Mechanical, Civil and Electronics and Communication branches, the specialized and ‘blended’ streams like avionics, mechatronics, automobile, aeronautical have also become popular. The best and simple criteria to choose stream in engineering is based upon your liking of core subjects that you have studied in Plus II. If you have inclination towards physics, then Electronics and Communication, Electrical Engineering are the streams that you should go for. But if you have strong knowledge about the combination of physics and mathematics, then Civil or Mechanical Engineering is what you should opt for. For only mathematics Computer Science is the stream as Computer Science Engineering student, you will study more mathematics-based subjects than in any other engineering stream. Liking for chemistry makes you an ideal candidate for Chemical Engineering.
— The writer is Dean Engineering, Chandigarh University, Gharaun
Emergence of specialised branches
The option to pursue career in engineering has got much wider with the advent of specialsations in the existing & contemporary fields like Mechanical Engineering, Computer Science Engineering, Electronics and Communication Engineering, Civil Engineering Chemical Engineering that were available since ages. As technology started evolving, the Industry felt the need to explore for specialist engineers who can not only take-up contemporary tasks but can also mould the engineering practices by means of research and development. The demand for such specialists engineers has lead to the specialised courses that prepare students for these roles. In recent years, trends have shown that the students have started to realise that a specialised course in engineering will help in getting better placement and fetch good pay packages as a fresher. So, we look into some of the specialised engineering options along with their career prospects.
This is a specialised branch of mechanical engineering that deals with the study as how to design, manufacture and operate automobiles and respective engineering subsystems. An automobile engineer's main duty is to design, test and develop vehicles and components from concept stage through to production stage. A typical professional in this field spends a lot of time on researching and designing both systems and machines for automobiles. Automobile engineers then apply physical and mathematical principles to these plans to make sure they are viable. With 13 out of 29 states having Automobile Manufacturing plants and more than 27 national and International brands available, job prospects are encouraging.
Petroleum engineers work with geologists to understand the geologic formation and properties of the rock containing the oil reservoir, determine the drilling methods to be used and monitor drilling and production operations. They design equipment and processes to achieve the maximum profitable recovery of oil and gas. The opening up of the Indian petroleum sector to private players, dismantling of price controls and the spiraling fuel costs combined with increasing consumption of petroleum products have brought the industry in the forefront in terms of number of job options it is providing to the young engineers. With companies like Reliance scaling up its capacity at Jamnagar, Essar Oil setting up its refinery at Vadinar and Indian Oil, ONGC and HPCL looking to build their plants there are ample opportunities to explore.
Mechatronics engineering is a multidisciplinary engineering branch that integrates the classical fields of mechanical, electrical engineering, mathematics, and computer science/information technology. Its application areas range from power systems to transportation to optical telecommunications to biomedical engineering. An industrial robot is a prime example of a mechatronics system as it includes aspects of electronics, mechanics, and computing to do its day-to-day jobs. Mechatronics professionals can work in areas like design, R&D, manufacture, production, safety, and quality. In short, candidates who are adept in electronics, software design and mechanics can compete for many technical roles in these fields.
A marine engineer is a professional who is responsible for the operation, maintenance and repair of all major mechanical and engineered equipments on board a ship. Also known as Ocean Engineering, it broadly refers to the engineering of boats, ships, oil rigs and any other marine vessel or structure. Marine engineers are responsible for maintaining a ship’s machinery such as the engine room, electric motors and propulsive engines and other devices to ensure proper functioning. Marine engineers apply the engineering sciences like mechanical engineering and electrical engineering to the development, design, operation and maintenance of watercraft propulsion and on-board systems; e.g. power and propulsion plants, machinery, piping, automation and control systems etc. for marine vehicles of any kind.
Most preferred branch
With boom in IT Industry world over, the demand for Computer Science Engineers increased 300% since 1996. As per
NASSCOM, there are more than 1.6 million Large Scale, Medium Scale and Small Scale IT & ITES companies all over the world and USA ranks 1st among the nations with the highest number of IT companies (52%) in the world. India ranks 2nd after US in terms of Software Development Nations. IT industry contributes 32% of the total World GDP, which means that approximately 1/3rd of the World GDP comes from Information Technology and its allied Industries.
More than 3.6 million jobs are created in IT Industry Globally, while Indian IT Industry adds 3,00,000 jobs in IT Industry. Due to increased scope in terms of jobs and better salaries, Computer Science Engineering forms the major chunk of engineering graduates passing out from universities every year.
Punjab, Haryana, Himachal Pradesh, Jammu & Kashmir and Uttarakhand
NIT runs a wide range of academic programs covering areas in engineering, sciences etc. It conducts 7 undergraduate, 24 post graduate and PhD programs in different disciplines. The institute has been tasked to mentor the newly established IIIT Sonepat since the academic session 2014-15.Three batches of students admitted to IIIT Sonepat are studying at NIT Kurukshetra in Computer Engineering, Information Technology and Electronics & Communication Engineering.
PEC University of Technology, Chandigarh
Formerly known as Punjab Engineering College is one of the oldest and most prestigious engineering institute in the region.
Thapar University, patiala
Thapar University (TU) has been awarded ‘A Grade’ institution in the NAAC Certificate, and University has also secured 26th position in the Engineering institutions category of National Institutional Ranking Framework (NIRF) of Union Government’s Ministry of Human Resource Development (HRD). Thapar University, Patiala and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland partner for delivering globally relevant engineering education. The university is ranked 8th among top Universities/Institutes in terms of placements all over India, as per survey conducted by India Today & GHRDC. The Mechanical Engineering program of Thapar University, Patiala has got prestigious ABET accreditation for the Global Standard of Technical Education. University has been recognized as one of “The Economic Times Best Education Brands 2017.
”Thapar University, Patiala, follows an interdisciplinary approach with emphasis on specialised courses, outcome-based teaching to give its undergraduate engineering students an upper hand.
The 16 undergraduate programmes offered by the university in all the core branches of engineering present a fine mix of conventional courses like BE in civil and mechanical engineering and new-age BE courses in computer animation and gaming, and mechatronics — an interdisciplinary field driven by applications of mechanical and electronics engineering. Keeping pace with the latest trends in Industry, the university keeps upgrading its courses, which is what makes it the top institute in the region.
The university is going to offer two new undergraduate courses this year — BE Electronics and Computer Engineering and BTech Metallurgical and Materials Engineering. These are interdisciplinary in nature, thus catering to the industry’s growing demand for well-rounded technical professionals with specialised skills in overlapping disciplines.
The new BE course in Electronics and Computer Engineering integrates the two domains so as to equip students with the requisite skills to manufacture, install, operate and maintain computer devices that are automated with electronic control systems, something which traditional engineers are not trained to handle.
The BTech in Metallurgical and Materials Engineering involves the creation of advanced materials which can be put to use as ceramics in energy applications, composites in aerospace, bio-materials in tissue engineering, eco-friendly materials in green technologies, semiconductors in electronics, polymers in telecommunications and magnetic materials for storing information.
Students opting for the BE Computer Engineering honours courses introduced by the university in the futuristic fields of computer animation and gaming and machine learning and data analytics will get to pursue five additional courses in four years. While the degree in computer animation and gaming can translate into highly lucrative careers as content developers, layout artists and 2D-3D animators, graduates in machine learning and data analytics can carve a successful career as research scientist in top-notch companies.
The University of Petroleum and Energy Studies (UPES) has emerged as an innovative institution offering industry-focused specialised graduate, post graduate and doctoral programmes in key areas of energy, infrastructure, transportation, IT and legal process. It is the first institution in the country to offer 88 programmess across 14 core sectors. Over the past decade this institution has produced competent technocrats, professionals and managers who are ready to join the core industries. As many as 7,000 placements in 600 companies of national and international statures have been offered to students of the university. Advanced teaching methodologies, innovative and updated curricula and the focus on ‘on-the-job exposure’ give UPES students the edge.
JAYPEE UNIVERSITY OF INFORMATION TECHNOLOGY, Waknaghat
The University is offering undergraduate B.Tech. degree programs in Electronics & Communication Engineering, Computer Science & Engineering, Information Technology, Bioinformatics, and Civil Engineering
M.Tech (Electronics & Communication Engineering), M.Tech (Computer Science & Engineering), M.Tech (Computer Science & Engineering with Specialization in Software System Security), M.Tech (Civil Engineering with Specialization in a)Structural Engineering, b)Construction Management and c)Environmental Engineering), M. Tech (Biotechnology) and M.Tech (Nanotechnology).
University Institute of Engineering (UIE), Chandigarh University
UIE has been declared as “Outstanding Engineering Institute” (North) by Economic Times Now - National Education Leadership Award.Leaders in quality placements with offers in the range of Rs 16 lakh by corporates like Microsoft India
GND Engineering College, Ludhiana
Lovely Professional University (LPU)
Baba Farid College of Engineering and Technology, Bathinda
Geeta Institute of Management and Technology (GIMT), Kanipla
Kurukshetra Institute of Technology & Management (KITM)
University Institute of Engineering & Technology (UIET), KU
Guru Nanak Institutions, Mullana (Ambala)
Maharishi Markandeshwar University Trust, Mullana (Ambala)
Deenbandhu Chhotu Ram University of Science and Technology, Murthal
Chitkara University, Chandigarh
Desh Bhagat University & Desh Bhagat United, Mandi Gobindgarh
Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Engineering & Technology, Banur
SSM College of Engineering and Technology, Pattan
Global Institutes, Amritsar
Amritsar College of Engineering and Technology
Punjab Technical University Giani Zail Singh Campus, Bathinda
Baba Farid Group of Institutions, Bathinda
Golden College of Engineering and Technology, Gurdaspur
Shaheed Bhagat Singh State Technical Campus, Ferozepur
Aryans College of Engineering,Mohali
Rayat Bahra University, School of Engineering and Technology,Mohali
Estd: 2005 under PTU and AICTE upgraded to university later
Gurukul Vidyapeeth Institute of Engineering & Technology, Patiala
Ramgarhia Institute of Engineering & Technology ,Phagwara
Website : www.riet.ac.in
Bhai Gurdas Institute of Engineering and Technology ,Sangrur
Sant Longowal Institute of Engineering and Technology, Longowal ,Sangrur
Number of colleges in the region
Himachal Pradesh 56
Jammu & Kashmir 28