The real test of character is in choosing the branch of engineering course after passing various entrance tests, and with the ongoing trends, students tend to overlook certain streams that have great potential. Instrumentation engineering is one such stream. And for the sake of brevity, here’s a short brief on what instrumentation engineering is all about.
What is Instrumentation?
Keeping much of the technical jargons aside, it simply means to optimize the yield of any assembly line using various factors, called process variables.
What is taught in the curriculum?
The subjects covered here are only those that are different from most of the other branches of engineering. Firstly, apart from the necessary exposure to the basic electronics and electrical engineering, other elements of Control engineering,
Hydraulics and Pneumatics, Transducers, Robotics, Data acquisition systems, Principle of measurements and Instrumentation etc. will also be taught in quite a detail.
Why choose Instrumentation engineering?
This question can be answered by keeping various perspectives in mind. The most pertinent ones being:
Instrumentation engineers are lucky simply for the fact that they have got ample of job opportunities in both the Government sector and otherwise. Be it any of the said sectors, the most lucrative (and core) job vacancies are filled through GATE only. As regards the core government jobs, direct vacancies are available mostly in organizations such as BARC, ISRO or in the PSUs especially all the Navratnas and Maharatnas PSUs as declared by the government, but again, they ask for the gate score.
The scope of conventional core government engineering jobs:
The most coveted exam for government engineering services aspirants is that of the Indian Engineering Services (IES). Although, in the notification, UPSC specifies to conduct the exam in the core disciplines of civil, electrical, electronic and mechanical engineering only, but it clearly mentioned as to graduates of any other stream can fight the exam. Keep in mind that apart from the ones covered above, our syllabi, keeping some prominent exceptions aside, covers almost all the major aspects of electronics and electrical engineering. As regards the topics which aren’t covered (say, communication in electronics and communication engineering), they can very conveniently be covered from online
sources (like the NPTEL).
Apart from the IES, people also compete for the railways (Senior section Engineers), and almost all the other core government vacancies. After graduation even if one intends to join the defense sector, instrumentation is one of the branches shown eligible in the notification of the advertisements of CDSE, AFCAT etc.
Scope for Higher Education:
This is the hallmark of our branch! Know that instrumentation is one of the newest branches of engineering still considered to be in its nascent stage and therefore, a whole lot of scope is really left for contributing to the subject. Both in our country as well as abroad, this gives rise to many exciting opportunities. Ours is such a wide and inter-related branch that you can study instrumentation and end up doing your higher studies in fields as diverse as solar cells, photonics or even material Science etc, whichever interest you cultivate during your B-Tech years.
Also With the buzz of ‘Make in India’ gathering pace and growing employment opportunities in the horizon, it’s time students take a serious look at this coveted branch. India is definitely on the radar when it comes to manufacturing. Areas like factory automation, process automation, system engineering, manufacturing industries (design, testing, and quality control), consultants (solution providers/turnkey projects), embedded systems and electronic circuit design cover the ambit of a job for instrumentation engineering. Exposure to the latest technologies of Distributed Control System (DCS), Programmable Logic Controllers and Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition (SCADA) and virtual instrumentation gives an extra edge to instrumentation students.
The interdisciplinary nature of the course gives opportunities in various other exciting fields of Biomedical, Nuclear, and Aerospace applications also. This course stands out because it gives students a good combination of hardware and software domains and also gives a very good base in electrical, electronic and control fields. After completing the graduation and post-graduation, they can work as control engineers to provide leadership in the process, product development, and support.
Going by the track record of many colleges, the graduates get pay packages between Rs 3 and 5 lakh per annum. Over the past three years, the placement at VES Institute of Technology has been 73% in instrumentation, while 10% have opted for software jobs. Out of the total job offers made in the last three years, 62% has been in the core instrumentation Some of the key recruiters were Aker Solutions, Chemtex, G S Consultancy, Jacob Engineering, Larsen and Toubro Ltd., Reliance industries Ltd. Petrofac Ltd, Siemens Ltd, Tata Consultancy Engineers, Tata Power, Tecnimont ICB, Toyo Engineering, UHDE India Ltd, Chemtrols and Emerson. Instrumentation jobs are not only in demand within the country but it is also high in the Gulf countries, because of high concentration of the oil and natural
More about Graduate’s Aptitude Test in Engineering or GATE:
Know that anything, be it a job with a hefty package or an institution with poised faculty and infrastructure, this is the only arena from where each of the said opportunities does open-up.
Here is the comparative scenario:
Take any of the conventional branches of engineering and expect at least 1 to 1.5 lakh, people, to fight with you in the exam. For instrumentation, Viola- As low as 17-18k!Moreover, the cut off is also relatively low. This in a way almost promises your candidature for a nice place, if you have been just a bit serious in your under-graduate years, you need not spend an extra year on GATE coaching. Almost all the best institutes of the country IITs, IISc, BITS and even NITs have the M-TECH or MS options in the fields relevant to this branch.
Finally, to sum-up, instrumentation engineering is simply the avenue with such a diverse blend of prospects that its presence is difficult to ignore. Be it any of the ambitious projects of the government make in India, or smart cities or for that matter any opportunity involving higher education-scope is abundant!