5 Tips to Engineer Your Career



5 Tips to Engineer Your Career

Transcript of 5 Tips to Engineer Your Career

  • 5/7/15 5 Tips To Engineer Your Career

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    Last month, the idea about this articlecame to my mind just after watching themovie 3 Idiots. By now, I guess you haventbeen able to escape from being influencedeither. The moviea fairly serious takeessentially depicts how eager we are toembrace mindlessness and how keen weare to promote a culture where education ispurely examination-centric without real-lifeapplication. Its time that you get out of this aka iditovagueness of just following the herd andpassing the exam. Here is your why andhow to guide.


    There is a gap between engineering course content and the requirements of the engineering services industry, saysKrishna Kant, senior programme manager, academic alliance programmeSouth Asia & Russia, EMC, from his vasttalent nurturing experience. C.P. Ravikumar, director-university relation, Texas Instruments, adds, We perceive this gap during the process ofinterviews for regular as well as internship positions. While our education system imparts knowledge on varioustechnical/non-technical areas, it often falls short of meeting the expectations of the real world. The biggest gap is thepractical application and knowledge of industry practices related to the requirements of a particular role, says LokeshMehra, regional manager-corporate responsibility, Cisco South Asia. One reason for this gap is a fundamental lacuna in the engineering education framework. This is the only profession

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    One reason for this gap is a fundamental lacuna in the engineering education framework. This is the only professionwhere an individual goes from an academic programme directly into a job, with no prior on-the-job training. All theother fields of study require individuals to have a six-month to one-year long apprenticeship or internship before theystart doing the real job. Getting fresh graduates ramped up quickly to productivity is a key concern across the industry ecosystem as newgraduates sometimes take six months to a year to become productive. Ideally, we should overhaul engineeringeducation and make its duration five years by including a mandatory six-months to one-year long apprenticeship,opines Jaswinder Ahuja, corporate vice president and managing director, Cadence Design Systems. Vinay Shetty, country head-component business, ASUS (India), explains, When fresh graduates enter the workingenvironment, they have lots of theoretical knowledge which is redundant, rather than the necessary practicalknowledge. Neelam Kumar, executive director, Aplab, points out, Most of our institutions and universities lag behind the rest ofthe world in research output.




    It may not sound important, but most of the interviewers will start with active and passive components, buildingblocks of electronics systems and nonetheless faultfinding techniques. A strong foundation of the basics of electronicsis must, says Raminder Singh Soin, managing director, Quad. Strong fundamentals of electronics will help you to understand complex topics that you may get exposed to afterjoining the industry. An electronics engineer is expected to have an excellent knowledge of electronic devices and RF, analogue, digital andespecially CMOS design. This includes electrical fundamentals like signal integrity and power integrity. Specifically,expertise in VLSI, VHDL, FPGA and ASIC design, signal processing, control systems, industrial manufacturing systems,power transmission, simulation and verification techniques is required, says Neeraj Varma, country manager-sales,Xilinx, India, Australia and New Zealand. In terms of languages, one must be familiar with HDL (Verilog or VHDL), C and C++. Other skills that an electronicsengineer must seek to possess are domain knowledge of microprocessors, control systems, embedded systems, andcircuit and device testing.


    If youve just entered the college, your course curriculum may not provide all the learning you need. Make an effort togain some extra skill, be it technical or interpersonal. Each engineering institute or college should make use of the vast resource of experts and organi-sations readilyavailable in the country to do some technical training on specialised topics. This will enable the students for theworking world, suggests Shetty. Electronics has many branches today, such as VLSI, DSP, communications, power electronics and embedded systems.The industry may assume that the student has been exposed to at least one course in these branches. While theindustry may be willing to provide job-specific training, the student is expected to have the technical know-howrequired to absorb the training. For example, for training in VLSI, the student is expected to know about MOStransistor operation, CMOS circuits, logic gates and flip-flops, operational amplifiers, feedback amplifiers, poles andzeroes, says Ravikumar. Ravikumar also feels that system-level design using off-the-shelf ICs is a major gap-area today. In digital andanalogue design lab classes, students use simple ICs such as gates and op-amps. They may later do a lab onmicroprocessor/microcontroller/DSP/C programming. Here learning could be improved in two ways: 1. The lab exercises in these classes are often canned there are ready-made kits with standard set of experimentsthat the students carry out in a routine fashion. Also, due to large team sizes, all students may not get the requiredexposure to equipment. However, with falling costs of electronics, students may be able to set up their own little labin their hostel room. Availability of public-domain software and low-cost computing platforms has helped the studentssignificantly. 2. There is no class where the learning from the courses in digital, analogue, processor and programming are broughttogether. This may happen in a project for some students. According to Ahuja, India produces a large number of electronics and computer science graduate engineers everyyear. So while there is no dearth of manpower, the challenge is finding design-aware engineers who are trainedspecifically in VLSI design and can ramp up quickly. With the surge in high-tech design projects coming to India in areas such as telecom, automotive, aerospace andindustrial automation, the industry workforce has been exposed to very high levels of product design, development,testing and validation phases over the last decade or so. With more and more such projects becoming a norm inIndia, the industry requires talent with quality and specialised skill sets. The demand for electronics design engineershaving product, domain and software tools expertise is high, says Varma. Kant suggests, Actively look out for science, engineering and maths competitions that organisations/educationalinstitutes conduct. Such initiatives are excellent opportunities to demonstrate creativity, secure mentoringopportunities from industry experts and participate in exciting, competitive and recognised events. Try engagingconsistently with the institute/university faculty to understand sponsorship and scholarship opportunities offered bycompanies/ universities. He also feels that besides technical skills, students must possess excellent problem-solving and decision-makingabilities, English communication skills, and organisation and management skills for an all-round perspective.

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    Mehra, in addition to these skills, emphasises on ethical behaviour as majority of the MNCs empower their staff andwould like them to showcase good ethics while dealing internally or externally with vendors or customers.


    Even if it is not compulsory in your course curriculum to do an internship, do one anyway. In fact, try enrolling formore than one if possible. Taking up a project or internship to build something is essential, as there is plenty oflearning for the student to imbibe, whether the project succeeds or not. Colleges have included industry visits, seminars and projects for this purpose. Unfortunately, many students treatthese courses lightly. My advice would be to take the internship seriously, for the soft skills they impart will beinvaluable, advises Ravikumar. According to Ahuja, industry academia-government partnership will provide students with valuable practicalexperience while in college, by applying their theoretical knowledge to actual customer problems. The ecosystemneeds to work together to constantly update the curriculum of educational institutes for it to be in line with the latestindustry developments and encouraging internship programmes. This will impart hands-on technical, business and softskills to students in a professional environment and also give the company access to a potential workforce. Keep in mind that interning is about more than just showing up at an office and earning a recommendation letter,says Sanjay Mittal, managing director, Yogasa Systems. Grab every opportunity to chat with everyone from seniormembers to fresh recruits. Youll learn a lot about the industry, job and their expectations. It may help to join thesame company after completing your course. In fact, interning is just like auditioningyou try the company to checkwhether it suits you.


    A fresh electronics engineer needs to be conversant with global trends and pioneering research done worldwide. Toacquaint himself with the challenges that will face him in the future, the engineering student should re-examine andrealign his goals with the current scenario that prevails. He should also keep himself abreast of recent trends inbusiness and technology, if he is serious about making a transformational change, says Kumar. Shetty feels that there is no alternative to on-the-job research. Students need to have some insights by eitherworking or doing some research on how the industry segment of their choice actually operates. The electronics industry is very large today. There are multiple sub-disciplines. Even some software disciplinesrequire a sound knowledge of electronics along with a strong grip on programming, e.g., electronic designautomation. I would advise the engineering aspirants to become strong in fundamentals and take elective courses thatgive them the exposure to recent advances, says Ravi Kumar. According to him, Becoming a member of a professional society and taking active part in seminars and workshopswill also help in understanding where the electronics industry is headed. Kant adds, Subscribe to important and insightful trade media journals and newsletters to keep track of trends andlatest developments in electronics engineering. Keeping abreast of the industry and economy may even help you to find an extremely satisfying career outside themainstream.


    Last, but the most important of all, dont follow the herd. Since majority of the technical skills are quite well-foundedwithin students, they need to match real-life practical applications, especially from a problem-solving perspective.Students should have the ability to assess the situation, identify key issues that need to be addressed, break downcomplex problems into simpler manageable problems and resolve the problem to develop workable solutions.Companies are looking for people who can fix problems with minimal direction. They dont want to have to tell peopleto react when fires are burning, says Mehra. So once youve understood your aptitude and carefully evaluated the jobmarket, you can make your leap. Further, Mehra advises that in their third or fourth year of engineering, the students should begin to think of whatindustry they wish to join and start digging into the relevant literature. If you are fortunate enough, you may get to doan internship in the industry of your choice. In fact, there has been a spurt in various application fields of electronics engineeringdefence, infrastructure(railways, aerospace, metro and telecom), biomedical, consumer appliances, industrial power, instrumentationengineering, automotive, etc. So once you figure out what is of your interest, work towards developing skills requiredfor that vertical. Finally, your future is in your hands. So dont hesitate to spend enough time exploring all the possible ways beforefinal settlement.


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    48 14 7 Post Comment|23Comments

    AkashBadhe1194 days ago

    Thisisanexcellentarticle.IthinkthiswillhelpmetothinkonwhatIwilltodoaftercompletingmyengineering.Reply3 Replies

    pratyusha1181 days ago


    pratyusha1181 days ago


    Yurany809 days ago


    Yugandhar1104 days ago

    Thesetipsareusefulltoeveryengineer.thismakesthemtothink......Reply1 Reply

    Zeus1062 days ago


    KavyaSudheshna1064 days ago


    Reply2 Replies

    Pooja981 days ago

    Kavyaihavethesamequstiondidugettheanswertoit???ifyes.....dohelpmeoutaswellReply1 Reply

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