Now that you are all done with your 1st NET and taking your final examinations. Soon you will be free of these exams too and would be actively applying to different universities. While this time is usually devoted to re-revising and preparing for the entrance tests, selection of the right field of study and career line is, sadly, often suppressed. In this article, I shall be drawing comparison amongst different engineering disciplines (although I have a little knowledge of medicine and surgery but I prefer not to go there) and what sort of jobs you can expect after completing those degrees.
Let’s make a list of engineering degrees being offered in Pakistan first:
- IT/ Computer Hardware
Electrical: What was thought to be an “elite degree” (yes I am being racist) has actually suffered a lot of degradation, thanks to prevailing situation of electricity in our country. Every industry requires electricity to drive its machines. So, every company, depending on its size would require electrical engineers. Job description of these engineers typically encompasses regular check up of machines and reporting if a fault occurs. If the fault is of minor nature then they may be expected to rectify it. Tough job routines and on-site work coupled with relatively low starting salary make these jobs ideal for really dedicated and hard-working engineers who are willing to work their way to the top.
Telecom: Well not being racist here, but job description of telecom engineers differs from pure electrical engineers. In the words of my former professor: an electrical engineer looks after the requirements (power and energy ) of a signal while a telecom engineer ensures that it is recoverable when it reaches the destination. So, typical jobs for telecom engineers are operators where they are required to ensure smooth functioning and report the faulty equipment. Or the vendors where they are selling equipment or providing services to those operators. Again harsh outdoor working conditions and definitely the lowest pays and not to mention the dwindling market predictions. But hey, silver lining! Hopefully, by the end of your four year degree 3G will be rolled out and then you’ll have more job opportunities.
Software: The degree in demand! Highly in demand. Be it app development or traditional software development, you require a degree majoring in computer science. Also, quality assurance is an often overlooked and overshadowed job, which in my humble opinion holds much knowledge than development. So, if you are for a white collar desk job sitting in an air conditioned office, here is your chance. But a word of caution, this market which requires a lot of engineers right now might now be having same demand after 4 years. So, choose wisely!
IT/ Computer Hardware: This one is interesting. Although usually an indoor working setup it requires the incumbent to get his hands dirty with the machines all the time. But hey, nothing is free of cost. They pay you more than normal software job and you also enjoy the luxury of working in an office.
Mechanical: And again we are back on field! Where there is electricity, there are machines. So, does electrical and mechanical engineers. They both work hand in hand, providing an industry foot to stand on.
Chemical: The only thing I know certainly about this that these are located far far away! No kidding, chemical plants are mostly located outside the cities and you might be required to travel a lot. Action packed and fun filled, that is the job description. Usually, jobs are at pharmaceutical companies and chemical manufactures. Caution, these jobs might have slight health issues affiliated with them.
Petroleum: How does petroleum differs from chemical? Well, chemical is generic and petroleum is specific. Also, petroleum based companies are located at a long distance from urban areas all the times. So, basically an outdoor on site job with a good pay but without the benefit of having frequent trips to your hometown. However, the fact remains this is a field which is always in demand and pays you in gold – black gold.
Environmental: Aaah! The emerging trend of caring for Mother Nature and giving back to earth has led to rise of environmental engineering. The interesting fact is that such jobs can either be located on a sunny oil pant as well as temperature controlled multi-story skyscraper. Basic job description is to review the processes of a company and ensure the lay within the accepted ranges of environment safety, be it carbon emissions or safety of workers.
Here is a tabulated version of all I said earlier:
|Degrees||Typical Jobs||Starting Salary Range (Thousand PKR)|
|Software||QA, Dev, App||30-35|
|IT/ Computer Hardware||Networking||28-32|
|Petroleum||Petro chemicals, Oil fields||40-45|
So, what’s the conclusion? Well, there is no conclusion, to be honest. You can ponder over your decision a thousand times and yet you may feel that it was not the right move. So, whatever you decide upon, ensure that you do learn your lessons.
Good luck for those who are choosing a degree!
And DO share your experience in comments below! 🙂