Common Myths About Engineers & Engineering

Nidhi Mishra updated on : 28 Feb 2017
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Taking up engineering for the wrong reasons can be a major setback in your career. Are you doing it for the right reasons?

Common Myths About Engineers & Engineering

We live in a country where Engineers are given the status of ‘super’ humans who are above all other beings of the same kind. No wonder then, every Indian parent wants his/her child to take up Engineering as a career option. The field of Engineering seems attractive not only because of its status but also due to the financial stability that many engineering graduates get soon after they are hired. Clearly, there are many reasons for its popularity, and perhaps we now know why it is regarded as a ‘safe’ bet when it comes to choosing a career option.

However, taking up engineering for wrong reasons could be detrimental to a student’s career. While the above reasons may sound tempting to take the plunge, the ground reality is far from what one might consider is the truth.

We’ve often noticed how students and parents tend to follow the herd mentality. People usually consider word of mouth as an important source of information. In the process, they forget to cross-check details and end up taking decisions that don’t work in the long-run.

In this article, we’ve compiled some of the popular myths people have about engineers and the field of engineering that simply aren’t true. We have also busted some myths that engineers have about engineering.

“Engineering followed by an MBA = Success”

A degree in engineering followed by management education is one of the most common choices that students are making these days. Usually, the reason students take up a management programme after completing engineering is to get a lucrative job at a reputed firm and to hone their skills to become leaders and managers in the corporate world. However, this may not work for all. Not everyone who has a combination of these two courses is employable. Recruiters look for a complete package and offer jobs as per the roles available in their companies.

“B.Tech and B.E. – Same degree with two Names”

Many people, including engineering aspirants, think there is no difference between Bachelor of Technology (B. Tech) and Bachelor of Engineering (B.E.). Well, the thing is – there is no difference between these two degrees in terms of scope and value. However, the difference is that B.E. is knowledge-oriented and B.Tech is skill-oriented. While B.E. is more theoretical, a B.Tech programme is more practical.

“Engineers can fix almost Anything”

Engineers are considered innovators and problem-solvers who can address any technological issue. Well, it’s true that engineering is the branch of science and technology and they are the reasons we are surrounded with gadgets, well-constructed infrastructure and modern-day useful equipment. However, engineers are not those local technicians who can fix TV, Oven, Refrigerator, Internet, etc. Sure, some of them can repair and fix daily used objects but that’s what not they are meant for.

“Engineers come with a Price Tag”

Many students listen to the success stories of their cousins, friends or neighbours who graduated from prestigious engineering colleges and went on to bag lucrative job offers with huge firms.  However, this may not stand true for all. While many engineers land good placements after completing their degrees, their salaries depend on the roles they’ve been offered and their potential to perform. It is important to acknowledge that companies do not offer lucrative jobs to students just because they are engineers. Candidates’ academic prowess, personality, communication skills and many other factors are taken into consideration during the recruitment process.

“Engineers are Super-Humans”

Many people think that engineers are ‘super-humans’ who can single-handedly construct robots, buildings, vehicles, gadgets, rockets, satellites, etc. For example, when an engineer says that he/she works on a satellite project, people jump to an inference that he/she knows every minute detail about building the satellite. When in fact, no engineer can know every detail of a project. It requires people from various disciplines to come together and complete that project.

“Engineering is more valuable than Science”

People think that it is better to take up a career in engineering when compared to other fields in Science. What most of us fail to understand is the fact that Science and Engineering go hand in hand. Science is all about knowledge and experimentation while engineering is all about using that knowledge for innovations. Any field in Science can be as rewarding and interesting as a career in Engineering.

“Engineering not meant for Women"

With the changing times, the number of women who have shown great interest in engineering has only increased. Women have excelled in this field in the past and there is no doubt that they will continue to do so in the future. History has some of the greatest examples where women with a background in engineering have become leaders in big companies and have even conquered space.  

According to the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering 2015 report, India has closed the gender gap in engineering to an all-time low of 14% in 2015. While 85% Indian men have shown interest in engineering, the number stands at a close 79% among women in India. 

“Engineering is a Tough Nut to Crack”

Sure, engineering needs a lot of hard work, but it’s not as tough as you think. It can be a smooth ride for anyone who has a keen interest in this field. The pressure to perform in exams is evident but that’s what engineering teaches you – to execute everything learnt in the classroom. From the outside, it may look like a Herculean task, but if a student knows the basics of this discipline, he/she is good to go.

“Engineers don’t Party”

Whenever we talk about engineering as a career option, we conjure up images of a student with his/her nose deep in the books and isolated to a corner of his/her room. However, engineers do know how to let their hair down and they totally believe in the formula – ‘Work Hard, and Party Harder’! Yes, engineers have a social life, and by this, we do not mean they are just active on Facebook and other social networking sites. They participate in college festivals, extra-curricular activities, hang out with friends and yet pass their exams with flying colours.

While these are just some of the myths, there are much more beliefs among people about engineering that need to be addressed.  The right thing to do is that one should do his/her own research before taking a decision or jumping to a conclusion. Engineering is a great career option, only if a student is pursuing it for the right reasons.

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