5 tips on How to make Engineering Education Exciting!

Lakshmi Priya Radhakrishnan July 17, 2017

Group of students.jpgA couple of decades ago, almost every Indian school student had just one of two dreams – become a doctor or an engineer.

If you were not good enough to get one of these coveted seats, you had to content yourself with some other 3 year degree. An engineering college used to be the ultimate temple for thousands of students with stars in their eyes.

Twenty years later, the tables have all but turned. Dozens of engineering colleges across the country are shutting down because their seats lie vacant. This is in spite of lowered cut off marks and enormous efforts at advertising by colleges.

Businessman being depressed by accounting in his office.jpegWhy has engineering as an attractive option faded so drastically?

The answer is not hard to find. Lack of jobs after engineering and inadequacy of skills to pursue a successful career are the reason why students think an engineering degree is just not enough to help them stand on their feet after education.

The industry and society however, sorely need engineering talent. How then, can we produce the kind of engineers that make industries competitive, and who contribute to building and growing strong societies? 

Here are some suggestions to make engineering an attractive educational option again:

Practice problem-solving

Close up of light bulb with gear mechanism inside isolated on dark blue background  .jpegAn engineer’s basic job description is to be a problem solver. The more problems you solve, the better you will get at it – you cannot mug theory to get great at problem-solving.

Mere knowledge of IC engines alone cannot help you repair a car stuck on the highway – he needs to explore the system himself, find the fault and repair it, in much the same way as an experienced car mechanic can. Real time problem solving practice is a MUST for engineering education. 

Learn for knowledge

Right from schools, our intention to learn is to get decent report cards. Unfortunately, a great grade card does not make a good engineer! Learning for the sheer joy of knowing something new, getting thorough with fundamentals, and exploring how that knowledge is used in the real world is what a good engineering education system fosters – and incidentally, gives the student good grades too.

Practice integrated thinking

Group discussion.jpgAn engineering problem cannot be solved by using one concept only. You cannot build a railway track with knowledge of just engineering materials, or build a car with just knowledge of kinematics.

What an engineer needs to learn is to integrate his knowledge of various engineering concepts, think of the problem as a system rather than an isolated event and then proceed to solve it.

Industry exposure

Internships and working on projects with core engineering companies is crucial for the student to gain exposure to working on real time engineering scenarios. Gaining industry experience before actual work experience has now become indispensable for an engineer’s career preparation.

Faculty development

Classroom.jpgA great teacher is also a great student.

Not only will he have excellent knowledge of subject matter, he keeps upgrading his skills and learning newer ways constantly to then pass on to his students. 

Faculty interaction, mentoring, engaging faculty to work or consult on projects and other similar opportunities bring industry exposure to faculty, which then make their classes both exciting and meaningful for their wards.

It goes without saying that the industry fraternity can contribute enormously to engineering education. All these suggestions here are well within our reach. This effort will pay off manifold for students, for engineering institutions and for industries – the world needs good engineers!

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Topics Career Oriented Engineering | CORE