Should there be a 'general engineering' discipline?

We all belong to various engineering disciplines - be it Electrical, Chemical, Structural, Mechanical etc. We've been trained to be specialists in individual disciplines of engineering and the most of the jobs for engineers in the industry are created for engineers trained in these disciplines. The topic of the debate is - can/should there be a very general engineering discipline called say 'General Engineering'? By 'General Engineering', I mean an engineer who knows technical bit of most of the other disciplines of engineering. Think of an engineer who knows a bit of Civil, Mechanical, Electrical, Electronics, Biomedical, Aeronautical etc.

I hope you all got the point. Those in favour of 'general engineering' will have to come up with possible job options the 'general engineers' will have. Those who think we need more specialists over generalists, will have to prove their point with strong reasoning.

What's your take?


  • durga ch
    durga ch
    I think having a generalised category will only end up as lost focus. There is too much to know and learn in each and every discipline, that its better to be best at one topic, rather than trying to learn everything and loose focus.
    Yes, you can know a little bit of everything - but whats the use? expertise is when you know everything about a little bit
  • Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Bits and pieces of anything is good for nothing.I strongly oppose the idea.This idea could end up in chaos. This general engineering idea could spoil depth in knowledge.
  • Anoop Mathew
    Anoop Mathew
    I feel that engineering in India should get even more specific. The mixture of Electronics and Communication is actually a waste of time if the person is actually inclined to focus on Telecommunications (IP Telephony) alone (the person might have no idea of Engineering before actually going through the first semester - this is actually true even today among some of our younger friends).

    We've various un necessary subjects in each branch of engineering which is oriented more towards enriching the theoretical knowledge of the students (which unfortunately equals to the RAM of a computer). Even a particular field such as Masters in Networking is hard to find in India - you're given the option of Electronics and Telecommunications or Computer Science and Networking.

    For general engineering, we can always refer to - maybe in future CE will start giving out degrees for 'General Engineering' as we actually learn parts of each branch here!!

    Moreover, the point to note here is that - it's only because we've specific departments in Engineering, that we're able to actually create these many variety of discussions on CE.😍😐😯
  • Nayan Goenka
    Nayan Goenka
    General Engineering is not something you can learn. If you are suggesting common awareness or knowledge, people eventually learn in their life, making a degree for that and making them "Jacks of all and Masters of none" will take no where. What field they will work? What will they focus on. Atleast in current disciplines you are targetted towards a particular technology.

    For @#-Link-Snipped-# 's suggestion: CE can give out a degree of General Engineering. I actually like that part.
  • pratap singh, upendra
    pratap singh, upendra
    A big NOOOOO.......
    At least for the sake of the very education towards which are so deeply committed

    I would suggest the other way out. The management must take adequate steps to make sure that any engineering branch is divided into at five to six independent disciples. In this way we will be able to address to the problem already highlighted by 'anoopthefriend', which is also the most serious and detrimental problem that engineers are facing. We talk about recession and say that engineers are not employed because our economy is suffering. But then the fact remains that even in those times companies go for employes who can take them out of those circumstances. In a nutshell, they do want real professional talent at their disposal. So would it not be great if the individual branches are subdivided to make sure that one pursues the field in which he is really interested? the after effects could be the increase in the value of B tech/BE degree that the engineers are going to get and it will also alleviate the need for further higher education like Mtech/MS.

    This would on one hand make the technical education budget friendly while retaining the technical assets and will also make sure the youth is utilized in a more effectual and adorable manner
  • Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Sarathkumar Chandrasekaran
    Kaustubh Katdare
    What's your take?
    What job will he / she able to do in the maximized efficiency without the depth in knowledge? Suggest me the fields where a student doing his/her "General Engineering" degree.He may end up into nothing and life seems to be not showing mercy on current scenario where all are running after money and competition is high even for specialized courses
  • Anoop Kumar
    Anoop Kumar
    It may be possible, but it only can be cross with Information Technology (Not seeing how a Electronics could be crossed with Civil).
    Every industry is adapting computers and IT for designing and automate works. So it is quite possible.
    For example, power companies (Electrical) do need software. So they hire a vastly experienced Electrical engineering guy project leader and Computer science guys to develop software. But here there is huge gap in terms of context, feasibility and communication. Some time it become complex for computer science guy to understand the actual requirement and for managers to understand the feasibility software components.
    In this case a guy having engineering knowledge of both computer science and electrical can fill the gap.
    I would rather term it as Cross-Functional Engineering.

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