It is no secret that engineering is the most popular degree in India; you’ll find an engineer in every nook and corner you search for, but there are some important things budding engineers wished they knew when they started university.
The 4 Years of Engineering are a wonderful time in any engineer’s life, and marks a new beginning full of promise.
You’re encountering a wealth of knowledge, meeting several new people, and paving the way for your future. It’s easy to be overwhelmed by your new environment and lose focus. Between parties, events, and extracurricular activities, there are a lot of distractions from your studies.
Not just that, but life after graduation might not be what you expected. So here are 11 lesser known facts no one tells you about engineering.
1. Real college life is nothing like Reel Life
When you were younger, you must have seen in movies that college is all about bunking classes, going out, partying without any kind of problems.
Looking towards the real side of college, you will find a different world but not totally, where you will surely have more freedom than school but a lot more responsibilities too. You need to find the balance though!
2. IITs are not the only Good colleges
This is a very Common myth among engineering aspirants, although prestigious universities really look good on your resumé, it is not the most essential factor to consider. In engineering especially, prospective employers will be more interested in your own projects and achievements, rather than your institute or alumni record.
The location of your institute is also very crucial. There is no point, wasting time and energy commuting to reach a top notch institute, instead of one that is near you.
It is important to ensure that the college is capable enough to provide you with the opportunities in the field you want to make your career in and is located in an area with enough industrial exposure and startups to give you opportunities.
3. Engineers don’t Have Super Powers
The Average person doesn’t know the reality of ‘engineering.’ People think that engineers are “super-humans” who build rockets, robots, electric vehicles and other cool stuff.
The reason is that when an engineer says he works on a satellite project, people jump to the conclusion that he knows every detail of making a satellite. In reality, no engineer knows the entire details of projects. For example, it requires people from various fields such as electrical, mechanical, chemical and computer engineering to design an electric vehicle.
Since the common man has the “super-human” view in mind, he generally underestimates many of the “real”, simpler engineering works. For example, a washing machine will not attract much attention by the common man as much as an electric car does, because even a technician can fix a washing machine. The technician just knows by experience what to do, but an engineer knows why it has to be done.
4. Networking is as important as Studying
It pays to have several people that you can contact when you need them. Build relationships. It could be with anyone in your engineering college, no matter who they are.
That smile you could give to your college peon at the corridor could mean something later, perhaps a favour. Bigger things can happen if you just remain in touch with others. Your ability to network is useful in surviving engineering.
Networking can be a great way to get your work recognized and put yourself on the radar for future employers, too. Even if you’re not on the look-out for work for a while, it’s always a good idea to get your name out there. You never know who might vouch for you later when you’re looking to land your first big job.
5. No Question is silly
It is very common for freshers to learn on their own without asking doubts. However, it is very important to develop the practice of reaching out to others for help keeping in mind that we all have our limits. Communicating your ideas and sharing knowledge not only builds good connections but also helps you go further in life.
Second-guessing yourself is normal, and you might feel intimidated by some of your Teachers, but if you hold back on asking questions you’re only hurting your own chances of learning. And we should never forget that we are in college to learn.
6. No one will ask your CGPA after College
After graduation, companies recruiting you are not so interested in grades or academic performance, your personal projects and practical skills will mean more than your grades.
Maintaining a good CGPA does help, it is also important to not put yourself under too much pressure and burn yourself out. Focus more on developing practical knowledge early on.
There are few practical classes with respect to theory classes in engineering. Practical classes are necessary as they give better understanding of topics taught in theory classes. So never bunk the practical classes.
7. Engineering and MBA don’t go hand in hand
A degree in engineering followed by a degree in Management is a very popular combination among Indian students. Again, a ‘myth’ that engineering and management are related is at work here. Engineering is largely scientific and has nothing to do with management. A lucrative salary is what attracts people to go after MBA.
Furthermore, most institutes do not teach engineering in a relevant manner, leaving students without confidence to pursue higher education in engineering.
8. Be social and open-minded
The first year of Engineering is a milestone in a student’s life. It’s a big transition in your life. You start from living at home with your parents to living in hostel with a friend or a complete stranger.
There may be differences in your way of living and thinking. You should respect others ideas and be courteous toward them.
If you expect your life to be similar to movies about college life, then your hopes will be shattered after arriving in an engineering college because of the gender ratio. If you are a girl at engineering college then be prepared to feel a bit desolated. Expect a lot of proposals from day 1 itself. Take this on a lighter note and be open mind.
9. There is no Guarantee You’ll land a Job after Engineering
A lot of engineering institutes boast about placement records, that don’t mean you’ll be hired as soon as you’re handed your degree.
Many new graduates become disappointed after graduation when they fail to get a job immediately. While your chances of finding employment with a degree in engineering are good, there’s no such thing as a guaranteed job.
Don’t study engineering only for getting hired. Study engineering because you’re truly passionate about it.
10. Look Beyond Your Subjects
You want to be a mechanical engineer, so you should just focus on classes of machine design, right? Wrong. Give yourself a broader base and learn skills other than your desired field to explore your interests.
You’ll be surprised at what you can apply to your own job, and it will give you a better knowledge of other engineers and their processes. This will be invaluable when it comes to working with other engineers later in life.
Once you start working, you may find it’s very different to what you had imagined. You might find yourself at a desk handling documents and paperwork more than you expected, so you’ll need to prepare accordingly.
Make sure you’re skilled in Word and Excel, and other tools that you wouldn’t immediately associate with engineering.
11. Enjoy college life
Yes, you heard it right! College is the place where you will make a lot of memories, friends and alongside hustle for a bright career too. Don’t forget to go out on weekends with your friends after a hectic week.
You only live once, after all. We say this to remind you that you should take care of yourself as you learn how to survive engineering school.
Be wary about health. Eat right. Exercise. Get sleep. Find ways to reduce your stress. Perhaps even travel! There’s more to life than just your career. You are a human first before an engineer.
Summing It Up
These were the 11 Essential things every engineer must know before embarking on this exciting journey, mostly, Engineering is an interesting and peculiar profession. So it certainly helps knowing some lesser known facts that one tells you about engineering.
Which one of these takeaways did you find useful? Let us know in the comment section and don’t forget to share this article with your engineering buddies.