Importance Of Selecting The Right Engineering Specialization
Dr. N.R. Alamelu
Sri Ramakrishna Engineering College, Coimbatore
A career for anybody is an initiative for professional success and sustenance of professional growth.Engineering and Technology continues to be one of the much sought after options as a career.
The engineering education, a few decades ago started with traditional engineering programmes – Civil Engineering, Mechanical Engineering and Electrical Engineering.The developments in engineering across the globe were so vast that during late 60’s new disciplines of engineering study were born like Electronics and Communication engineering.When this branch of engineering programme was started, nobody could predict that communication engineering and technology would have such a tremendous growth that today they are ruling the entire world and making it a global village.A few years after electronics and communication engineering, the age of computing took off. The application of computing for business processes became ubiquitous, necessitating the need for a formal undergraduate programme in computer science and engineering apart from a programme in this field at masters’ level. The growth in the field of computer science and engineering and information technology is so rapid that they have become a part of every discipline of engineering and technology, be it manufacturing, healthcare, logistics, market potential analysis, automation, and customer service to mention a few.
Such a growth demands interdisciplinary dynamics in curricula and syllabi development in engineering education nurturing innovation and out of the box thinking for problem solving.The industries look for candidates with a good aptitude and multidisciplinary skills for problem solving.Such expectations from industries make the academia ensure that every student of engineering and technology possess not only the domain expertise but also have the knowledge of application of digital disruptive technology improving the process efficiency and outcome.
Emerging Technologies bringing New Specialisations
In May 2013, McKinsey published a report highlighting 17 emerging technologies that would transform life, business and global economy.From this report out of 17 of these technologies a few like – IOT, Cloud, Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Energy Storage, 3D Printing, Advanced Materials, Renewable Energy, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Blockchain are a few to be certainly mentioned.
This list again reiterates the interdisciplinary approach that is expected out of the present day engineering students.A recent report in a national daily quotes that business leaders and employees in India believe that the disruptive technology will help them to do their existing jobs better.I am sure that all of you know that there is a common thread underlining all these technological innovations. It is the much talked about industry revolution, industry 4.0.This phase of revolution is characterized by a fusion of technologies blurring the lines between physical and biological spheres.This is essentially a digital revolution, revolution of technological breakthroughs such as Artificial Intelligence, Internet of Things, Robotic Process Automation and Blockchain.Its impact will be with every industry, every country both emerging and developed.
These digital revolutions and digital transformation to raising a question- what is that the engineering aspirant should do? How should they choose their engineering specialization? The answer is - irrespective of the specialization that they choose they will have to be quite strong and confident in their chosen domain and fundamental concepts.They will have to have a good exposure to the disruptive technologies and its applications to do their best in their domain of engineering.They must be willing for a continuous reskilling and up skilling to stay current with the changing phase oftechnologies.Those engineering aspirants who are willing and capable of doing this would be able to shine anywhere in any industryeither as an employee or an entrepreneur, deriving innovative solutions for real life problems improving the quality of life.
Engineering is a vast subject, and with numerous types of areas to choose from, it is not easy to narrow down which one is best suited to the student. To help in the decision making, one should try and identify what one is ardent about. What gets them eager, and what does one spend their free time on? All types of engineering include some form of problem-solving (and generally focus on making life easier), but what engineering-related solution gives one the most buzz? If one chooses a subject they’re naturally interested in, they’ll find it easier to stay motivated during the course, and stay involved with the subject whilst pursuing an engineering career.
CHOOSING THE RIGHT ENGINEERING SPECIALIZATION
One way to decide the specialization one wants to go for is by assessing its usefulness. It requires research into job trends. What are companies looking for? Is there a particular “hot” field that may be hiring more than others? Other important factors that can be helpful in the selection process are as follows:
Reviewing Specialization's Job Outlook and Expected Salary Potential
A thorough research about the different types of specializations, their job outlook, job duties and salary for different specializations will be worth the time and help one to take a more informed decision.
Considering One’s Own Interests
Thinking about where your interests lie while finding the right engineering specialization in order to make a decision will help to be in a field one is passionate about and hence account for better performance and growth prospects.
Evaluation of One’s Strengths, Weaknesses and Technical Skill Sets
Evaluating one’s own strengths and weaknesses alongwith the technical skill sets they own will help one to be self aware. This will act as an important factor for picking a niche.
Getting in Touch with Working Professionals
Engineers who work in the field can give a better idea of what the workplace is like, from the demands and duties of the job down to mundane tasks that one may not have thought about yet. Also, they may be able to give you insight on courses that are not required but should be, for the specialization based on their experiences.