What influences our career choices?
The perception of sectors…
Or do the same, old-world career considerations such as money, employment longevity, creativity, fulfilment, and growth… holds true even now…
While one can have philosophical answers that people should make a career in what interests them, these interests in many ways are influenced by the social perceptions, current industry scenario and prospects.
Let’s zoom in on careers in Civil Engineering and Information Technology, and the way the two segments are commonly perceived. The IT sector is generally perceived as Brand India’s beacon of light. Aspiring IT professionals dream of smart clothes, high-tech computers, and keying in programming codes from the comfort of office cubicles, or post-Covid, the comfort of home.
Civil engineers, in comparison, are deemed as an unglamorous lot. They are people of the soil. Sweaty brows, stained shirts and parched throats are indicative of their hard life outdoors. Dust, downpour, and heat appear to be their constant companions. Working sites could be in cities or in remote areas, usually away from home and family.
One would wonder, who would select the latter? Who would leave all the relative comfortof an IT career to settle for like Civil engineering which is literally “brick and mortar”? Butask civil engineers what a rewardingday means to them. There’s never a dull moment in their lives as they transform blueprints into fully operational structures. Roads, bridges, tunnels, dams, water supply systems, buildings, sewage treatment plants and highways have the seal of their creative marvel. Aren’t they the hands behind the pubs where we enjoy our Friday evenings or the apartments, we call our homes?
The demand for young ambitious engineers is growing by the day in India. The India Brand Equity Foundation notes that ‘capacity creation in sectors such as infrastructure, power, mining, oil and gas, refinery, steel, automotive, and consumer durables is driving demand in the engineering sector’ – all very brick and mortar…and steel.
National Infrastructure Pipeline was launched with projected infrastructure investment of around Rs 111 lakh crore (US$ 1.5 Trillion) during 2020-2025 to provide world-class infrastructure across the country – this is huge in terms of investment into infrastructure creation.
Furthermore, according to a recent World Bank report, India will need to invest $840 billion over the next 15 years into urban infrastructure to meet the needs of its rapidly-growing inner-city population.
Meanwhile, high-end technology is making its presence felt in the industry. Drones are transforming the way we process data. 5D Building Information Modelling is showing the physical and construction aspects of projects. 3D printing is billed as the future of construction technology.
Amongst the many complex projects being executed by Tata Projects, are undertaking the engineering, procurement and construction of the much-awaited Noida International Airport, the nine-km stretch of Chennai Underground Metro Line hailed as India’s longest underground metro line, and the National Heritage Maritime Museum in Lothal, are often mentioned in the same sentence. These and numerous such projects are the results of our civil engineers’ relentless hard work, crafted to perfection.
The 371-room New Ginger Hotel by Tata Projects is a shining example of how welcoming the industry is,to diverse workforces. For the record, it’s being constructed by an all-women leadership team, an India first, and possibly a world first.
This underscores the vast potential of the sector, which is a fertile field for talent to match wits with project execution challenges. For the kind of opportunity India offers, afew bright minds won’t suffice – the sector needs to attract the best talent in good numbers.
The scale of Indian infrastructure opportunities calls for nothing less than prodigious activities by aspiring engineers. Civil engineers are no less than miracle makers; they remain the architects of modern India. Structure and buildings are integral aspects of the human development cycle. There is no end to their creation and renewal. And it’s in structures that their bright minds find expression. It’s in this journey of humanity that they find the greatest opportunities and expression and fulfilment.
The question is – are you ready for this journey?
Mr. Rahul Shah,
President – Urban Infrastructure,
Tata Projects Limited