Right selection is the key

Dramatic changes are taking place in the world due to increased global competition, the impact of information technology, the re-engineering of business processes and the shift from making a product to providing services.Career aspirations of engineering students too are changing in tune with these developments. There is a steady shift from labour intensive to knowledge intensive type of industries. Job opportunities for engineers in the service sector are increasing at a higher rate than in the manufacturing sector.

In order to be successful in their chosen career, students have to also mould their personal qualities and traits along with academic brilliance to meet the requirements of the present job market.

Employers these days want people who can communicate effectively, work in tandem with others, demonstrate positive attitudes and behaviour, are willing to shoulder responsibilities and accept challenges, have a creative and innovative mind, display leadership qualities and are equipped with and analytical, problem-solving, decision-making, negotiating and critical thinking skills.

Along with studies, students have to develop their soft skills and computer skills to grab opportunities in today's competitive environment.

Considering the employment and career advancement opportunities under different branches and your areas of interest, you have to prioritise/rank the order ofbranches well in advance.

A student having acreative and inventive mind with a good track record in physics and mathematics may prefer electronics and communication as the first choice. Candidates with imagination, good drawing skills and aesthetic sense and are average in studies may prefer civil or architecture as the first choice. For climbing the ladder in the corporate world you may have to plan for higher studies, say an MBA from a reputed B-school.

The quality of education and training in the engineering colleges depends on factors such as:

- Academic ambience on the campus.

- Infrastructure facilities and resources.

- Competence and motivation of the faculty.

- Leadership and responsiveness of the management

- Quality of student input.

- Placement services.

- Reputation and past performance.

Prospective students and parents may collect details of the Colleges from various sources - visit websites of the colleges, read brochures, track the past performances of students - and then shortlist the colleges based on the above criteria.

If possible make a visit to the short-listed campuses to have a first-hand look at the facilities and interact with students and faculty before ranking the colleges.

You may keep the list of colleges ranked according to your preference ready and also prepare a list ofyour branch-wise preferences.

For short-listing the colleges, list the top performing colleges in each district under category A and medium performers in B and the below par ones in category C.

Once you have the ranked the branches, you can easily make a choice. Do not be carried away by the decision of others. Be ready with various combinations of your choice and make a firm decision at the time of counselling based on the colleges/branches available to you.

Prof. M. Madhavan Principal, S.C.M.S. School of Engineering and Techonology, Karukutty

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