According to the report on Global Manufacturing Competitiveness Index rankings by country conducted by Deloitte, it is projected that India will move up 6 places by 2020 and will be positioned at 5th place.
By this, it is evident that the growth of manufacturing sector in India is going to see new heights opening up new opportunities for mechanical engineers.
As the manufacturing industry becomes increasingly more advanced and sophisticated, India will need more innovative and talented mechanical engineers.
With the “Make in India” and “Skill India” initiatives, the government is investing a lot of time and money to groom young talents and bring in lot of innovation among the engineers.
So students pursuing mechanical engineering have a lot of scopes to build a successful career in these sectors.
How is the career outlook for mechanical engineering students?
Mechanical engineering offers a wide variety of career opportunities to job aspirants. Now the major industries that take in mechanical engineers include automobile, space research, aeronautical, energy and utilities, air conditioning, manufacturing industries etc.
Even mechanical engineers have lots of scope on government sectors that include giant manufacturing industries, turbine manufacturing industries, oil & gas refineries, agro industries.
With the advent of latest technological innovations, new opportunities came into existence for mechanical engineers like nanotechnology, development of composite materials, biomedical applications, environmental conservation etc.
But getting acquainted with these industries will not be easy as they demand engineers who are hands-on with the latest technologies.
What is the current market scenario?
The job market for mechanical engineers is perennial. Although some of the mechanical engineering industries went out of focus due to the recent advancements in the technology, the overall situation is now much better compared to other engineering streams.
However, according to payscale.com the average annual salary of these professional includes Rs. 337,899 per year. Mechanical engineers with skills in Machining, Latest printing technologies, CFD, Automobile engineering concepts add more value to their average pay scale.
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The aim of students pursuing mechanical engineering is to get a highly paid job, so improving skill sets on latest technologies will definitely impact their pay scale a lot.
How are the future job prospects for mechanical engineers?
Skill sets of mechanical engineers and their job roles are going to be the biggest driving force behind product development, innovation, patents and quality of manufacturing in India.
Make in India initiative will bring some of the visionary projects of India that will take the industry to next level and also many industrial hubs are developing that will open up lot of opportunities to mechanical engineers.
There is also an equal rise of opportunities outside India, as almost all the inventions that we are seeing involves the application on mechanical engineering in one way or the another.
The scopes for mechanical engineers are in the rise and it is evident from the following facts,
- Growth rate of Indian economy
- Government push for infrastructure development
- Start-up India Plan, that eases obtaining of bank loans, licenses & registrations
- Huge foreign direct investments
- Make in India scheme
- Lot of MNCs setting up their R&D centers in India
- More infrastructures are being built to encourage innovation
What are the various job profiles available?
Mechanical engineers are not only responsible for the design of mechanical systems but they also contribute to testing, maintenance, and manufacturing process making impact each and every stage.
In general, the job profile of mechanical engineers can be classified into the following segments,
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- Research and Development (R&D): This is an exciting role and the job responsibilities involve developing new products & design by doing market research and implementing them to find out the possibilities. This will be a very good choice if you are interested to learn new things and explore latest technologies.
- Design: This job role involves the drafting of technical drawings, design criterion either manually or with the aid of computers. This will be an ideal role for you if you are good with drawings and computer software.
- Production: This job role mainly involves the supervision of manufacturing process of components and machines. If you are interested in manufacturing process and want to get experienced with the techniques involved in production this will be a very good field for you.
- Analysis & Testing: The job role is to analyze & test the different types of machines and their parts to ensure that they don’t have any faults and function flawlessly. This will be a very good option for you if like to get experienced in the production process.
- Installation: This role involves the application knowledge of professional to install machines and mechanical parts at the industries and client location. This role mostly requires application knowledge. So, if you are the one who is good at application not in theory this will be the right field for you.
- Maintenance: The primary role involved in this job is to ensure that the machinery is working as per the specifications without any faults. Most of the core industries have a dedicated team who does the maintenance of their products, machines, and equipment. This role also requires more of practical and application knowledge.
Which are the industries that prefer mechanical engineers?
Here are some of the industries that take in lots of mechanical engineers into their process,
- Automobile Industry: Automobile industry is one of the fast growing industries that offer a variety of opportunities for mechanical engineers in Research & Development to Maintenance. All the top automobile industries have already begun to invest lots of money on developing self-driving autonomous cars, pod-based transportation, bullet trains etc.
So there is a lot of scope for mechanical engineers in this field. If you start early and develop the necessary skills needed to work in the automobile sector, you can develop an exciting career in automobile industry.
- Aerospace Industry: We have been hearing news about how intellectuals are trying to bring in more innovation in the aerospace industry from developing flying taxis to reusable satellites, that is the pace in which this industry is advancing.
Mechanical engineers will have a predominant role to play in this sector, as these mostly dependant on the design and manufacturing of heavy machinery and components. You need to get skilled on aerodynamics, aeromodelling principles etc. to pursue a career in this industry.
- Steel Plants: India was the world’s third-largest steel producer in 2016. The steel industries are having a phenomenal growth mainly due to the large availability of raw materials domestically. This market is growing by 10 per cent every year making it one of the largest contributors to India’s manufacturing output.
There is a lot of scope for mechanical engineers in this sector, and the job role offered varies from production to maintenance. Mechanical engineers who have good knowledge of metallurgy and material science can opt to work in this sector.
- Thermal Plants: Power industries are considered to be the greatest contributor to the economic development and industrialization in India. There is new power generating stations that are being installed all across the country to meet the energy demands.
This particular industry has a significant importance in the present scenario and will continue to play an important role in the power development for the years to come. Mechanical engineers who are good at thermodynamics, heat & energy transfer subjects can opt to work in this sector and will find it as a challenging career.
- Shipping Industry: Shipping industries play a crucial role in the Indian economy, as 90% of the nation’s trade by volume is done via sea. India has been the largest merchant shipping fleet among the developing nations.
Currently the shipping industry offers job opportunities for thousands of engineers in India, the maritime industry is constantly evolving and striving for increased innovation. It is evident that there will be more requirements for mechanical engineers in the coming years. Mechanical engineering students who are interested to take up installation and maintenance roles will find lots of opportunities in this sector.
- Mechatronics Related: Mechatronics is one of the trending technologies of today that offers wide variety of job opportunities for mechanical engineers. As it is a multi-disciplinary field that integrates the mechanical concepts and electronics, a lot of mechanical engineers would be needed to meet the industrial requirements.
All the major industries of today have already started implementing solutions that would result in automation and improving efficiency. Mechatronics is one such solution that the industries prefer to reduce the human interaction and improve efficiency. From film industries to the manufacturing plants, more mechanical engineers would be needed to work on the mechatronics field.
- Robotics Industry: Robotics is the current technological innovation in which many of the industries are investing lot of time and resources. Mechanical engineers also play a major role in this innovative technology as more mechanical skills are needed for implementation.
From automated assembly plants to carrying out logistics, robotics are assisting us in every step reducing the effort that we need to put. This particular reason makes the industries to want this technological implementation onto their operations. So for a mechanical engineer with a decent knowledge on electronics/ software has a lot of scope on getting acquaninted with this amazing technology.
Other sectors like refinery industries, petroleum engineering, mining, communication industries, construction and renewable energies also offer lots of job opportunities for mechanical engineers.
What are the skills that a mechanical engineering student needs to develop to improve job prospects?
Here are some tips for you to increase your job prospects,
- Computer proficiency is a must these days; try to get acquainted with some of the industrial grade softwares.
- Develop your communication and interpersonal skills
- Develop more practical skills and get hands-on experience on theoretical concepts
- Get exposed to current industrial methodologies as much as possible
- Stay updated with the latest technologies by developing projects on them
- Do additional certified training programs to build your profile
- Take additional responsibilities in your college to showcase your managerial skills
- Develop your leadership and team working abilities
How can you prepare yourself for these opportunities?
So the scope for mechanical engineers in the coming years is not going to come down, but what will be the most challenging criteria is the skill level of engineers that the industries expect. With more technological advancements, industries of now are demanding engineers who are more hands-on and can assist immediately in their process without needing to spend time & resource on training.
To improve your job prospects you need to gain more practical skills in addition to your curricullum. While it is normal that the colleges don't have the right infrastructure and platform to support you in learning advanced and trending technologies, you should be on the look out for other opportunities.
For this, the best way to get skilled is to do learning by doing projects. When you learn and build projects you will not only learn the technical concepts but also get acquainted with the technology and develop a better understanding on them. You can attend any hands-on workshops or do some project-based courses to kick-start your learning of advanced technologies.
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