Career prospects are as diverse as the field itself. Jobs fall in both spectrum of employment – Private and Public Sector – within India and abroad. These opportunities exist in both technical and management positions within organizations of varying size that deal with a large number of issues associated with both engineered and natural systems. Organizations that operate on a larger geographical scale frequently provide the opportunity for travel and have the expectation of occasional relocation as your career progresses. Some jobs afford the opportunity to work outside (e.g. construction‐related positions), some (e.g. design oriented), and some engineering specializations are centralized in large urban areas. A career in engineering education is another possibility for those who go on to earn a Ph.D. At the same time, one may decide to follow a non‐ traditional career path, or choose to pursue research and graduate studies either within or outside civil engineering. Given the variety and complexity of career choices, this should only serve as a starting point for discussions with practicing engineers, faculty members, and career professionals when considering your own career interests and the courses that will best serve those interests.
Moreover, because many civil engineering jobs involve a significant amount of interaction with other team members, clients, and the general public, good communication skills will always contribute to success. Later in your career, business skills can be very useful as you move into management (and possibly ownership) positions in engineering organizations.
- A mix of ‘attention to detail’ and ‘the big picture’ - As a civil engineer, despite your area of specialization, you need to be sensitive to local and environmental challenges as well as to the requirements of different construction project participants. You need to have attention to detail while simultaneously understanding “the bigger picture”.
- Versatility of work - In addition to the wide spectrum of challenges, the versatility of projects civil engineers can participate in ensures that you are unlikely to have a dull moment at work. You can work below the surface delivering tunnels, underground railways and energy and water supplies as well as above the surface creating roads, bridges, stadiums, hospitals, skyscrapers and many more.
- Work across the world - As a civil engineer, you are likely to be constantly on the move, sharing your time between the site, the office and perhaps even different geographical locations. It gives me a chance to get a truly global exposure while on the job.
- Civil engineers have a monument to show that they were there - While civil engineering can be somewhat stressful, the profession includes a huge sense of accomplishment to make it all worthwhile. Throughout history, civil engineers have participated in some of the most ambitious and incremental projects known to mankind. While you might have to start your civil engineering career with slightly smaller projects, the fact remains that by the end of the day you will have a monument to prove that “you’ve been there”. You know all the challenges and effort that went into transforming the blueprints into a fully functional structure.
- Creative problem solving - Creativity takes place in the civil engineering world on a daily basis as the profession revolves around versatile projects with unique challenges and requirements. Be it using materials in new ways, improving workflows to gain greater efficiency or adapting to growing demands from technological advancements, population growth or the environment, as a civil engineer you have great opportunities for problem-solving and creativity.
- Scale and Impact – This is probably the reason that reaffirms my love for civil engineering whenever I doubt myself. When I went to see the Tehri Dam in Uttarakhand for a college excursion, I was in complete and utter awe of what I saw. A 260 m Rockfill dam separating land and water – A lot of water! The surface area of the reservoir behind it was around 55 square kilometers. The dam itself is to generate about 1000 MW of electricity. That’s about one-sixth of the maximum ever consumption levels of Delhi from one single source. Being part of building something that has that kind of scale and impact is a pleasure unlike any other!
B.E. (Hons) Civil Engineering
BITS Pilani, Pilani Campus