Wednesday, January 12, 2005

Wither manufacturing jobs?

I met this guy who was from my own college. It's been quite a while since met someone from my college so the conversation waxed on nostalgia, a bit of pride of been in a great institution and the frustrations of not having learnt enough while we were there.

I was surprised that the person I met had done remarkably well to obtain a gold medal in his stream ( I myself would have settled for a Galvanised Iron medal or something like that for my academic prowess!)

I assumed that he would go on to do masters in the US (as is the college norm for toppers) or do an IIM MBA...surprised he was into a software major! I subtly understood that he didn't have a great programming knowledge or aptitude, infact it was one of the very few areas he had done badly at college ( I mean relatively, he had better scores than me even in programming, though I used to consider myself some programming genius at college).

The point is good engineering talent is being sucked in to IT stream. Most of it is due to media hype of the profession and the typical bad mouthing of shopfloors. Parents who had slogged at the shopfloor always took opportunity to belittle it and it rubbed on the entire society not realising that a topper from a leading institution is going to have a different kind of shopfloor profile.

20 years down the line when we sit in an aircraft or drive over a bridge, I am sure we will break in to a cold sweat realising that all the best engineering minds are no longer running these operations. Over a period of time market dynamics sets right such skews and I really hope it does!