Exploring the Shift: Engineering Students Opt for Computer Science and IT Careers for Financial Stability and Prospects

It seems to be the case, considering the career choices made by engineering students and their subsequent placements. This year, out of the top 100 IIT rankers, 89 opted for IIT Bombay, with the majority showing a preference for Computer Science (CS). Shedding light on this trend, a professor from IIT Delhi, who preferred to remain unnamed, explained, “The primary motivation behind this shift is the attractive combination of financial stability and job prospects.”

Money plays a significant role in this decision. The professor further elaborated, “When comparing the salary differentials between civil engineers, mechanical engineers, and computer engineers working in IT-related jobs, the gap is substantial. It is no wonder that CS and IT jobs appear highly lucrative to fresh graduates.”

To gain further insights into this matter, we conducted interviews with alumni from IITs who had transitioned from civil and mechanical engineering to the fields of CS and IT. These graduates provided valuable reasons behind their career shifts.

Sharib Tasneem, a civil engineering graduate from the esteemed Indian Institute of Technology, Guwahati, class of 2021, currently working in the IT sector, shared, “There are primarily two reasons why I chose to switch from civil engineering to IT jobs. Firstly, CS jobs offer significantly higher salary prospects compared to other branches like mechanical, electronic, and civil engineering. Secondly, there are very few companies that recruit civil engineers. During our placement season, only one company, Larsen & Toubro, visited the civil department of IIT Guwahati. Out of the total 80 students in the 2017-2021 batch, only 20-30 pursued careers in civil engineering.”

Tasneem continued, “There are numerous job opportunities in fields like data science and data analysis, which are not directly associated with computer science but fall under the realm of information technology. These roles don’t require extensive expertise but rather basic programming skills, which are taught in the first year, regardless of the engineering department one belongs to.”

Rishabh Mishra, an M. Tech student from the mechanical branch of the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi (IITD), class of 2019-21, currently employed at HCL Technologies, shared his perspective, stating, “With limited opportunities in core industries and non-core companies offering more lucrative salaries, I made the switch from mechanical engineering to computer science. The field of computer science offers better prospects for future research and technological advancements.”

As the landscape of engineering careers evolves, it is evident that the allure of Computer Science and IT jobs, with their promising financial stability and potential for growth, is capturing the attention of many students, prompting them to reconsider their chosen paths.

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