Atif Khan, Lecturer Department of Chemical and Polymer Engineering
University of Engineering and Technology Lahore (Faisalabad Campus)
The technical education is very much important for the socio-economic development of the country. Technocrats are considered as backbones for running the administration of country or any organization within the country. Pakistan is going to emerge as one of the biggest economic hub after the completion of China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project. More industries will be established in Pakistan after the completion of CPEC and for industrial operation more technical man power is required. CPEC project can reduce the unemployment gap especially in engineering sector. This project ultimately increases the overall economy of Pakistan. Therefore, it is compulsory that engineering institutions in Pakistan produce best and quality engineers. For producing competent engineers in institutions, the faculty of the institutions should also be competent enough. For this purpose, Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) has initiated the higher education in Pakistan by sending the graduate students abroad on merit basis for master’s and doctorate program and sponsoring them for their fee and living expenses. This incentive set a great trend of going for higher education especially in U.S.A and different European countries. This trend is increasing chronologically especially in engineering graduates. Currently due to high unemployment rates most engineers are now preferring to get scholarships in different foreign universities for MS and PhD programs. But the point is, what is the scope of MS and PhD in Pakistan in current scenario and if someone want to start his/her career after engineering graduation in industry, is higher education is suitable for them. For a faculty of engineering institutions what is the importance of higher education and what is the right time for starting the higher education for graduate engineers.
As we all know that major purpose of engineering education is to produce quality manpower for running industries in a more efficient way. Therefore, major objective of every graduate engineer is to start his/her career in industry or any designing firm. Where he/she should apply the outcome of the knowledge which he/she got during four years’ graduate program. Main objective in any industry is to run the system by applying management skills in a more efficient way with minimum losses. After gaining the practical experience and polishing the management skills he/she can decide better, either to continue in industry or switch the field. Engineering education leads to number of options in different fields. For example, setting own business which may be relevant to the job experience, provide consultancy services to different organizations, free lancing or join the teaching field. If teaching is considered as a career, then the criteria of getting higher education is very important from promotion point of view. Teaching field requires complete update of the knowledge which includes future research areas, upgradation of industrial technology etc. For this purpose, higher education is very important and holds a key role in brainstorming activity from research point of view. Higher education programs are totally based on research and development and generation of new technologies with enhanced efficiency and performance. Industrial career is mainly focused on management skills technical knowledge confined to the industry while in teaching field, an instructor should be aware about management skills, communication skills and technological information of numerous industries.
Considering above discussion, it is quite evident that importance of higher education is more important in teaching field as compared to other fields. However, some industries prefer master’s degree holder candidates but these industries are very few. Major thing which is accountable for grooming in industrial career is the practical experience for managerial promotions. Similarly, a good instructor should give the industrial knowhow to the students, because it is the demand of the engineering degree. Every course has a scope and link in industry from designing or operational point of view. If instructor has some industrial experience prior to join teaching field, only then he/she can share industrial knowledge with the students otherwise without experience instructor will deliver only bookish and theoretical knowledge which is not effective enough to produce quality engineer. As already discussed that in-Pakistan scope of higher education is in teaching field, therefore higher education especially in engineering field is preferred only if someone want to start teaching as a career. For good instructor, industrial knowledge is also required therefore before starting higher education every graduate engineer must get minimum 2-3 years’ job experience relevant to the engineering field.