Thinking about this question, I wanted to mention a story that we witnessed at a few months back.
In the beginning of 2018, a young student named Krishnan walked into our institute one day. He was a B.E mechanical engineering pass-out and was wondering about his future plans. He wanted to pursue Master’s but was feeling a bit confused. Part of his confusion was based on a minor but prominent fear, what if he doesn’t get a job even after getting a degree? Having interacted with more than 30,000 Mechanical Engineers, we can strongly say that every mechanical engineer who graduates out of college fears about not getting into a core engineering role.
That being said, we wanted to take a look at some facts. Mechanical engineering is a widespread field with a ton of opportunities. So we thought it is illogical to assume that engineers lack jobs due to lack of opportunities. Here are a few facts that reveal otherwise:
This image was taken from website.
The image above proves that the automobile industry has been on rise, which would lead to increase in opportunities. As of September 2018, the IBEF (India Brand Equity Foundation) revealed the following numbers. You can find the whole article
Overall, the engineering industry has witnessed growth in the past few years and hence, opportunities for engineers are on rise. Yet, mechanical and other engineers find themselves jobless. Why? The answer is simple – We lack the skill set the industry expects us to have.
For example, take a look at what the some of the job openings list as requirements:
A look at the skill set the employers expect reveals that just four years of education and a degree is not enough. The educational institutions do not equip us enough to make us experts in numerical analysis tools or other software. In fact, I would say that it is our job to ensure that we make experts of ourselves. The easiest way to become recruitable, if you are someone who is technically well equipped is to learn a programming language. Understanding how you can automate mechanical engineering concepts using Python or Matlab helps you stand out in any technical interview. Next, we need to start working on projects for ourselves. In colleges/universities we work at most on 2-4 projects. If we could spend extra time on learning a couple of other software like or and work on some engineering projects ourselves, it would be a great asset to our portfolio.
Speaking of portfolio, the industries today care more about your practical experience rather than your degree. A diploma holder with good experience can work equal or above a graduate with less experience. How? Because the former carries around a portfolio that speaks more about hands-on experience than the latter. What your portfolio testifies about your skill set is more important than the degree you carry. It is therefore more important to build your portfolio by working on projects or doing internships.
Another reason why freshers are not getting any jobs is that many times, the industry wants candidates to have relevant experience. And that leads to many freshers to think that they are ineligible due to lack of experience. Well, that is not always the case. Relevant experience doesn’t always mean that you must have worked somewhere, it just means that you must have practical knowledge of whatever the job needs you to have. For example, if you come across a job opening that says ‘Need a mechanical engineer who can code in MATLAB and has 2+ years of experience’, it doesn’t mean that you should have worked somewhere as a coder for two years. You could also be a fresher with good knowledge in and has done several projects in it. When the employers take a look at your portfolio, they will hire you because you have relevant experience in coding and that’s all that is needed. So, if you want opportunities, enroll yourself in a programming/simulation course and stay relevant to the industry. If you have studied mechanical engineering, you learn about various topics such as manufacturing, thermodynamics, material technology etc. What the academia does is, it makes you a jack of all trades. But it is up to you, to select one particular field and make yourself the master in it. If you really passionate about thermodynamics, you can learn programming languages like or and learn to solve thermodynamic problems in them. Or you can learn and simulate mechanical problems in a computer. As of today, that’s what the industry expects from graduates – to code engineering problems rather than solving them analytically or simulate models before building them practically.
And so, that’s what Mr. Krishnan did. He enrolled in the and decided to develop his knowledge in the field. After more than 90 hours of hard work, he reaped his benefits. Krishnan was offered the Research Assistant position at IIT-Hyderabad and is now expecting a full-time opportunity in Germany. He was able to ace the interviews based on the projects that he had worked on. You can find his projects by clicking on this . You can also view Krishnan’s testimony here: