The rapid and unexpected growth of this industry has created a sudden surge in the demand for automobile engineers, prompting a growing number of colleges to offer study programmes
Indias automobile (non-commercial vehicles) industry, once written off as beyond redemption, has emerged as a global force to reckon with. The current year promises to be the year of the Indian auto industry with many snazzy new models ranging from entry-level compacts and value-packed mid-sizers to top-end saloons and sports cars ready to roll off the assembly lines. This marks the coming of age of an industry that just over a decade ago was dominated by two obsolete models — the stodgy Ambassador and boxy Padmini Premier.
As a consequence the automobile engineering industry whose turnover has crossed $22 billion (Rs.96,800 crore), contributing three percent of GDP and providing employment to about 4.5 lakh people directly and nearly 10 million people indirectly, offers challenging and rewarding careers to young people.
Automobile engineering is an applied science that combines mechanical, electrical, and safety engineering for the manufacture and development of automotive vehicles. This career is most suitable for qualified engineers with good grounding in maths and physics. The rapid and unexpected growth of this industry has created a sudden surge in the demand for automobile engineers, prompting a growing number of colleges and universities to offer programmes in automobile engineering. Admission into these programmes is open to those who have completed Plus Two averaging at least 50 percent in physics, chemistry, and mathematics. It is advisable that students in class XII write the All India Engineering/Architecture Entrance Examination (AIEEE) to secure provisional admission. However, they still need to fulfil the eligibility criteria of engineering colleges in the Plus Two school-leaving exam.
Among the engineering colleges countrywide which offer study programmes in automobile engineering are:
M.H. Saboo Siddik College of Engineering, Mumbai
Rajarambapu Institute of Technology, Sangli
Automotive Research Association of India, Pune
Vishwakarma Institute of Technology, Pune
KLE Society College of Engineering, Belgaum
National Institute of Engineering, Mysore
Birla Institute of Technology and Science, Pilani
Madras Institute of Technology, Chennai
SRM University, Chennai
Moreover postgrad Masters programmes in automotive engineering are being offered by IIT-Madras, IIT-Delhi, and I2IT, Pune.
For those wishing to study abroad, Merton College, Oxford, UK, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) in the US and the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology in Australia are renowned for their automobile engineering study programmes.
With a steadily increasing number of automobile models being marketed in India (both in the luxury and non-luxury segments), the industrys manpower requirements are spiralling. An automobile engineer can find work in the automobile manufacturing industry, automobile marketing, in automobile insurance with companies (like Tata AIG, ICICI Lombard etc), private transport companies, and even in the defence services. Start-up pay for automobile engineers ranges between Rs.18,000–23,000 per month with bigger pay packages for those with postgrad qualifications.
RIPE MARKET. The automotive industry is emerging as the manufacturing sectors growth engine with the boom in this industry likely to continue for at least 10–15 years. At present, theres a huge shortage of qualified automotive engineers. Its a big challenge to find the talent with everybody fishing in the same pond. Now is the time for youngsters who have gone abroad to acquire skills in automotive engineering to come back home and build great careers,” advises Dr. Arun Jaura, senior vice-president, product development and R&D of the Mumbai-based Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd (M&M) which recorded sales of Rs.20,595 crores in fiscal 2009–10. Ranked among Indias top 20 companies in terms of market capitalisation, M&M is the No. 1 vendor of automotive four-wheel drive vehicles and sports utility vehicles (SUVs).
A mechanical engineering graduate of the National Institute of Technology, Srinagar, Jaura worked with Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) in Chennai prior to enrolling with IIT-Madras for a Masters in control systems and servo hydraulics
(1989). Pressing on, he acquired a Ph D in robotics from Montreal University (1992). With these impeccable academic credentials, he was signed up by the 103-year-old Ford Motor Co in Detroit where he worked for nine years (1996–2005). During this interregnum he registered four global patents and published papers in 37 reputed publications prior to signing up as head of R&D with M&M in 2005.
According to Jaura, while hitherto top-ranked young engineers were averse to joining the passenger car manufacturing industry, their mindset is fast changing. With the company having recently signed a collaboration agreement with Renault, France, to produce 400,000 motor cars and SUVs in our 925 acre facility in Chennai, we are experimenting with a host of new technologies, alternate energy sources, telematics, and 21st century automobiles. These are very exciting times for well-qualified automotive engineers,” says Jaura.
Therefore, if fast cars are your passion, automobile engineering may be the career, which will enable you to cruise on the super highway to success!