Updated: Jan 24
Gaps in education is a common term that a student, teacher and a consultant often hear and uses!
This term is sometimes used to motivate and many times to reject a candidate.
Many companies don’t employ a fresh graduate or even a post graduate unless they have some experience or well trained in live projects using structural software like etabs, safe, staad and Revit.
Sometimes professors gets offended when this term is used during seminars and structural design training.The hard reality is that yes! There exists a gap in education and what the consultants and the industry expect. And believe me, this gap exists from quite a long time and is growing.
I can conclusively say this because, just like any student, I have experienced rejections and advises initially in my career.As a student, I too sometimes accepted it but sometimes ignored the rejection and the very term ‘’gaps in education’’. However I eventually understood the situation and covered my gaps,found my mentor, progressed in my career and today am a successful consultant. Having seen the gaps as a student, teacher and a consultant, I will try to explain what the industry expects from a civil engineering and a structural engineering student.
The industry and the consultants who are the prospective employers looks at your productivity – You working hard or slogging extra hours to rectify a model in etabs may not be the expectation. Is your work really useful? Is it complete and ready to be used as a real structural detail that can be shared to the client.If you can prove this point then the chances of you landing a job is extremely high even if you don’t have working experience in structural design. For doing this, you should have considerable understanding of the subject and not just on structural design software.
Gaps in Education
Some questions to highlight the gaps in education.
Why is a slab one way when ratio of larger span to smaller is more than 2? What will be the slab when ration is 1.99? How can such a small change in span make the slab behave differently?
When there is a cutout in a slab,what additional precautions one need to take in design and detailing?
Should the base of a column be pinned or fixed or something else?
I using gross property based moment of Inertia for analysis correct?
Usually in a midscale building, the mix of concrete is driven by strength requirement or something else and why?
There are far more important points that these that one need to focus. In our course, structural design of buildings using etabs,we cover all these basic aspects in addition to software training in structural design. These programmes are like internship in civil and structural engineering.
Your employer looks at your software skills.
If you are wanting to be a structural engineer,you should be a master in all the software that is being used in the industry. Learning software like etabs,staad,SAFE and revit has become mandatory. And you should be able to use it in the right way. A mere surface knowledge is not adequate. Therefore it is very important that you learn staad pro course or any structural course from a consultant and by doing some real live structural design project.
I have seen civil engineering students wasting time and energy by doing visualization software like 3ds max and many more. You need to know what your interest and what you can practice as a civil engineer.Talk to consultants and understand the needed software. No point in falling in to the training package offered by institutes!
Learning the right software in the right way is the key
Even if you do not win a job immediately after your graduation or completion of a training, don’t lose your heart. Keep practicing what you learnt. Only practicing structural design and structural detailing will make you perfect. Do a few structural design and detailing live projects.
Polishing your skills make you perfect
Connecting to right people can win you a job
It’s a world of social media. Leverage it to your advantage. LinkedIn and quora can be a good platform to connect and engage with seniors in structural design. Just connecting is not adequate. You need to engage with people by replying to their posts, and asking the right civil engineering tips, technical questions and expressing the desire to learn.
Present your skills in the right way
Your CV and the content in the CV is much more important than what you think. It can make or break a career. A fresher’s CV should be crisp and probably a single page. Don’t provide un necessary declarations, unrelated hobbies, personal details and waste space and time. You should remember that an employer might look at your CV just for a few seconds and you should be able to impress in that short time else chance of you getting a call is less.
Your CV can also attract some questions during the interview process if you are called on. So it is important to include a lot of technical topics that you are sure you can answer. You can see this video for more understanding.
If you want to get the full tips on CV writing and tips to attend civil engineering interviews, fill in the form here. Ensure you write in the subject or message, that you need tips on CV writing.
Yes! Help others. Helping others is helping yourself.It is rewarding for your mind. At the same time the help returns to you in another form even if you don't expect! Helping others is infact going to improve your networking in a really positive way. You dont even realise how positivity and positively helping others will help you back.
Our attitude speaks a lot.It shows up much more than we think.Have a heart. Be positive and always be good and be an ambassador of positivity. Everyone wants to see positive people around them! Some of the companies especially larger corporates are more keen on your team spirit and attitude than your technical skills in civil engineering.They can train you if you lack technical skills.However changing your attitude is some thing only you can do.