Evergreen Civil Engineering Field
People think that compared to other branches of engineering, Civil Engineering is the least lucrative with no jobs available for those who graduate. On the other hand you could get multiple job offers from software companies if you are doing other branches of engineering and your starting salary will be mind boggling by Indian standards. On the other hand a Civil Engineering undergraduate will start with a salary as low as Rs. 3000 to 4000/month. Who on earth wants to take a job as a Civil Engineer when the difference in starting salary is over Rs. 25,000?
Having done bachelors, masters and a PhD in Civil Engineering I believe that in the long run Civil Engineering jobs fetch you equal or better returns compared to software jobs. It is more than 10 years since I did my under graduation. One of my classmate joined a reputed software company and was very happy for the first year mainly due to the salary she was earning. By the start of the second year she started bitching about the number of hours she had to work (she had to work almost 12 hours a day and 6 days a week)and about how her pay has become stagnant. By the 3rd year she moved to another company to get a better pay but there her work load was much more. She resigned and again joined another company by the start of 5th year and is working in the company since then. Every time I talk to her she complains about the lack of pay rise and work culture.
This is a sharp contrast to another of my class mates. After graduation he joined one of the construction companies in Kerala with a starting pay of Rs. 2000! He had to be on site most of the time and his life was tough. He used to compare his pay with his friends working in the software field. But things have changed now. He has over 10 years experience in construction industry and last time I met him he is earning more than my other classmate in the software field. Initially my friend was making only Rs. 2000 and his life was hell but now he gets a lot of time to spend with his family and is happy.
Increase in pay for a Civil Engineer with about 5 years experience is phenomenal. This is a trend that is observed not only in India but also in Middle East and US. I have so many of my friends in Middle East and they tell me that a Civil Engineer with more than 5 years experience is a hot commodity there.
Observing my numerous friends in both software and civil engineering fields this is the graph I developed. It compares the salary of a software professional and a Civil Engineer over a period of few years. Just see the slope of both the curves. Initially the difference in salaries for a civil engineer and a software professional will be huge. The salary of the civil engineer will start to rise considerably by around 5th year and he overtakes the salary of the software engineer with a 10 year experience.
This trend can also be seen in the
In a nutshell – life as a Civil Engineer can be rewarding if you are ready to be patient. As you get more and more experience your worth increases exponentially while for a software professional, his worth increases in a very slow pace compared to a civil engineer.