Engineering career is presently the most sought after career. As new exciting technologies emerge, they open out new avenues of engineering applications which demands a huge Technical Manpower. Engineering courses have become the launch pad to a successful career. There is a demand for qualified engineers in top companies across India and abroad. Pursuing an engineering course can make one eligible for these lucrative jobs.
V. Uma Maheshwar
Placement Officer, University College of Engineering
These days Engineering has become a common professional degree with ever growing number of Engineering Colleges both in Govt., and Private Sectors in India. Lakhs of students pass out every year from Engineering colleges, but not all of them are assured with a promising career. Students during first year of engineering course work should mould themselves to be on an effective learning path to get a good foothold in engineering education.
Unique and evergreen
Though engineering has become a common professional degree, it is always a unique and evergreen course to pursue. While pursuing an engineering degree, the students will undergo a total transformation not just academically but also personally. They develop attitude to face problem situations comfortably and to arrive at intelligent and innovative solutions.
Not expect similar
Students enter into campus life after undergoing a lot of spoon feeding type of education during Schooling and Junior College days. However, during engineering they should not expect similar spoon feeding type of education, otherwise they will be disappointed. Lecturers may present overview of any subject with in-depth discussion in selected few topics wherever it is felt important. Rest of the things, students will have to learn on their own. Hence self learning is very important quality one should acquire without fail. Otherwise, they will lag behind others. Sometimes, lectures may seem to be boring. It may be either due to your disinterest in the subject or the teacher is not able to present the concepts clearly. In either case, there is no point in blaming the subject or the teacher. It is better if the student develops interest in the subject on his own by doing some homework on understanding the applications of such subjects in engineering career.
Raise your hand
Students must be active in the class and be good learners. In case, if any concept being dealt with lecturer is not clear, raise your hand and ask humbly for clarity on the same. Students should be active learners by being more interactive in the class with faculty which will make them learn effectively. Do not sit dumb in the class as it would make you a passive learner.
First year include
First year of engineering generally include subjects such as Mathematics, Physics, and Chemistry with focus on their applications in engineering. A few core subjects such as Engineering Drawing, Computer Programming and Workshop Practice giving a basic idea of their stream of engineering will also be introduced. English is also taught with the support of language labs in most of the engineering colleges. Students should attend classes regularly to keep up to date on the topics discussed in the class. In case if they are absent for any classes, they must check with their classmates what topics were covered by lecturer during such periods of absenteeism.
As there is little pressure of learning engineering core subjects during first year, students should focus on their personality development. Spoken English has to be given special attention. Particularly, students coming from rural areas need to overcome their weakness in spoken or written English during the first year. Most of the colleges/ institutions have exclusive English language labs where the students can polish their spoken English. The students must get used to the new methods of learning such as writing assignments, collecting study materials from library or online resources and doing a lot of self study.
Focus on acquiring skills
The students should use any leisure time available to focus on acquiring other skills such as participating in Group discussions and Team events. Learning to build good vocabulary, word power, quantitative/ analytical ability and logical reasoning should be done on a continuous basis as these things cannot be acquired overnight. Read reputed news papers, especially editorials to get an insight into the current issues from various dimensions. Watch English programmes in foreign TV channels to understand different accents of English language. Converse with friends /classmates and teachers in English only.
Extra Curricular activities can be taken up as they will also form important components of their resume when they start applying for Jobs / Higher studies. The students should aim to participate in various competitions in different colleges at state level and at national level. This gives them confidence and an exposure to new things. They will learn how to manage things while working in a team, improve on their communication skills, time management and a lot more. Exposure to practical things teaches many new things to the students. And one should also identify ones' weaknesses and should find ways in overcoming them to build self confidence.
Should not fail
Maintaining a steady percentage of marks during four years of BE course work is very important. It is not necessary to be topper in the class. It is fine if you are in the top 10% in the class as long as you are able to build on your overall personality. Students should not fail in any subjects as it would jeopardize their first job opportunities. Most of the companies hiring freshers are imposing a condition that candidates should not have any history of backlogs in engineering coursework. A balance between academics, extra-curricular or co-curricular activities is a must. It is very important to balance studies and college fun equally. A student should not totally concentrate on one and loose focus on other. Time management, Team work and multi tasking are very crucial skills to be acquired by practice.
The students should also cultivate event management skills by organizing various tech fests in the college. If target is to get a job in Multinational Company, then learning one foreign language would be handy. Students targeting software jobs should be good at soft skills and programming. Attending mock Group discussions and mock interviews would do lot of good in their preparation for campus interviews.
Selecting good friends during the first year is a key challenge. Do not get carried away with friends who are not sincere in academics. They may try to distract you for other outside activities whose main interest in having fun. Avoid such friends who bunk classes and show careless attitude.
Remember, your parents have lots of dreams on you. Aim to live up to their dreams. Never forget that you have a responsibility in making the best of every rupee that is spent by your hard earning parents. The parents do not expect you to give back after you start earning. They wish that you conduct and behave well and groom yourself into an all round engineer who is also a good human being! And the seeds of such personality growth are sown in the first year of engineering. Be sincere, focused and disciplined. Aim bigger and try to reach greater heights!