Every year, countless students pass out from engineering colleges in India. The number of students graduating from engineering colleges is much more in India than in countries like China and USA. Yet, only about 30% of the engineering graduates get jobs while the rest either remain unemployed or take up jobs that are not related to their field. What is the reason for this unemployment or underemployment? What could be the industry expectations from an engineering graduate? What are the students lacking that prevent them from getting the right jobs? Is it that the engineering graduates do not cater to the need of this budding industry or is there some other fact to justify this unique tendency? Here we have listed out a few of the major expectations of the industry from engineering graduates.
What are the Company Expectations from Fresh Recruits?
1. Communication Skills:
An engineer must possess good communication skills if he expects to be hired into a good firm or organisation. All the complicated theories and laws are of no use if the candidate cannot communicate his thoughts in proper words. Good knowledge of English and the ability to communicate effectively thus play a vital role.
Engineers usually hold significant positions in the firm or organisation they join. They may have to communicate with foreign delegates and important clients. Good grasp on English language and the ability to speak in many different accents are preferred by employers. Engineers need to get trained to communicate well. There are several crash courses that ensure you get a grasp on the right accent. These courses may help engineers evolve into better candidates for global companies.
2. Knowledge Beyond the Textbooks:
Very often, the firms and organisations look for individuals who can go beyond the books and think brightly. You need to be logical and think intellectually. Restricting yourself to bookish knowledge does not make you a good engineer.
To be an ideal candidate for global firms, you should think like an inventor. Opt for projects that bring about a drastic change in the world. Try to innovate and invent in a manner that benefits the world as a whole. Think of the greatest challenges faced by the world, try to deal with problems like energy crisis and limited resources that the world is already tackling. See how your inventions and innovations can alter the situation and bring change.
The great companies are always seeking wonder brains who come up with such innovative ideas. You can be their ideal candidate if you prove to them your true worth.
3. Ability to Lead:
While there are many engineering graduates who score well in their papers, there are very few who are true leaders. Most of the engineers today just follow the path shown by great minds of the past. The fraternity of engineers still adheres to the obsolete techniques of the bygone era which are really of no use today. If you wish to be hired by one of the leading companies, you must possess the ability to lead.
Even during the interview process, you should be able to reveal your true leadership skills by your college or school event examples. Do not hesitate to tell the interviewers about the different academic or colony events where you lead a group to make the event successful. Leadership skills are sure to be counted as a plus point in engineering job interviews.
4. Positive Approach:
The job of an engineer is not easy. It is a path full of many challenges and you need to possess the courage to face these challenges. A positive approach is thus a must in the career of an engineering candidate. If you are in the core engineering field like Electrical, Chemical or Mechanical, you may have to work in a site and this can be risky. Most factories and industries often have accidents and people even lose their lives in these accidents. To work in such an environment, you need to possess courage and a strong responsibility sense. This is not everyone’s cup of tea. Only individuals who possess a truly strong positive approach can succeed in such kind of jobs and to survive in the engineering industry you need to possess this positive attitude.
5. Updated with Latest in Technology:
The greatest risk of being in the field of technology is that the technology existing now can become obsolete some day. You must be prepared to upgrade your skills to match the latest in technology. This rule is particularly applicable for IT engineers. The code or language used at present can get replaced with a better and user-friendly version and you need to upgrade yourself accordingly. Individuals who fail to stay updated become jobless.
An engineer is expected to be smart enough to widen his horizon of knowledge as per the latest trends.
In the engineering field you cannot afford to be lazy or lethargic as it may account to you losing the job and your only means of making a livelihood.
6. Willingness To Travel:
As engineers ascend the success ladder, the expectations from an engineer seem to increase too. An engineer who is at a senior position in his field may be expected to travel places and meet senior level individuals in different countries. They may be expected to share knowledge, ideologies and give presentations in the most effective manner. Most individuals are reticent and unwilling to travel to different countries and places. This is not acceptable from engineers who wish to succeed in their field. They should be always eager to travel places and grasp new opportunities. The firms and organisations are always seeking such smart engineers and you can succeed in your field only if you live upto these expectations.
7. Knowledge of Foreign Languages:
Knowledge of foreign languages is always an added plus in the engineering field. If you know languages like French, German, Spanish, Italian and Swedish languages, they can help you deal with senior level executives in international projects. If you wish to strengthen your profile as an engineer, it is a great idea to learn some foreign languages. There are several crash courses and quick courses that help you learn the basics of languages in a small span of time. You may enroll yourself in one such course to improve your scope as an engineer.
8. An MBA Degree:
An engineer with an MBA degree is in great demand because it is a rare combination. The firms look for engineers with MBA degree to take up managerial positions in technological companies and firms. An MBA degree helps to furnish your management skills and make you a true leader. This helps to improve your scope in multinational firms too. An MBA in marketing or sales are most popular among the young industrialists. Getting this degree can help you improve your career prospects to much greater extent.
9. Ability to Multitask:
While focus is an important aspect in the engineering career, there is something more important than focus in the engineering career. It is the ability to multitask. An engineer may have to shoulder several responsibilities at the same time. This may not be possible for individuals who focus their complete attention on one thing. That is when the ability to multitask becomes extremely crucial.
An engineer is expected to multitask in his organization. While he plays the leader to his teammates, he may simultaneously be expected to handle client queries. An ordinary engineer who lacks the ability to handle many tasks at a time may fail to cope with these industry expectations. If you have to survive in the engineering field, hone your multitasking abilities.
A versatile persona is what is most often expected of an engineering graduate. Monotony is the last thing expected of an engineer. You need to be versatile. You can be the strict boss, the helping colleague, the understanding employee and the courageous leader all at the same time. Your flexibility should conceal your true inner self. Your nature should never be predictable. This unpredictability is one key ingredient that helps you survive in the engineering industry.
The never say never attitude is expected from most engineers. The career has its ups and downs and people who are not willing to take up risks or who give up too easily are never fit to be engineers. Engineers are expected to be ambitious. It is the undying fire of desire that helps them achieve difficult career goals all too easily. You need to be determined and ambitious if you really wish to be a successful engineer.
The above listed common traits are lacking in most of those unemployed engineers. That is the reason for their failure. If you incorporate and inculcate these traits in your engineering psyche, no one can stop you from being successful. Remember that if you fail, you are the sole reason for your failure. It is probably because you never tried enough. So never give up because that is not something engineers are expected to do.