According to the first ever global report commissioned by the Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering; India stands to produce world’s largest number of engineers in coming years. The report justifies the popular belief that Engineering is still the national obsession, as far as career choices are concerned.
The report was made public on Monday, and it states that almost 80% of 16 - 17 year-olds from India are interested in taking up Engineering as their career. The number stood much lower at 20% for UK and 30% for USA.
Another interesting fact brought forward by the report is the narrowing gender gap to 14% in the engineering sector. Globally, around 66% of men are interested in pursuing engineering, while 43% of women have favoured it. Here again, India has surpassed all expectations, with 85% Indian men and 79% Indian women preferring engineering as a career choice. This revelation came up as quite a surprise, because in leading economies like UK and US; women have a far more equal access to education compared to those in emerging economies like India, however the aptitude to pursue engineering careers is less. Another startling fact thrown up by the report was that only 29% Indian considered engineering career to be masculine in nature, where as 30% termed as more conducive to females.
As per Infosys founder Narayana Murthy, these surprising facts can be attributed to the difference in educational culture of developed and emerging economies. In developed economies like US and UK, top Ivy League educational institutions focus upon liberal arts and therefore the most prestigious and well paid jobs are from these sectors. However as far as Indian economy is concerned, the software services industry hires about 300 thousand new engineers every year, which demonstrates high demand leading to more students opting for Engineering as a career choice.
As per the report, Engineering as adjudged as the top profession, which is vital for economic development of a country, followed by business leaders, lawyers, doctors and teachers.