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Mechanical Engineering Industry Trends

Frost and Sullivan's latest study (2011) states that the automotive engineering services market in India is expected to touch $102 million by 2015 as against $74.4 million registered in 2009 with a CAGR of 7.9%.

Moreover, NASSCOM (2006), report suggests that global spending for engineering services and PLM was approximately $750 billion in 2006; however by 2020 this spending is expected to grow to more than $1 trillion. It is also estimated that by 2020 25% to 30 % of much larger $150 to $225 billion market for off-shored engineering services could belong to India (which is $50 billion in annual revenue).

Both these reports reinforce that Engineering services and PLM are not only a huge market in India but are also expected to grow manifolds.

This implies great career opportunities for Engineering students. Besides the growing indigenous MNCs such as TATA, and M&M, with the Global automotive companies such as VW, Audi, BMW, Benz having already made an entry in India and built an extensive Tier1 and Tier 2 supplier networks, the demand for mechanical engineers trained on the CAD/CAM/CAE and PLM software is experiencing a gigantic surge in not just OEMs but also with their empowered suppliers who hold a significant place, responsibilities and tasks in product development process.

This fast surging PLM Market would create endless lucrative opportunities for the aspiring engineers to capitalize on and make the most of this booming market. However, the studies also indicate that approximately, 2,50,000 mechanical engineering graduates pass out of Engineering colleges in India every year, out of which merely less than 25% are employable because they lack the necessary skill set to meet industry requirements. These studies highlight and reiterate the disparity and wide gap between what students are taught in our education system vis-a-vis the industry standards and expectations.

The pressure of competition and the need to match the ever rising industry expectations has necessitated students to take extra efforts to attain valuable knowledge which would not only give them a competitive edge but also provide a strong foundation to build a bright future upon.
So what are the critical success factors for the students?

  • It is essential for students to continuously update their knowledge about the latest industry trends, processes, and mechanisms. Obsolete knowledge outdates your career prospects. So keep your eyes and ears open and absorb anything and everything that is related to your field of career option through industrial or engineering magazines, seminars, internet, news, etc.
  • It is also crucial for the students to not just be updated with the latest happenings in their industry or area of interest, but it is equally necessary for them to upgrade, build and/or develop new skill sets that are in demand in the industry. e.g - acquire training on latest CAD/CAE software from a reputed and recognized institute.
  • Theoretical knowledge is very important but unless you don't understand how and where to apply that knowledge, it really is not that helpful. So students should take efforts to develop an understanding about industry specific applied knowledge which could a major distinguishing factor for them. They can do so through taking additional engineering workshops, internships with the companies or learn the CAD/CAE software at the institute that imparts training with the real components in hand and give you an exposure to or enrich you through the training on real industrial projects on latest version of licensed software. Empirical learning or a personal 'Hands-on' experience of working on real project with real components is unmatched and gives you a thorough theoretical and practical understanding of the topic at hand and thus gives you an edge over others.
  • Always remember that companies have space for both - Jack of all trades, and masters in specialized trades. But students who don't have some knowledge of everything, or students who don't have in-depth knowledge of a specialized skill/domain/area of work, find it very difficult to create and make a space for themselves in today's world. So just going to engineering colleges and not taking extra efforts outside the college to update knowledge or upgrade skill set is going to restrict your career growth - one track mind reverses or restrains progress. Multifaceted skills and knowledge give your career a better and bigger shine.

Saying this, it is also essential for parents and teachers to support children in their career and guide them and show them the right path whenever they feel lost, confused or are unable to make a decision. Life of students is much harder today than it used to be a decade ago. the rising competition, pressure of building a career in the cut throat industry, higher industry expectations, and fast paced and rapidly changing world of today has burdened their minds with additional stress.

More often than not, it is not just the students and freshers who need to update their knowledge and upgrade their skills sets, but this very much apply to the working professionals as well. In this fast changing world, the skills sets of working professionals soon become redundant. As the new technology or the new software is introduced in the industry, there is a greater demand for the people trained on or having knowledge about that software/technology. Then the people working on the older versions of the technology or software soon realize that their space has now been taken away and the only way to retain their position in the company and to keep the career graph on the upward trend they now have to develop new skills sets and be abreast with the latest knowledge. Your knowledge and skills sets need to be in-sync with and grow at the same pace as the industry you work in, or else you may be left behind while the world zooms past you.

Mr. Vikas Khanvelkar,
M.D. DesignTech Systems. Ltd
Published date : 12 Aug 2015 05:44PM

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