Why career-switching tendency among engineers is increasing?
Engineering is a broad field that encompasses a wide range of disciplines and skills. Engineers are known for their ability to design and build complex systems, solve problems, and innovate new solutions.
However, a popular saying that is getting increasingly relevant nowadays is that “Engineers do everything except engineering”. Despite the expectations that come with being an engineer, it is becoming increasingly common for engineers to choose professions that are not strictly related to engineering.
One of the main reasons why engineering graduates may choose different fields is personal interests. While many people are drawn to engineering due to their passion for science, technology, and problem-solving, not all engineers find their work fulfilling. Some may realise that their interests lie elsewhere, such as business, writing, photography, law, medicine, etc., and pursue these fields instead.
The second most important factor behind this is the changing nature of the job market. A relevant field today may not be the same after five years. The fast-paced world makes people rethink the career choices they might have had previously.
Mr Lutful Kaiser, a mechanical engineering graduate from RUET, found his comfort job in writing and translating books. He says, “It took me long to graduate from my university. By the time I did that, there was Covid. It was difficult for me to look for other jobs so I pursued my career in writing, something I always found an interest in. Eventually, it became my main source of income.”
The rise of technology also leads engineers to choose different career paths. As more and more industries adopt technology, many jobs that once required certain engineering expertise can now be done only with the help of tech.
Miss Moumita Khan, an electrical engineering graduate from IUT, is building her career in the corporate world. As a start-up product manager, she shared with this writer, “I believe techno-commercial leaders will take over the world in the future. I get to solve and be responsible for real-life problems in the role I am currently working in. At the same time, me being in the corporate sector is about developing myself as a techno-commercial resource.”
Another reason why engineering graduates may choose different professions is career opportunities. Some graduates may find that there are limited opportunities in their field of specialisation.
The writer talked to Mr Redwan Solim, a textile engineering graduate from Ahsanullah University of Science and Technology (AUST), who chose photography over engineering because it simply gives him peace.
“Photography creates a bridge between me and nature. It gives me a reason to notice the small changes in nature which I may have avoided if I chose any other profession,” Redwan remarked.
Although passion is crucial in choosing a career, financial considerations can also play a role in why engineering graduates choose different professions. While engineering is a well-paid field mostly, some graduates may find that other professions offer higher salaries or better work-life balance.
In South Asian countries like Bangladesh and India, many engineers opt for govt jobs every year. Statistics from the recent Bangladesh Civil Service (BCS) recruitment say that 346 engineers have been chosen among the 1980 recommended officers in the admin, foreign and police cadres.
A 2021 report by the Indian daily 'Indian Express' showed that the final results of the civil service 2020 examination declared six out of ten top rankers were from engineering backgrounds. When asked, these people reasoned that govt jobs ensure them higher job security and many other advantages which any other job could not.
There are several reasons why engineering graduates may choose different paths than their degree suggests. These reasons can include personal interests, career opportunities, financial considerations, changes in the job market, and job security.
While engineering is a highly respected and sought-after field, graduates need to follow their passions and choose a career path that aligns with their interests and goals.