How to be a good engineer even if you’re not in IIT.

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“IITs are Mecca for engineering aspirants.” This axiom has been imbibed on every engineering aspirant’s mind. Hence, every year almost 50%(13 lakh students) of the 12th standard population of India compete for 10000 seats every year- through an exam whose success rate is less than a percent. It is, in every sense, a survival of the smartest. In a country where engineers are a major chunk of the unemployed, where every third citizen is an engineer, one couldn’t emphasise more on the importance of being an exceptionally good one, and standing out among the rest. “What then, do the other students, who wish to be good engineers do?” The remaining unsuccessful 99% have to face this dilemma. This piece is for the ones looking for these answers.

It is true, that IITs are the Mecca for engineering students and that they produce world class engineers every year. But that is only because they provide the proper environment to develop an engineering mindset. It is because they inculcate the application based problem-solving mindset that the students graduating from IITs exhibit phenomenal skills. It’s all about the engineering mindset and how you develop it.    

DEVELOP THE ENGINEERING MINDSET.
Engineering is a mindset, an outlook, an attitude, a way of life. And people aren’t born with that mindset, they inculcate it. Engineers aren’t born, they are made. Yes, you heard it right. You can be an exceptional engineer even if you’re not in IIT. Now the question is _HOW?

WHAT? WHY? HOW?
You need to make it a habit to question everything. That’s the first step. Three qns: What? Why? How? What is actually happening? Why is it happening? Can I use

the underlying principles dictating the process to simplify some other real life process? How can I achieve that?

BE A PROBLEM SOLVER.

Engineers are problem-solvers. It’s all about a quick pace of processing information and being able to apply it to real life problems.

FOR ENGINEERING STUDENTS

GET YOUR CONCEPTS CLEARED AND MAKE SURE YOU CAN APPLY THEM WELL.

In short, do well in academics. Only then will you be able to understand practicals well and apply what you learnt.
Sometimes understanding concepts well has no correlation with scoring good marks in exams. Hence, don’t get disheartened if you don’t score too well and don’t get overconfident if you score well in a test or two. The true test of your knowledge lies in how you apply what you learnt in real life.

CO-CURRICULAR PROJECTS

Search for renowned professors in the field of your interest and take up a project under their guidance. This will expand your knowledge and give you an edge over the others.

INDUSTRIAL EXPERIENCE

Take up a core internship to gain industrial experience. This will give you exposure to applying what you learnt in college in the industry.

PARTICIPATE IN TECH COMPETITIONS

Participate in tech-related competitions like RoboCon, Baja, etc to get the actual engineering experience of building something from scratch. Also, attend renowned tech-related Fests(eg. TechFest) to update your knowledge about the latest technological revolutions.

With the proper steps, mindset and experience one can definitely be a good engineer and contribute to the technological development.

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