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.

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Author: Ramachandran Pattabiraman11 Aug 2011 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 1

Learning a skill is a welcomeable one as it gives hand to a person instead of searching for a job, as he can start his own. But it is a pity that most of engineering graduates searching for whitecoller job by forgetting that they are blue collered one. By starting his own, he can give job to others and thereby decreasing the nation's unemployment ratio.

Author: K Mohan13 Oct 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 3

There is a fixed mind in many parents that engineering is the best career option and that it would ensure an immediate job through the campus recruitment drive. Not all the engineering courses, though, are important. Those who are connected to the software and computer skills are always sought as the trainees but chemical engineering is the core subject to which the candidates interested are less but the options for employment to greener pastures is more. For example, when software employees were either removed or given half salary during the pandemic for nearly one and half years, the chemical engineers are paid full salary, and even without work they are paid. Such is the importance of chemical engineering and so the students should concentrate on this subject and there is a huge demand for chemical engineers from the country and if one performs well with distinction progress and occupying a higher position is very easy.

Author: Sheo Shankar Jha13 Oct 2021 Member Level: Diamond   Points : 2

Though Arts and Commerce streams are not bad if the aspirants have passion for such streams and with the best performance in these streams, they can make their career glorious. However, the case with taking up an engineering course after completion of 10+2 with science will be entirely different, if proper effort and dedication are put in the engineering stream. Their placements would depend upon how they perform at the final interview conducted by the recruiters. There is always a better scope for the bright aspirants in this line provided they have taken enough pain to understand the different basics taught to them at different stages.

Irrespective of different streams pursued by them, they can be absorbed in IT with their exceptional interviews with the employers and such facilities are not likely to come to them in the Science and Arts streams. Hence Engineering stream has not lost its glamour so far.

Author: DR.N.V. Srinivasa Rao14 Oct 2021 Member Level: Platinum   Points : 1

The most sought-after course in India these days is engineering one and there is no doubt in that aspect. There are many reasons for that. The unemployment problem is very severe in our country and people will look at the courses where an average student can also manage and get a job. A top ranker can shine in any discipline and opportunities will come to him in the field of his qualification. A commerce student who can finish CA will have an excellent future. But how many can do that and how many can get qualified.

The major portion of the jobs that are available these days requires an engineering degree. The IT sector prefers an engineer to join their organization. Seeing this trend the government also encouraged many private engineering colleges. In earlier days there were very few engineering colleges and getting a seat in that stream was very difficult. But the situation is completely different these days. There are no students and many private colleges are having vacant seats and some colleges are getting close.

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