Diploma courses in printing technology, civil engineering, electrical engineering, mechanical and electronics are no longer male bastions. They are attracting more number of girl students of late.

With the economy opening up, there are more job opportunities in various fields such as pagination, graphic designing, structural design drawing, electrical layouts, making smaller gadgets and so on.

Many students, who pursue diploma after Class X, also get into engineering streams by lateral entry.

Students who have done printing technology courses are taking up jobs as paginators and graphic designers in publishing services. “Girl students who have done civil, electrical or electronics take up indoor designing work with the help of software. They make structural designs, electrical layouts and machine design. They need not necessarily go to the site,” says R. Arangarajoo, principal, Central Polytechnic College, Taramani, Tamil Nadu.

V. Sekar, principal of another college, says: “In the past two years or so a few girls are opting for electronics courses. After they complete the course they take up higher studies or take up jobs in companies in board manufacturing line or even in electrical goods service centres. They are paid anywhere between Rs. 5,000 and Rs. 12,000. The pay depends on the company they work in.”

“In the past one year, thanks to the boom in the IT industry, IT and computer students, who have a liking for programming are getting into IT companies; otherwise they work as computer operators or instructors in labs in polytechnics.

Students also pursue networking courses and take up jobs in that area,” he adds. However, girls are still hesitating to take up mechanical engineering courses.

“Girl students come forward to join almost all core subjects except mechanical, which attracts just a lone girl now and then. Girls seem to prefer EEE or Computer Science or IT since there is immediate placement in these courses. They also get good salaries if they work well,” says Hussain, another principal. “I chose IT because I can sit in front of a computer and work. There is no on-site work like in civil or electrical. There are good job opportunities after this,” said Lakshmi, a student doing her diploma in IT.