This post is written by an engineer, so you can trust it.
When I was in school I used to watch Nat Geo and there was a show called ‘Mega Factories’. This show would show factories of Rolls Royce, Lamborghini etc. I loved cars, seeing my love towards cars my dad said that I should take up Automobile Engineering as a degree. Well, the jobs in India was less in the automobile field so I chose Mechanical Engineering.
What Nat Geo shows is top companies and also Nat Geo doesn’t show the tough syllabus that one should study, in order to get into such companies. I skipped calculus in my 12th grade and yet I cleared the exam with decent marks. When it came to Engineering Mathematics I struggled hell lot as my basics wasn’t strong. Imagine a person who doesn’t know alphabets and you are asking him to write a poem in archaic English. Well this is the case of most engineers and people who are good in other engineering subjects too find mathematics tough (if they skipped calculus in 11th and 12th grade). One of my seniors who had 70% aggregate completed the course in 5 years as he got an year back due to flunking in mathematics. So if you are someone in pre university and want to choose engineering, then please make sure you learn the fundamentals of calculus and other essential data necessary in engineering. Engineering college websites show syllabus of the course, so you can check them out in prior and build up on the basic stuff that can come in handy once you choose engineering.
The continuation of the above paragraph is, you can also check the faculty profile on the college website before short listing colleges. Some of the teachers can be newbies. On the other hand some teachers may have industry experience and they give you more info than textbook. One of my teachers had served in Indian Navy and he used to teach thermodynamics. Thermodynamics was a tough subject but the teacher taught the subject using real examples and that came in handy. Newbies usually don’t do that.
Now comes the salary. Before choosing engineering you should know that all branches of engineering don’t pay the same salary. The salary changes from branch to branch, college superiority etc. I know a person who got into a German automobile brand and his entry level salary was ₹8 lakh per annum. On the other hand software engineers who made it to the big names in the industry got a package that was much higher than that. Well, this only happens to those who are knowledgeable. The salary I was offered was ₹11500 per month as a fresher in a South Korean automobile brand. I declined that offer but yeah if you don’t want to fall under that category then read the post till the end.
The things I say now may come in handy once you take up engineering. The first thing is to learn aptitude. In schools we are not taught how to solve a 6min solution in 60 seconds. For example there is an aptitude section called ‘Boats and Streams’, and the conventional way of solving it is using simultaneous linear equations. But CAT and CSAT teachers teach short cut methods to solve the aforementioned section. The same applies to other aptitude sections. Most engineers who ace engineering mathematics too struggle with basic school stuff during interviews and they end up getting filtered. So if you are thinking of choosing engineering, you should concentrate on the aptitude section too because that’ll come in handy later. One website to learn aptitude is indiabix.com
Moving on, if you are planning to choose engineering and are on a process of short listing colleges, you should check on alumni from the colleges. The director of my college once said that students play a vital role than infrastructure of the college. If the outgoing batch performs well during the interviews then the following batch can expect a similar pay packet. If the alumni ruin it, the following batch may face some consequences. People on Quora with anonymous tag are the ones who speak truth about the colleges and other related stuff.
Most engineers expect free periods and teachers who are chill. But they’ll realise the mistakes associated with that only after they graduate. When you attend interviews, you are bombarded with questions. So if you beg for free period or if you bunk class, then that can doom you as you’ve wasted precious time that could be used to extract knowledge from the teachers which could later be shot at the interviewer.
The next thing is aggregate marks. In India neighbours and relatives ask only board exam marks of 10th and 12th. Also some students study hard only during the aforementioned stages, which means they don’t take their engineering marks seriously. The job givers aren’t on the same page. If you have bad marks you may not be eligible to even apply for the job. If you don’t believe me then download the job offer pdfs from the internet from companies like ISRO, BEML etc.
Well those were some of the things you should know before choosing engineering. If you found this post helpful then kindly share it.