Engineering is the application of math and science to create something of value from our natural resources. If we look carefully we would find that everything is engineering i.e. from transistors to cell phones, from cycles to rockets, from fans to microwaves, from roads to dams, from computer chips to artificial limbs and the list is unending. Theodore Von Karman, an aerospace engineer, put it nicely when he said, Scientists discover the world that exists; engineers create the world that never was. It is a branch of science, which deals with innovation. It helps in development of new methods of solutions and analysis for open-ended, complex and unique problems.
Engineering is a kind of expertise, which open the doors to many careers. Engineers work with structures, tools, chemicals, metals etc. They repair, modify and build the hardware of life by using their technical skills and scientific principles.
Areas of Work
Engineering, being a diversified subject can be categorized into varied branches:
- Civil and Structural Engineering: Civil Engineering is the art and science of designing the infrastructure of a modern Civilized society. These engineers are concerned with the construction of roads, dams, bridges, power plants, irrigation projects, transport system, sewage disposal plants, oilrigs etc. These engineers are entrusted with the task of utilizing the natural resources judiciously and improve the life styles of the people.
- Mechanical Engineering: Of all the disciplines of engineering, this branch of study is the broadest. It deals with the designing of tools and mechanical devices for the industry. Each and every industry, whether it may be thermal power station, air conditioning industry, gas turbines, jet engines or refrigeration industry, needs the services of mechanical engineers for designing, developing, installing, operating and maintaining the varied kind of machines.
- Chemical Engineering: Chemical engineers convert raw materials and chemicals into useful products and help in finding new materials and techniques of their usage. They design and maintain chemical processes of large manufacturing units.
- Electronics Engineering: Electronics is used in almost everything we use today, from Radio, television, telephones to Aircraft controls. Electronic engineers deal with electronic components, integrated circuits and microprocessors to create new and innovative devices and appliances.
- Electrical Engineering: Electrical engineers deal with the power generation, distribution, use of electrical power control and instrumentation applications. Electrical engineers work, plan and create the infrastructure and its instruments such generators, tramission lines, transformers and power distribution. Electrical engineers design electric motors, machinery and ignition systems used in Automobiles, Aircrafts or any motorized equipment or vehicles. Electrical engineers use their knowledge in every application which requires use of Electrical Energy.
- Textile Engineering:Textile Engineering deals with the application of scientific and engineering principles to the design and control of all aspects of fiber, textile, and apparel processes, products, and machinery. These include natural and man-made materials, interaction of materials with machines, safety and health, energy conservation, and waste and pollution control. The engineers graduated in Textile Engineering are equipped with the knowledge of the behavior of textile materials and the functions of machinery in textile and clothing technologies.
- Ceramic Engineering:Ceramic Engineering is the technology of manufacturing and usage of ceramic materials. Many engineering applications benefit from ceramics characteristics as a material. The characteristics of ceramics have garnered attention from engineers across the world, including those in the fields: Electrical Engineering, Materials Engineering, Chemical Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, and many others. Highly regarded for being resistant to heat, ceramics can be used for many demanding tasks that other materials like Metal and Polymers can't.
- Instrumentation Engineering: Instrumentation engineering is specialized branch of electrical and electronic engineering, which focuses on the principle, and operation of measuring instruments, which are used in design and configuration of automated systems. These engineers work for industries with automated processes, such as chemical or manufacturing plants, with the goal of improving system productivity, reliability, safety, optimization and stability. Instrumentation Engineers help in the designing, construction and maintenance of instruments and entire instrumentation systems of an industrial undertaking. An instrumentation engineer decides the type of instruments needed for ensuring better quality and efficiency of the end product.
- Plastic Technology: Plastics engineering encompasses the processing, design, development, and manufacture of plastics products. Chemical engineering is the father of polymer engineering, which involves designing of processes and equipment for producing new and different types of synthetic material.
- Mining Engineering: A mining engineer is responsible for safe and economically sound development of mines and other surface and underground operations. The role combines an understanding of the effects of these structures on their surrounding environment, technical knowledge and management skills. Before a new site is developed, mining engineers assess its viability and assist with planning its structure. They also manage and oversee mining production processes.
Natural curiosity is important to engineers. Engineers love to figure things out and find out how things are made. It is this mentality that helps propel them through their college classes. Some engineers feel like college was the first time their curiosity could be satisfied. The first time they could delve deep enough into a problem, see all sides of how it worked, and obtain a solution.
The engineering field includes men and women from every culture in the world. One element that all engineers have in common is their desire to help solve the world's problems and make the world a better place. They often have different perspectives. But they share a problem-solving orientation.
Science and math are the basic tools in an engineers toolkit. Do you find that Math and Science are your greatest challenges, or Do you love to explore more than what has been taught to you in school. Does your text-books satisfy your curiousity or do you go around figuring more about new things on your own. Do you spend more time coping with what is your lab work or more time in the lab by experimenting with new ideas? If you are a later type, you are born with the Engineering Personality.
An engineering education teaches you how to think through a problem in order to solve it. These mental agility skills will help you solve problems for the rest of your life. The fascinating aspect about problem solving in engineering is that there is almost never a right answer. You access several different approaches to solve a problem, and then it is up to you to show everyone how your solution meets the needs of the design.
Do you want a challenging and stimulating career? Consider the things you have done in the past. What have you enjoyed most? What have you found most frustrating or disliked most? If someone helped you solve that frustrating problem, would you still dislike it? Or would you feel as though you rose above the challenge? What does that tell you about yourself? If you are considering a career in engineering, keep in mind that it will be a lifelong learning experience, and everything you do to prepare for it will help you reach your intended goal. The more you expose yourself to the world of engineering, the more opportunities you may have.
To sum it up, Engineering being a subject that requires practical application of science requires following attributes
- Solid foundation in mathematics, physics and chemistry
- Logical reasoning
- Perseverance and hard work
- Ability to work in teams
- Ability to express oneself using figures and words
- Problem solving skills
- Ability to grasp things faster
- Ability to keep calm under work pressures
- Good in technical drawings and computer skills
- Excellent communication abilities
For a diploma in engineering, one must clear the 10th Std. board exam successfully with at least 50% marks. Various polytechnics offer diploma in various disciplines of engineering.
To be eligible for bachelor's degree course i.e. B.E or B.BTech, one must clear the 12th std. board exam with at least 50% marks(60% for IITs) in the science stream with Physics, Chemistry and Maths as compulsory subjects. Several states and IITs have an entrance exam for admission into engineering, colleges in other states grant admission based on marks scored in 12th Std. exam, particularly in the subjects of Physics, Chemistry and Maths. Diploma holders can also get direct admission into second year of engineering in the same stream in which they have completed their diploma.
For a master's level course, one must complete the bachelor's degree program successfully. Further Studies After graduating students can go in for postgraduate studies ie M.E or M.Tech.
Further studies up to Ph.D. level are also an option for anyone interested in Research or Academics.
There is also the Associate Membership Examination of the Institute of Engineers (AMIE), which enables working people in the private and public sector, or diploma holders to acquire a Bachelor's engineering degree through distance education.
The main competitive exams include:
- There is a joint Entrance exam of the IITs (IITJEE) for admission to the Institutes of Technology (IITs) at Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kharagpur, Kanpur, Roorkee and Guwahati, and the Institute of Technology (BHU) at Varanasi
- The All-India Engineering Entrance exam (AIEEE) for admission to the National Institutes of Technology (formerly Regional Engineering Colleges), which offer civil engineering.
- Institutes such as the Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani, Rajasthan, and at Ranchi; Manipal Institute of Technology, Manipal; the Faculty of Engineering and Technology, Annamalai University, among others, also conduct separate entrance examinations.
- All India Engineering Entrance Examination (AIEEE) is conducted by Central Board of Secondary Education (CBSE) to select candidates for admission to Engineering, Architecture, Planning and Pharmacy degree courses in different engineering colleges and institutes in India. All the 20 National Institutes of Technology (NIT), four Indian Institutes of Information Technology (IIIT) and several Deemed Universities such as Thapar Institute of Engineering & Technology (TIET), Patiala, and Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra admit students on the basis of their performance in AIEEE.
- There are other hundreds of engineering colleges in all states in the country, except for Meghalaya, Manipur, Nagaland, Arunachal Pradesh and Sikkim. Students from these states are accommodated against reserved seats at the NITs at Silchar, Assam, the Tripura Engineering College, and in other engineering colleges of the country.
- GGSIPU (Guru Govind Singh Indraprastha University) conducts Common Entrance Test (CET) for admission to different engineering, technological and scientific disciplines at undergraduate level programmes leading to Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech.) degree. Admission to 6 years dual degree M.Tech) programme and lateral entry to Engineering Diploma holders in different B.Tech. programmes is also offered through GGSIPU CET.
- Many polytechnics and vocational institutes offer the three-year diploma in civil engineering.
- For postgraduate admissions, the IITs admit students on the basis of the Graduate Aptitude Test for Engineers (GATE). The Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore offers a Masters program in aerospace, chemical, civil, computer science, microelectronics, signal processing, systems science and engineering, to the graduate engineers with valid GATE scores.
The duration of a diploma in Engineering is 3 years
The duration of degree level B.E/B.Tech course is four years where as M.E/M.Tech is of two years.
Colleges, Institutions and Universities
There are 36 universities and 1195 colleges offering undergraduate and postgraduate engineering courses in various branches in India and so it is rightly referred as a Mecca for finding engineers suited to cutting edge technology jobs. Over 200,000 students take admission in Indian engineering institutes and colleges. All the engineering colleges / institutions in India are recognized and regulated by All India Council of Technical Education (AICTE). Some Leading Engineering Institutes*
- Indian Institutes of Technology at Chennai, Delhi, Guwahati,Kanpur, Kharagpur, Mumbai, Bangalore and Roorkee.
- 18 National Institutes of Technology located all over the country
- Indian Institute of Information Technology, Allahabad.
- Indian Institute of Information Technology & Management, Gwalior
- Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore
- Anna University, Chennai
- Allahabad Agricultural Deemed University, Allahabad
- Birla Institute of Technology, Mesra, Ranchi,
- Birla Institute of Technology, Pilani,
- Haldia Institute of Technology Haldia
- Netaji Subhash Engineering College, Garia
- Institute of Jute Technology, Kolkata
- Lingaya's Institute of Management & Technology, Faridabad
- JSS Academic of Technical Education, NOIDA
- IEC College of Engg. and Technology, Greater NOIDA
- Noorul Islam College of Engineering, Kanyakumari
- Koneru Lakshmaiah College of Engg., Guntur District
- Acharya Institute of Technology, Bangalore
- Dayananda Sagar College of Engineering, Bangalore
- JSS Academy of Technical Education, Bangalore
- PES College of Engineering, Mandaya
- SJ College of Engineering, Mysore
- Dr. D. Y. Patil College of Engineering, Pune
- Maharashtra Institute of Technology, Pune
- Yashwant Rao Chavan College of Engineering, Nagpur
- STE Society's College of Engineering, Pune
- Pune Institute of Computer Technology, Pune * Indicative list only
Fresher's can get a starting salary of Rs. 9,000 to Rs. 13,000 per month excluding other allowances. In the government sector, the salary range of diploma holders is Rs. 5,000 to Rs. 9,000 per month. Lecturers in colleges get a starting salary of Rs 12,000-Rs 13,000 a month. With more experience or as an established independent consultant one could earn more. Senior engineers can earn anywhere in between Rs 30,000 and Rs 50,000 a month. Those at management levels can earn up to Rs60,000 or even more.
In addition to salaries, engineers working with government departments are also entitled to a lot of incentives and perks. The increments are purely performance based as well as position based.