You may have heard that engineering is a man’s world. Furthermore, you may have heard that the world of engineering is full of men who have all the technical skills in the world, but no social skills to match. In many people’s minds, an engineering career is a constant love affair between a man and his machines.
Wait a second, though! Is it really all about nuts and bolts, spanners and screwdrivers? Definitely not. And do women actually work in engineering? Of course they do!
Forget anything you’ve heard previously! Before you make the decision to get into engineering, you should firstly discover what it’s really all about.
Why is engineering so important?It’s all about solving problems using specialist technical and practical skills. It’s all about maths, science, research, prototypes, design, maintenance and production.
Every industry and every area of society depends on the precise and efficient work of engineers. These guys provide technological solutions to the problems, issues and ideas that affect every area of our lives. They design, manufacture and maintain almost everything people and industries use, from computers, spacecraft and boats to corkscrews, buildings and chemical reactors. Technological advances would never happen without engineers. Consequently, the people who work in this sector are massively important in developing the future of our society.
Why are there so many different branches of engineering?There are so many different areas of engineering to work in; however, most engineers choose to specialise in just one, such as chemical, automotive or robotics. Careers in engineering are constantly evolving and new processes and technologies are being developed all the time. This allows engineers to stay on the ball and react to new problems and challenges in their chosen field.
Engineering careers are constantly varied in terms of their job responsibilities, but also in their working locations. As an engineer you could be working in an office, in a laboratory, on an oil rig in the middle of the ocean, in a factory, or even in outer space.
Each engineering discipline requires professionals with very specific skill-sets. However, each and every area of this sector is as complex as the next. Consequently, all engineers need to have strong mathematical skills, logic and the ability to rise to intellectual and practical challenges. If you've got what it takes, you might be the right candidate for an engineering apprenticeship.
A massive variety of industries need professional engineers. Some of the most popular include:
- Medical and pharmaceutical
- Food and drink.
Many engineers have a variety of technical skills; however, many choose to specialize in a specific type of technical function, such as:
- Research and prototype development
- Installation and maintenance
- Safety and quality assurance.
Moreover, as discussed above, most engineers tend to select one expert area of engineering and develop their career in that one niche area.
- Aerospace/Aeronautical Engineering - Hindustan Aeronautics Limited employs aerospace engineers. Employment in research and development is offered by the Defence Services DRDO for missile development, Indian Space Research Organization, government laboratories and organizations concerned with the aviation industry, i.e., Air India, Indian Air Lines etc.
- Agricultural Engineering - Central and State Government Departments of agriculture and agricultural engineering, agro industries, minor irrigation corporations, agricultural machinery manufacturing organizations, tea gardens, National Seeds Corporation, Food Corporation of India, National Dairy Development Board, Dairy and Food Industries, Nationalized Banks, Agricultural Financial Organizations, Agricultural Research Organizations, Agricultural universities and voluntary organizations employ agricultural engineers
- Automobile Engineering - Automobile manufacturing industries, defense services offer employment
- Biomedical Engineering - Biomedical engineers are researchers and hence they work in laboratories to research, design and fabricate materials used in medical diagnosis and treatment
- Ceramic Engineering - Glass, cement, electronic, ceramic, electrical industries employ ceramic engineers. Besides specific engineering opportunities ceramic engineers also work in research in industries dealing with ceramic equipment and products
- Chemical Engineering - The application of chemical engineering is in diverse industries - e.g. in industries manufacturing paints, dyes, varnishes, drugs, acids, petroleum, fertilizers, foods, dairy products. They may work in textile or plastic industry or even in glass or rubber industry. The application of this branch is extensive
- Civil Engineering - Civil engineers are employed in the public and private sectors in large numbers in all branches of design, construction, maintenance of roads, highways, bridges, dams, canals, docks, airports, housing complexes and in environment management etc.
- Environmental Engineering - Environmental engineers are required by government and industry both to monitor and control ongoing pollution and to anticipate and deal with the likely impact on the environment of proposed new projects - whether it be the construction of a new dam, a hotel or an industrial unit. Environmental Engineers are employed with industries dealing with recycled products and waste management
- Electrical Engineering - Electrical engineers find employment with organizations dealing with generation, transmission, distribution and utilization of electrical energy. They work in the manufacturing industry, design electrical machinery and equipment, and oversee their operation. They are employed in high powered electrical generating stations, design and construction of power plants, and in industries manufacturing industrial machinery
- Electronic Engineering - Electronic engineers are employed in industries manufacturing electronic equipment, research and development, and in places where electronic equipments are extensively used, e.g. television and radio, aerospace industry, automobile industry, computer based industries. Marketing and sales jobs for electronic products are another option. Electronic engineers who specialize in biomedical equipment find employment with bioengineering industries
- Energy Engineering - Energy engineers find opportunities in major industries and organizations concerned with research and development
- Industrial Engineering - Industrial engineers find employment with production industries particularly where the concern is plant efficiency, cost effective operating methods and quality control
- Instrumentation/Production Engineering - The demand for instrumentation engineer comes from user industries such as steel, chemical, fertilizer, refineries, power industry etc. as well as from research and development organization, of defense, government and private sector
- Mechanical Engineering - Mechanical engineers are employed in almost every sector of the industry. Some of the largest areas of employment are machine tools, railway engineering, aerospace, the automobile industry and power plants
- Metallurgical Engineering - Metallurgists are employed in research laboratories, industries and plants extracting and processing metals like iron and steel, nickel, tin, copper, zinc, aluminum and brass etc., in metallurgical industries like Foundries and rolling mills, in fabrication industries
- Microelectronic Engineering - The main areas of work are in aerospace, including aircraft, satellites, space systems, guided weapons; computers, information technology, and telecommunications; consumer electronics, such as washing machines and microwave ovens; medical electronics for use in diagnosis, monitoring and care of patients; etc.
- Nuclear Engineering - Nuclear engineers work primarily in research. Nuclear engineers also find employment in nuclear power plants, defense and nuclear installations, with defense manufacturers, or with nuclear power equipment manufacturers
- Mining Engineering - Mining engineers are employed as engineers in mines, minerals development corporation and mining departments of the union and state governments
- Telecommunication Engineering - Telecommunication engineers work with the defense services, in the broadcasting sector, electronic/mass communication sector, with the Government as well as with the manufacturing industry