“India is a country where people become Engineers first and then decide what they want to do”
With the engineering season just around the corner, Lacs of students across the country are gearing up for the Joint Entrance Examination and a plethora of other engineering entrance examinations that are about to kick-start in a couple of months.
While most of the students opt for engineering with a plan to pursue a career in it, there are many who take up engineering with no plans at all and choose to go with the flow. As the popular saying goes, “India is a country where people become engineers first and then decide what they want to do.”
Engineering as a discipline is not restricted to its fundamental branches. Thanks to the quick pace of technological advancement, these fundamentals have fragmented into a number of modern concepts. And this provides the versatility an engineer possesses. While there is an ocean of options for engineers within the engineering field, many of them opt for a career in other fields and industries.
Let’s look at some of the fields an engineer can opt for, apart from the conventional options!
A master’s degree, especially an MBA, caters to aspirants from almost all the fields. But why does an engineer opt for an MBA degree? Well, there are two reasons. One, the technical expertise of an engineer may or may not take him very far in the corporate world. The knowledge of business applies to almost all the industries, whereas technical knowledge can keep an aspirant tied to a specific industry. Secondly, the growth is rapid if you hold an MBA degree. It can take you up the ladder a lot faster as you gain experience.
As per statistics, 45% of the CEOs in India have completed their graduation in Engineering. Out of this, 45%, close to 78% have pursued a post graduation degree. And of this 78 %, a whopping 64% have opted for an MBA degree.
This only shows that MBA caters to a sizable set of engineers in the country.
Civil Services is another option an engineer can look forward to. Even though Civil Services exam can be a hard nut to crack, it should not hold you back. If you are an engineer, you can always think of joining the IAS, IFS, IPS or other civil services sectors.
This field gives all the perks and privileges of the government, pays well, and commands respect. Joining the Army, Air Force, Navy or any other defence establishment can be an exciting prospect for engineers. There are plenty of ways and exams through which engineers can apply for technical as well as non-technical posts in the armed forces. The most common technical examination is the Combined Defence Services Examination (CDSE), which gives an option of applying for any of the three establishments. Earlier seen as a field only for the patriots, engineers are now moving towards the defence services to live a good and settled life, work for the nation, enjoy good facilities and take home a good amount as well.
Entrepreneurship is the new age mantra today, for anyone who’s wishing to start a new business. As per reports, with over 4,200 next-gen companies, India ranks third after US and UK, among global start-up ecosystems. This is largely due to the below mentioned factors:
- Technological development in the country
- Risk-taking ability among the youth
- Availability of funds
- Improving financial systems in the country
- Vibrant ecosystem
These are the major reasons that entrepreneurship as a field is attracting so many aspirants, especially from engineering backgrounds.
It’s a common myth that one should not mix their profession and their passion. But what if the passion becomes the profession? It would be life changing for someone to do what they love and yet be professionally and monetarily sound. Many engineers opt for these off-beat careers, exploring their talents in various fields. It can range from photography to painting, writing, astrology, performing arts or yoga. If you have the passion and can attain expertise in it, you’re good to go! This is one field where a person would not regret doing something they never liked and would live every moment doing what they love.
Now, let’s have a look at some of the famous personalities from India who are engineers working in an entirely different field.
Considered as one of the best and highly educated Defence Ministers of India, Manohar Gopalkrishna Prabhu Parrikar, commonly known as Manohar Parrikar, is a metallurgical engineering graduate from IIT Bombay. Conferred with the Distinguished Alumnus Award in 2001 by IIT Bombay, Parrikar became the first IIT graduate who served as a Chief Minister of an Indian state (Goa). Considered as one of the most humble ministers in India, Parrikar resigned as the CM of Goa in 2014 and was elected as the Defence Minister of India.
The man needs no introduction, does he? Arvind Kejriwal is the current Chief Minister of Delhi but his roots of education and profession go a long way back. Arvind Kejriwal holds a mechanical engineering degree from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Kharagpur. After finishing his graduation, he was hired by Tata Steel in 1989 and worked there for almost three years. However, Kejriwal was always obligated towards national welfare and social work. He quit Tata Steel and started preparing for civil services. In 1995, he cleared civil services in the revenue department. In 2013, Arvind Kejriwal became the CM of the Capital city.
Listed among some of the most famous authors in India, Chetan Bhagat penned down numerous novels that hit the Indian market with grand success. Considered as a youth icon, Bhagat owns a Mechanical Engineering degree from the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT), Delhi. After graduation, Bhagat pursued an MBA degree from Indian Institute of Management (IIM), Ahmedabad. However, after working for 11 years as an investment banker in Hong Kong, Bhagat finally moved to Mumbai and decided to pursue his passion – writing. He wrote four novels in a period of five years and gained worldwide recognition. Bhagat was determined about his passion and did not limit himself to the corporate world.
The ‘Jumbo’ of Indian cricket needs no introduction. Anil Kumble holds the maximum wickets by a bowler in Test Cricket for India and ranks third in the list of all-time wicket-takers in Tests. But how many of us know his educational background? Kumble holds a mechanical engineering degree from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering (RVCE), Bangalore. Currently, Kumble is the head coach of the Indian Cricket Team and has taken team India to the No. 1 spot in Test Cricket.
A National Award winner and music composer, Shankar Mahadevan was a software engineer before he made it big in cinemas. He holds a degree in Computer Science and Software Engineering from Ramrao Adik Institute of Technology, Mumbai. In his earlier days, Mahadevan used to work as a software engineer for Oracle. But his childhood passion was singing, which he eventually pursued and gained mass recognition for it. He has composed numerous songs with Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendosa, and they are popularly known as Shankar-Ehsaan-Loy.
Engineering may be the first choice for many students when they plan for higher education after class 12th, but life is full of surprises. You’ll never know what’s coming your way! The idea here is to stay happy and satisfied with whatever you end up doing.