Engineer's Day: What do working engineers of today feel looking back at what they learnt in class?

Learning inside classrooms vs learning on the job, what has been more beneficial? And why? We ask the working engineers of today who were engineering students once upon a time 
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)
Picture for representational purpose only | (Pic: Express)

Sir Mokshagundam Vishveshwaraya is regarded as India's First Engineer and it is after this genius that Engineer's Day is celebrated in India. 

Industrialise or perish: This was the main motto of Sir Mokshagundam Vishveshwaraya who was born in a village called Mokshagundam in Andhra Pradesh and when on to pursue a Diploma in Civil Engineering, College of Engineering, Pune. He designed Hyderabad's flood protection system, was the architect of the Krishnarajasagara dam and so much more. 

The Bharat Ratna awardee was an Engineer of another league. 

And what about today's engineer? As per the World Economic Forum, one in five engineers is employable. Reports are fine, but what do engineers feel? Do they think what they learnt in the classroom has held them in good stead when it comes to the board rooms? Exactly which theoretical parts did they think were most practically oriented? Let's find out from them:

Learning in class is like laying a strong foundation on which an Engineering student can build new and advanced technology. Every job is different and learning on the job is essential and increases domain knowledge. Learning is well-paced and relaxed whereas the job hammers in the knowledge and makes you up-to-date and ready. 

Classroom studies are important and it does help in widening the knowledge base and bagging a job. Learning during the job is like diving deep into one specific aspect of engineering and mastering it. The classroom is all about fundamentals whereas job learning focuses on productivity.  

Priyabrata Rautray pursued a Joint PhD programme from IIT Hyderabad and Swinburne University. He is currently a PhD scholar at IIT Hyderabad


The learning that happened in the classroom built the foundation but very little of it helps in your job. For me, personally, around 20-30 per cent of the learning is from the classroom and the rest had to be learnt while working because business requirements and how a company functions is not something that a classroom teaches you.

Not everything that was taught in a classroom is helpful but definitely, some practical knowledge that was taught has helped.

About the current job situation for engineers, finding a job in the IT sector is fairly easier than in other core subjects. So that creates a lot of competition and makes you easily replaceable which also affects the job security that one expects from a job.

Yukta Niwas studied Computer Science at Kalinga Institute of Industrial Technology, Bhubaneswar. She currently works as an Associate Consultant at High Radius, a software company in Hyderabad


Learning inside the classroom and learning on the job are completely different. The classroom will not teach you what to do at work, but rather, it teaches how to grasp things, adopt things and face things. Classroom tells us about the evolution of society and technology by showing the present and past as examples. 

Job is the reality where you face people, humanity, cruelty and whatnot. How you mould in the classroom decides how you respond to them in the job. The main aim of education is not about earning, instead, it’s all about learning and growing as an individual.

G Ajay Kumar pursued BTech ECE from Avanthi Engineering College, Hyderabad. He is currently working as a Senior Software Developer at Excelra Knowledge Solutions


In this modern world, the skills required to survive are changing rapidly. Sadly, our education system isn't able to keep up. The education system is no longer teaching students the skills they need to survive in today's world. Theoretical concepts are given more importance than practical experiences due to which our independent learning capacity degrades. 

Most of the education imparted at my university was to ensure a campus placement. Theoretical concepts are given more importance than practical experiences due to which the independent learning capacity of a student degrades. Classroom education also fails at giving students good exposure that's where doing internships and working with start-ups helped me a lot.

Swaraj Phadtare pursued Bachelor's and Master's in Software Engineering, VIT. He currently works as a Protocol Engineer at Web3Auth


In my opinion, the syllabus and curriculum in most engineering classes today are unfortunately outdated and irrelevant to the jobs on the ground. While fundamentals of Engineering Data thought in engineering classes today are of utmost importance: It is not enough. 

There is little I have actually learned in the classroom and a lot that I have learnt doing DIY projects and student projects.

We require more practical training as part of the curriculum. Similar to how a few management colleges enforce mandatory internships in summer breaks. Field internships for engineers should be made mandatory.

Due to the lack of practical training in colleges, it is becoming tougher every day for companies like us to hire engineers fresh out of college. Companies are expected to spend huge amounts to train freshers which is not practical in long term. Hence, the overall job market is shrinking for core engineering courses.

Kausthub Kaundinya pursued Mechanical Engineering. He is the CEO of Jarsh Safety 


Classroom learning is pretty much nothing with respect to the engineering course of India mostly (except for a few amazing universities, I suppose). There are too many subjects and you can’t really learn those complex concepts in six months with seven other subjects.

Esha Talukdar pursued IT from Netaji Subhash Engineering College and is currently working on Deloitte as an Associate Advisory


You don't learn anything inside the classroom these days, to be honest. We either learn ourselves and give exams or during the job depending on the requirements.

Arinjoy Das who pursued his Bachelor of Technology in Chemical Engineering from Vellore Institute of Technology and is currently working in Accenture as a Security Delivery Analyst


I pursued my bachelor's degree from a private college and then pursued my master's from IIT Kharagpur. In my bachelor's, classroom learning was nill. 

In my master's, for obvious reasons, due to the IIT facilities, I learnt a lot with respect to problem-solving capabilities, understanding concepts and visualisation. 

Rudranil Chowdhury pursued his BTech in Electronics and Communication Engineering from IEM Kolkata and MTech in Telecommunications System Engineering from IIT Kharagpur. He is currently a Research Fellow at IIT Kharagpur

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