The admission time is coming in days and almost majority of the students are thinking to join the computer science or IT sector to start their dream journey of golden career. It is evident that software engineers are paid thick salary packages and lucrative job offers. But this article will surely force the coming freshmen to change their views towards classical branch of engineering. I will probably discuss everything which any freshman should be aware of, before choosing the career. Here I would briefly explain what and why of Civil Engineering, career options and finally why to choose it over computer science or any other branch. Not as a faculty but in simple language.
What is Civil Engineering?
Everything that is permanent around you is about civil engineering e.g. from walls to windows, plumbing/sanitary fittings to stairs, big bridges, and railway tracks to massive dams with holding million gallons of water. You might have seen collapsing bridges and buildings in action movies but those are just for fantasy world in actual, a civil engineer is responsible for the safety of every structures that shape around.
What will you study during civil engineering graduation?
Year-I: General for all disciplines. It will develop your basics which are required for any engineering branch i.e. Engineering mechanics, Physics, C-programming, Advanced mathematics etc.
From second year onwards you will study about the civil engineering. The detailed syllabus is given on our university website ie Btech in Civil Engineering . It is so designed that each subject from the previous semester will help to understand the subjects in ongoing semester or upcoming semester. All the subjects of civil engineering are interconnected at some level. So, it is very important to study everything with interest and at full depth from initial stage itself. I will tell you why, in upcoming career related question.
Year-II: In the second year broadly following subjects are covered,
- Fluid Mechanics: To learn the behaviour of fluid, so that you can design canals and dams.
- Building Design and Drawing: To learn the development and reading about building plans (manually and with software).
- Structural Analysis: To learn analysis of buildings before their construction to ensure their safety after construction.
- Surveying: To learn mapping of ground details for future project.
- Strength of Materials: To learn the behaviour of building materials so that you can build safe structures.
Year-III: In the prefinal year broadly following subjects are covered,
- Geotechnical Engineering: To learn soil (mitti) behaviour so that our building stand firm and strong.
- Environmental Engineering: To learn fresh (drinking water) and wastewater (bathroom and sink waste) properties and their treatment. That is how treated water comes daily to your house!
- Transportation Engineering: To learn the design of highways, airport runways and what not!
- Design of Steel Structures: To learn the design of industrial buildings and shades, steel bridges, joints like bolts and welding, water tanks etc.
- Software Applications in Civil Engineering: To enable you for current market demands, knowledge of different software is very essential. In this subject you will learn how to design various structures and other subject related elements through software.
“During the summer break you will be sent for an internship which will help you for getting job during campus recruitment.”
Year-IV: In the final year broadly following subjects are covered,
- Estimation and Valuation: Have you ever wondered that how much bricks are needed to build a room? What is the value of my house? Your questions will be answered here.
- Reinforced Concrete Design: Concrete buildings around you (basically where we use cement) are needed to be designed first. With all analysis and calculation, with the help of software we can design buildings and that is what you will learn in this subject.
- Construction Management: Big construction projects involve great knowledge of management skill and that is why this subject is becoming popular. This subject will teach you how to manage construction activities and equipment so that you can balance the funds and timelines.
- Project work: you will be developing a project based on the knowledge that would be gained in these years. I would say you have to show the application of the gained knowledge. It carries so much importance as it would help you during your recruitment process.
So that is the broad view of Civil Engineering branch at UG level.
What are the career options?
After completion of B.Tech you will have following options.
- Private Job: In general, you will get a site engineer job and with experience you will be promoted to project manager in future.
- Government Job: You can start preparing during your B.Tech time so that you can appear in various central and state government examination.
- Higher Studies: (i) India: You must appear for GATE examination and through valid GATE score you can enter the institutes of your choice for pursuing M.Tech in Civil Engineering. You can choose specialize as per your interest after B.Tech e.g. Structural engineering, Environmental engineering, Transportation engineering etc. You can even go for MBA after CAT examination which will be also a very good option after B.Tech
(ii) Other Countries: It depends on the country that through which examination it will allow you to pursue higher studies, e.g. for USA you must appear for GRE and language examination. Scholarship depends on your score in GRE. Business: You can start your own construction business or opt for government tenders after gaining few years of knowledge regarding the same.
Civil Engineering (CE) vs Computer Science (CS)
The reason why students are more attracted towards CS branch rather than CE, because of initial package offering and attractive perks but generally few important realities are not discussed. May be initial package can be lesser but with experience in Civil Engineering branch all I can say is “sky is the limit”.
As software sector is dynamic in technologies and different programming languages, it is very important to keep on learning new languages. E.g. If today Python language is in demand some fresh student can learn it and join the company whereas a 10 years experienced software engineer also need to learn it. But in CE field only a 10 years experienced engineer can be replaced by the same or higher experienced engineer.
As the number of students in the IT sector hit the saturation, not all software engineers get attractive packages. On the other hand, I have already mentioned the number of career options available after civil engineering especially for business and government jobs unlike CS discipline.
On the final note all I want to convey is there are equal opportunities in all branches, it is up to you that how you will shape your career.