Today's Paper

Civil engineering has few takers

Karthik Madhavan

ERODE: Civil engineering, once a flagship discipline, it appears, is no longer the favourite of engineering aspirants, particularly girls. This is the impression obtained after observing the current admission trends in colleges in this region.

Take for example Sasurie College of Engineering (SCE), Vijayamangalam, where almost 50 per cent of the management seats in civil engineering are vacant. Of the 21 management seats only 11 have been filled. All the 11 are boys.

In K. S. Rangasamy College of Technology (KSRCT), Tiruchengode, the trend is slightly different. While management quota seats in circuit branches, including computer science and information technology, have been filled up, civil engineering seats are available for admission.

In this college, too, boys outnumber girls in civil engineering admission. And in those colleges where the branch's management seats are filled, the colleges say it was the students' last choice.

Administrators and academics attribute three reasons for students moving away from civil engineering and girls preferring circuit branches. The first, they say, is the perception that admission to circuit branches leads more easily to a software job than civil engineering. "Today, candidates seeking admission come with a mindset that only circuit branches can fetch jobs in IT companies, which is not true. Second, they are overwhelmed by the IT wave," says S. Thirumoorthi, Secretary, Nandha Engineering College, Erode.

In his college, as in most others, students first preferred the circuit branches. The last choice was mechanical engineering, and of the 21 management admissions all are boys. The second reason for candidates' least priority to the two branches is that students of today prefer the cosy environs of a software company to a construction site.

"For long there has been a strong notion that the branch suits boys better. In a sense it is true, but not completely. Job openings in the branch where girls can work without going to the field are aplenty. But somehow girls are not opting for it," says T. S. S. Balaji, Principal, SCE. The third reason, the academics cite, is disparity in salary.

"Though engineering students of all disciplines spend the same in their four years of study, those placed in software companies are offered more. This attracts students towards circuit branches," reasons P. S. S. Srinivasan, Principal, KSRCT.

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