Mechanical engineering is one amongst the important branches of engineering and is considered to be among the three main streams of engineering with Civil Engineering and Electrical Engineering being the other two. It deals with the application of the principles of physics and material science for analysis, design, manufacturing, and maintenance of mechanical systems or simply machines. The roots of this field lie in core physical concepts like mechanics, kinematics, thermodynamics, materials science, structural analysis, and electricity which are applied for design and maintenance of different types of motor vehicles, state-of-the-art manufacturing units and a wide variety of industrial machinery.
Coming to the career aspects in this field, it is regarded as an evergreen field of opportunities. Mechanical engineers are hired to manufacture, design, test, operate install and maintain a varied range of machines which are utilized for a myriad of industries. The three main specializations of this field are Thermal Engineering, Engineering Design and Manufacturing Engineering. The interesting aspect of this arena is that, as it is a core field of engineering, one can even go for further education or research in several advanced branches of engineering like Robotics, Mechatronics, Avionics, Automation, etc. Large industries that hire them include space research, automobiles, energy and utilities, aeronautical, bio-mechanical industry and air conditioning. Other major industries are turbine manufacturing plants, air conditioning and refrigeration industry, oil and natural gas exploration and refining industries, giant manufacturing plants and agricultural sector. These engineers, soon after graduating, can start off as trainee engineers and over the years go on to hold high managerial positions after getting certain experience or with an additional management degree. Also, one can find ample employment opportunities in the government industries and research and development (R&D) centers.
However, as this field covers a lot of Applied Sciences and Mathematics, one has to have good aptitude, logical reasoning and a penchant for machines. Just like for any other branch of engineering, computer literature, strong inter-personal and communication skills are a must to shine as a mechanical engineer. As this is a research-driven field, one has to regularly update oneself with the latest technological advancements. Several cons of this field are working conditions can be adverse at times requiring to work for long hours near the machines in industrial areas. So, it is physically demanding and so one has to keep the future prospects in mind while choosing Mechanical Engineering as a career in manufacturing industry. Also, recently, several machine design and simulation software like CAD are introduced into the market which created further more employment for mechanical engineers. This arena offers excellent alternative to someone who does not wish to join the manufacturing industry.
The current market statistics show that over the past few years the students opted more for the advanced branches of engineering like Computer Science, Information Technology, Electronics, etc. This created a scarcity in the core engineering branches like Mechanical and due to this reason, the demand for skilled personnel in this field increased and so their remunerations also tended to increase. Another important aspect is, as this field demands lot of practical knowledge, so one has to be selective about the educational institution in which he wants to pursue the graduation. An internship in the final semester will help to get good job prospects with renowned companies. Lastly, one can pursue masters in Mechanical Engineering and also obtain a Doctor of Philosophy degree to become a Research Scientist or pursue career in academics as a Professor. Overall, Mechanical Engineering is a very good choice considering the current as well as the future job trends.
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