HAPPY ENGINEERS DAY !!!
an engineer is a person who passes as an exacting expert on the basis of being able to turn out with prolific fortitude infinite strings of incomprehensible formulae calculated with micro-metric precision from the vague assumptions which are based on debatable figures taken from inconclusive experiments carried out with instruments of problematic accuracy by persons of doubtful reliability and questionable mentality for the avowed purpose of annoying and confounding a hopeless chimerical group of fanatics referred to all too frequently, as engineers………
An engineer is an enabler of change. He is equipped with the ability to take society’s grand vision or magnificent concept and literally make it work.
In a world of increasing unpredictability, the role of the engineer assumes a critical level of significance.
The days of the ivory-tower, academia-bound engineer are over. The engineers of today and the future must acquire more than a nodding acquaintance with the concept of sustainability in all its aspects – social, environmental and economic.
Challenged by asymmetrical growth, escalating expectations and the consciousness of dwindling resources, it is up to engineers to ensure that the process of change proceeds unhindered, is accelerated and that its benefits reach larger and larger numbers.
India has a good reservoir of talented, acutely analytical engineers who have the bi-focal ability to see both the big picture and minute detail. The growing prominence of Indians is fuelled, in part, by their record of remarkable performance in the global arena.
The Indian story is still work in progress. There is a lot to be done here – and done speedily. Would it be too much to ask engineers to accord higher priority to the mother country where they have good opportunities in building an economically strong and powerful India?
Intrepid, enterprising engineers who choose India as their karmabhoomi can have the pride and joy of witnessing the positive changes that their work has brought about. Very few countries in the world can offer such a wide canvas of opportunity today.
To witness the impact of change unfold before your eyes and to see the Indian colours on spectacular, technology accomplishments can be one of the most profoundly exhilarating moments of an engineer’s career.
The engineering industry has witnessed accelerated growth in the last five years, thus changing the competencies required to excel:
highlighting a list of skill-sets that take centre-stage today:
It is a known fact that along with the dream of becoming an engineer comes a list of competencies that are required. And of course, this dream was simpler to accomplish five years ago. So what were the competencies required back then? “Five years ago, one required only basic competencies like technical skills, analytical capabilities and domain knowledge. It was a simpler and less competitive time where basic technical knowledge along with hard work would suffice for one to excel as an engineer.”
Five years ago, the basic competency required was the ability to follow an order. “Back then, international service providers would hire Indians and they would be required to manage the backend technical areas of the business. There was not much ownership involved and skills surrounding the people front were not required.”
But in the last five years, the Indian engineering industry has witnessed tremendous growth. The basic competencies like a first-class academic record and technical skills now need to be supported by other competencies like domain knowledge, excellent communication skills, general awareness, an emotional quotient rather than just a high IQ and interpersonal and problem-solving skills.
“Of course, strong technical knowledge is the basic element. But today, one is expected to broaden his/her perspective towards customer needs and have an understanding of the consumer market. Initially, the technical expert managed back-end functions and the front men were in-charge of understanding the customer’s needs. But this has changed; it is necessary that one is equipped with a fair understanding towards customer orientation to excel in today’s world.”
Also, since globalization has hit the Indian market hard in the past five years, there is a dire need for today’s engineers to be equipped with top-notch technical and business understanding. “It is important that aspiring engineers have an understanding of the global market. The products manufactured in a particular country are now usually sold all over the world. To develop these transactions into successful ones, it is important that the employees have a sense of global orientation. Having a thorough understanding of not only the product they are attempting at selling, but also consumer needs and market are essential.”
Another aspect to consider is the mindset they need to develop. “It is important for them to be visionaries to a certain extent since that is what will help them create good technology keeping in mind the fast pace at which we are approaching an accelerated futuristic era. It is important for the engineer to not only know how to write a code or programme, but also think and plan strategically, know of ways to manage once they have executed the idea and be capable of applying a pluralistic thinking method to encourage sales by understanding the consumer’s exact needs.”
It is now an established fact that you cannot just be good with the core technical skills to be a successful engineer. There are various requirements like having more than just a basic knowledge of corresponding subjects. “It is necessary that an engineer be capable of striking the right balance between technical core knowledge and soft-skills like communication, subject and business matter expertise. Today, what a recruiter looks for in addition to the engineering qualification, is a well-rounded individual with management and business skills.”
“Engineers need to have not only an in-depth knowledge of their chosen sector, but also the sectors that correspond with it. For instance, if one wants to work in the mechanical engineering sector, he/she needs to have an understanding of the automotive sector as well.”
Thus, as we step into the time of cut-throat competition and accelerated growth, engineers of tomorrow harbour the need to be equipped with not only technical skills, but also people management qualities and a fair amount of knowledge of the subordinate sectors.
narang n. kishor