Careers

Civil, mechanical engineering branches evergreen

PROMISING CAREER: Civil and mechanical engineering courses are no longerconsidered taboo for girls.  

Core branches in engineering such as civil and mechanical are believed to be the oldest branches in engineering study and are considered to be evergreen branches. Though in the mid 1980s the demand for civil engineering students saw a slump, it has regained its importance and is today considered to be one of the most sought after branches.

Civil engineering

The demand saw a slump because of the low investment in the infrastructure sector, as the focus shifted towards the service sector, especially IT and ITES. Now the investments are back and the demand for civil engineers is expected to be on the rise till 2030.

“At present every fresh graduate has at least three offers from the core sectors. A couple of years back when engineering colleges were springing up at every nook and corner, the colleges were setting up shop with only a few branches such as computer science, IT and EEE. Now most of the colleges are trying to develop the civil engineering branch. This trend proves that the branch is once again looking up,” says K. Rambabu, professor at Andhra University College of Engineering.

The four-year B.Tech or BE course focuses on various topics such as land survey, planning and design. When it comes to design, a student is taught to design any civil structure such as dams, buildings and bridges.

The newest addition to the course is the subject of rehabilitation and renovation of old structures. “A majority of the civil structures be it a dam or a bridge was either constructed during the British rule or immediately after Independence, during the first or second five-year plan period. They are old and they need to be rehabilitated and renovated. This subject was incorporated to train the students to tackle this issue,” says Prof. Rambabu.

In the fourth year there are many electives such as national disaster management, coastal and harbour engineering or fluid mechanics and hydro engineering, structural engineering, transportation, remote sensing and GIS and environmental engineering or public health engineering.

The job prospect civil engineers is varied and not restricted to any one area. They can fit in any one of the government offices such as irrigation, Road and Building and CPWD. They can find placements in both private and PSUs and infrastructure and construction companies. “They can also find placements in IT sector as civil engineers are basically strong in logic,” says the professor from Andhra University.

Mechanical engineering

Mechanical engineering graduates can find placements in almost every sector, right from construction sector to steel industry and from automobile to software. Earlier there was only one branch and subsequently sub-branches such as marine engineering, industrial engineering and metallurgical engineering were formulated to suit the growth of knowledge and the industry demands.

“During the four years of study, the basic focus is on subjects such as thermal engineering, machine design, industrial engineering and production engineering,” says T. Subrahmanyam, former Head of the Department of Mechanical Engineering in Andhra University College of Engineering.

Mechanical engineering graduates can also find placements in IT sector because of their strong hold over subjects such as mathematics and physics. “Software is all about logic, and students who are strong in mathematics and physics are considered to be good in logic. A few basic programmes like C language are embedded in the curriculum, by doing few programming courses such as Java and .Net they can easily fit in the software sector,” says Professor Subrahmanyam.

Both the courses are in demand and most importantly, unlike in the earlier days, girls fill up one-third of the seats. Both civil and mechanical engineering are no longer considered to be a taboo area for the girls.

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Printable version | Nov 24, 2020 9:28:41 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/features/education/careers/civil-mechanical-engineering-branches-evergreen/article3296538.ece

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