Express news service
CHENNAI: The construction and manufacturing sectors are growing rapidly in India, but there are only a few applicants for civil and mechanical engineering courses. Employment rose 29% in nine industries, including IT, manufacturing and construction, according to the first quarter report of the Quarterly Employment Survey (April to June 2021). However, the demand for civil and mechanical engineering courses is decreasing every year, academics say, adding that this is a worrying trend.
In 2016, out of 28,500 places in civil engineering in colleges in Tamil Nadu, only 10,088 were occupied; of the 42,406 mechanical engineering positions, only 21,137 have been filled. In 2017, out of 25,257 civil engineering positions, only 8,199 were filled, while in the mechanical sector, only 19,601 out of 38,353 positions were filled.
In 2020, colleges struggled to fill their places in civil engineering, only 3,974 students registered, while 16,944 places were available. In the mechanical field, 29,354 places were available, but only 8,179 students registered, said career consultant Jayaprakash Gandhi, who has closely followed engineering consulting in the state for more than a decade.
“This year, the scenario will not be better for these traditional engineering training courses as the craze for computer and IT training continues. IT companies are hiring en masse and their pay structure is significantly better than that of the major manufacturing companies, ”Gandhi said.
Experts cite various reasons for the decline in popularity of civil and mechanical engineering courses. While some say that low wages and the lack of adequate employment opportunities in these sectors are a deterrent, others say that the programs are outdated and therefore graduates lack the required skills. by industry.
“Civil and mechanical engineering graduates are not properly trained in college. There is no shortage of jobs in these sectors. But the reality is that instead of hiring mediocre engineering graduates, companies prefer to hire graduate engineers, who have more field knowledge, and take lower wages, ”said the former vice president. from Anna E Balagurusamy University.
“There is an urgent need to reorganize the curricula of civil and mechanical engineering courses in the state in order to make our students more employable and relevant to the industry. When these industries move rapidly towards automation, we also need to train our students in computer science and coding, ”Gandhi said.
Industry experts, meanwhile, believe students today prefer white-collar jobs that allow them to work in comfortable, air-conditioned offices. “In the construction industry, a civil engineer is supposed to be on the job site and has to work under the scorching sun to oversee operations, which many young people don’t want,” said L Shanthakumar, president of the Builders’ Association of India (south center).