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  • Category: Miscellaneous

    We are engineers, but do we fix things?

    Does gaining a degree in engineering make you capable of fixing things? Does being an engineering graduate help you if you are not practically inclined? Theoretical knowledge may not be sufficient if you do not have the mindset to approach issues practically. Let us discuss this serious concern in this thread.

    Once a small child asked his father. "Papa, you are an electronics engineer. That means you can repair our TV too, right?" Father looked at him with a blank face as he did not know what to say.

    This is a million dollar question in today's time? People get an engineering degree in various branches from good colleges and say proudly, "I am an engineer" but when it comes to applying their knowledge in fixing and repairing things, many of them are not able to or do not want to do it.

    What can be the reason? Just being an engineer on paper is not sufficient to be able to implement the knowledge. That engineering mindset and enthusiasm of opening and fixing the things should prevail. Such motivation will only come if you have become an engineer by your choice and not compulsion.

    Sometimes so-called engineers will call an electrician or technician to troubleshoot fix minor things which they can themselves do. So where is the engineering mindset? More people are pursuing engineering nowadays just for salary and not for passion. Compare this to foreign countries. People there like to troubleshoot and fix things and there are no electricians and plumbers easily available whatsoever to do the job. Is'nt it a great satisfying feeling for an engineer when he is able to repair a thing on his own?

    But at times even if an engineer wants to apply his knowledge to fix the things at home he is not competent enough to do it. Sad isn't it? Here we have our educational system to blame which lays more emphasis on theory and less on practical knowledge. There is a huge gap between what is taught in engineering colleges and what is used in industries. Of course, an engineer should be crystal clear on theoretical concepts but practical application is equally important.

    Our country truly needs real engineers with a mindset of innovating and building things. So let us be engineers with quality and not quantity. Upcoming engineers! Please do justice to the word "Engineer".
  • #629864
    Consider the educational background of technicians who come to our house for repairing refrigerator, air-conditioners, television, broadband connection, dish antenna based DTH services, water purifier etc. Similarly consider the educational qualifications of motor mechanics, mobile phone handset repairer and laptop/desktop repairer to whom we go for getting our respective things repaired.

    Are any of them engineers? No. Let us not get confused with the skill required for a technician to carry out certain repairs and engineering qualification. The persons possessing an engineering degree may not be able to repair household gadgets, one reason being non-availability of necessary tools. On the other hand many people having an aptitude of repairing things, though not any technical qualification, are often able to repair common household gadgets.

    No wonder an individual possessing an engineering degree may not be able to change LPG cylinder at his home.

    Let us encourage each other in sharing knowledge.

  • #629876
    These days plenty of Engineering graduates are coming out of colleges every year. They may be specialised any branch of engineering their ultimate plan is to join a software company where no engineering activity is involved. They require soft skills and they will work with a computer only. In fact, Engineering graduates can't be expected to do the repair works. The process of doing these works depends more on the hands-on experience than the theoretical knowledge. Even a person who doesn't have any experience by working as an assistant to a person who is already working on the job for quite a good time. so we can't assess an Engineer with his repairing skills.
    But one thing is true that the standards of education are coming down in India and the knowledge one is acquiring during their education is not coming in handy in performing his duties during his career.

    always confident

  • #629921
    In this context, I must mention, G.D Naidu, a brilliant engineer from Coimbatore, India who is also known as the Edison of India. He bought his first motorcycle and what he did was dismantle it and then re-assemble it.(wiki) After this in 1937, he produced the first motor in India. Yes, the current youngsters also need to be inventive and practically explore their knowledge.

    This thought thread hints at the quality or rather lack of it and also the changing attitude. Many simple things can easily be fixed. In our neighborhood, we had a mechanic uncle who could fix many simple things like the iron box, mixer, water immersion heater(we don't use this often nowadays) fans etc. I think the range of skills and opportunities have also changed for the new graduates.

    Apart from the attitude of not wanting to do this, the other reason could be that many appliances are not accepted by the authorized service center, if the gadget or electric appliance is tampered with or if servicing has been attempted by non-company people.

  • #629922
    I agree with the thread message. Many of those who pass out Engineering do not have the engineer's attitude and aptitude. They lack the basic and overall concept of that.

    I can say that in many houses where one or more son is an engineering student or graduate they do not show any interest or aptitude to the repairs, installation or maintenance of appliances or utilities in their own home. Even when some technician or professional is on the job they d not observe it or try to get knowledge about it.

    In comparison the ITI passed people and diploma holders are far better and better employable and useful immediately.

  • #629924
    Unfortunately our education as subject to bookish knowledge and we lack our performance when it comes to practical viability of the same. Even in Intermediate practicals when the students are supposed to investigate and write the answers, the so called invigilators supply them the answers for a price. So what the student would acquire at the end result is nothing. Only for sake of claiming the name and degree, we have been compelled to do Engineering or other degrees and when it comes to practical implementation, there is no awareness or proper guidance on the matter.
    K Mohan
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • #629936
    This is a very interesting and thought-provoking thread by the author. Many people have an engineering degree from various institutions but unfortunately, many of them are not able to fix small things in their households.

    The main reason for that is our faulty education system where unfortunately we have not integrated the skill training with academic part.

    It is generally believed that small things are to be fixed by the technical certificate or diploma holders and it is not the job of an engineer. This concept is totally wrong and due to that today we have landed in such a embarrassing situation.

    Knowledge is power.

  • #629943
    Many of the responses indicate that they have the misconception that an engineer should be able to repair the gadgets we use in the house. According to them, an electrical engineer should be able to repair all electrical gadgets and an electronics engineer to repair all electronic devices. To repair the gadgets one need not be an engineer. Any person with an aptitude for knowing the working principles can do it with little help and necessary tools.

    In technical education, there are different levels of learning. We have engineers, technicians and skilled workers. The engineers learn the basics and develop more knowledge of the principles, design, and research. The technicians at the diploma level are of a supervisory cadre who implement the designs in the field or workshop. The skilled workers are those who are trained in the industrial training institutes. They have practical knowledge but not any theoretical concept. These three levels of education have the ratio of theory to practice according to the duties to be performed by them. There is nothing wrong with our education system. The educated of our country are respected all over the world for their knowledge and skills.

    " Be Good and Do Good "

  • #629991
    What matters is the area that you are specialized into.

    Engineering & Management are two different syllabus of our carrier & in the management itself there are other sub fields like the Marketing or the Finance or the Supply Chain Management or the HR. So likewise in Engineering also there are many specialization exist. So only on the basis of the subjects & interest the candidate opts for the carrier.

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