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Best career options for engineering students

Know what Arvind Kejriwal, Vikram Pandit, Shankar Mahadevan, APJ Kalam, Mukesh Ambani and Harsha Bhogle have in common? – They are all Engineers!

Engineering has become a multi purpose degree these days. Anyone who has good aptitude decides to go for Engineering as this is one program that can open your door into virtually anything (except Medical or Law, possibly). Here, we discuss what are the different career options for an Engineer –

Engineering jobs in your field – It is the most common option when an engineer takes up a job profile directly related to what he studied. E.g. a software engineer joining Microsoft as a programmer, a mechanical engineer joining Tata Motors as a design engineer and so on.

Engineering jobs in a different field – Sometimes an engineer shifts gear slightly and takes up a job profile not related to his area of study. E.g. an electrical engineer joining Morgan Stanley as a banker or a civil engineer joining TCS as a software analyst. Joining as a consultant, marketing analyst etc. also falls under this category.

Further specialization through MS, ME, MTech – This is the route engineers take when they think going to a better school can improve their job prospects. Here MS from esteemed universities in US and Europe is a more lucrative option as it opens the door to jobs abroad.

Switch to business roles through MBA – Usually done to get into higher paying jobs, many engineering grads try to get into IIMs and other elite management schools in India right out of college. Rare few from IITs are able to get into Business Schools abroad as well but it’s still a very small percentage since MBA in America, Europe etc requires non-trivial work experience.

Entrepreneurship/Family Business – Still fewer end up working for themselves or their family owned businesses. Entrepreneurship or startups are particularly in rise in recent times as students find it best to experiment ideas during college and pursue any viable ideas upon graduation when the opportunity cost is still low.

Non-traditional roles – There are handful who spot lucrative opportunities in totally non-related fields such as civil services (0.3% success rate), teaching (yes, a few academically successful engineers join as teachers in coaching institutions which offer handsome packages), creative fields etc.

In next couple of articles, we will elaborate over each option and provide a clearer picture on why you should go with one of these. We will also tie up this to why an option of going abroad can be a smarter choice in the long run. Stay tuned. 

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