Why is engineering the most popular career option in India?
The article analyses the reasons of engineering being the most popular career option in India. The reasons revolve around the increasing number of private engineering colleges in India, the envious pay packages received by some of the engineering graduates, the wide array of career opportunities and options after engineering, and finally the stereotypical psyche of Indian parents regarding engineering as a career option.
Engineering is no doubt the most sought-after course as far as Indian students are concerned. The reasons, as to why engineering is the most popular course, are many. Let us take a look at some of the most prominent reasons.
- The popularity of science stream- Many Indian parents obligate their children to take up science stream in their +2 curriculum. The primary cause of this tendency is the stereotyping of commerce and arts streams. Many of the parents still feel that commerce and arts don't have much productive career opportunities. Also, it is a widespread belief that the best students take up science, commerce and arts are filled up by the remaining students. Thus, after taking up science, a student is naturally expected to take up the most 'popular' science course, engineering.
- It being a professional course- Engineering is obviously a professional course. An engineering student after four years of his graduation is eligible for job in industry without any need of further studies. Thus an engineering graduate has an array of job opportunities before him and that too just after four years of graduation. And engineering jobs in India, are set to rise in the coming years.
- Diverse opportunities after graduation- An engineering degree doesn't limit an engineer to only work in his filed of specialization. In fact an engineer can saunter into any filed according to his interests. An engineer can enter the corporate world by pursuing MBA; she/he can wander into the field of civil services by applying for UPSC; or she/he can go into research by pursuing higher education to achieve specialization in a particular scientific arena related to her/his field of engineering; and the most popular option, she/he can simply go for a job in the industry. Thus, career opportunities for engineering students, are in plenty, and depend on the interests and aims of a particular individual.
- Money matters- Well, people have stereotyped engineering as a course with a lot of money in it. Fat claims of engineering placements and pay packages by private engineering colleges have further strengthened these perceptions. Parents are being led to believe that their children will be guaranteed comfortable lives financially after graduating from the engineering colleges. India is still a developing country, and anything that has money associated to it is obviously met with warm reception and mass attention. This has been the case with engineering too.
- Feasibility and viability in pursuing engineering- There are a number of engineering colleges in India. Although the seats in government engineering colleges are limited and too few to accommodate all the engineering aspirations in the country, but still the private engineering colleges in India, have come up plenty of seats to fulfill the ambitions of thousands of engineering aspirants of the country. There has been a meteoric rise in the number of private engineering colleges in the past few years, and these private colleges have been tremendously successful in filling the huge supply-demand gap as far as engineering studies in India were concerned. Now almost all Indian states are filled with an astonishing number of private engineering colleges and the students don't need to travel too far away from their homes top pursue engineering. According to an estimate the number of recognized engineering colleges in India is around 3700 with engineering colleges in Maharashtra being the largest in number with Tamil Nadu at second place, Karnataka at third and Andhra Pradesh at fourth place in terms of the number of engineering colleges.
- The commercialization of education- In the yesteryears education was intended more towards seeking knowledge and equipping the student with the right skills to lead an ideal social life. But with the advent of capitalism in education, and emergence of private institutions offering educations, a sort of tendency crept in where the prime role of education shifted to providing financial stability to the student in his future life. Then came the coaching institutes, which guaranteed admissions to the best engineering colleges of India. And thus more and more parents started enrolling their children into these engineering coaching institutes. This trend continues even today, and has fuelled the Indian ambitions to get a coveted engineering degree.
These were some of the most prominent reasons as to 'why is engineering the most popular career option in India?'. Although there might be many more reasons to the great Indian engineering phenomenon, but the above reasons highlighted the most common reasons of the popularity of engineering studies in India. The readers are welcome to add comments to scrutinize the above analysis and give any more reasons, in case I have missed some.