Civil Engineering as a Career


In a country where every parent wants their child to be an engineer, it is always a good option to know what careers one’s child can pursue depending on the stream they are choosing for their Bachelor of Engineering/Technology degree courses. Civil engineering has been one of the most sought after streams amongst engineering courses ever since we can remember. But most people are not clear about what careers one might purse after they are done with this course that they seek so badly. Let’s start with a brief description of Civil Engineering.

Wikipedia defines it as – “Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings.” 

Now this is something we all probably know, but what we really need to know is what this stream of engineering amounts to when it comes to the real world. See, civil engineering is one of the oldest existing disciplines of the world which goes back to almost 4000 years. It was civil engineers who designed pyramids, and the Brooklyn Bridge and the Big Ben and architectural feats that still stand tall on the face of the Earth till date.

civivl engineeringWell I’m not saying that you’ll get to work on projects like the Big Ben if you get a degree in civil engineering but I’m just stating all the things that civil engineers have achieved on the face of the Earth over the years and are to achieve for the years to come.

There are a number of technical specialties within the realm of Civil Engineering, these include:

  • Structural engineering – creating the structural elements of design, whether for bridges, or skyscrapers. Probably the oldest single specialty in civil engineering, going all the way back to Pharaoh’s pyramids.
  • Geotechnical engineering – concerned with the rock and soil which supports the structures that other civil engineers design.
  • Environmental engineering – designing systems for the treatment of chemical, biological and thermal wastes.
  • Materials engineering – these are the experts on the various materials which other civil engineers use for their projects.
  • Water resource engineering – concerned with the collection and management of water. Some of the earliest known civil engineers were the Roman engineers who created the aqueducts.
  • Earthquake engineering – a specialty dealing with creating buildings and other structures which can withstand the stresses of earthquakes without falling.
  • Coastal engineering – managing the coastal areas of our country, including marshlands.

Coastal engineers create defenses against flooding and erosion.Now as a civil engineer in the Indian Subcontinent, you might be thinking that what prospects you might have once you are done with your degree. A massive demand for civil engineers is present in India and it is also expected to get a boost as the country gets ready to upgrade its infrastructure with growing economic and political clout in the world.

A degree in civil engineering opens up the gates to work for various parts and departments of the government. A huge number of civil engineers are employed every fiscal year in allmost all the major construction projects carried out by central and state government agencies throughout the country.Along with that there are a massive number of small and large private companies undergoing government contracts who hire civil engineers in tonnes and pay them heartily. Companies like these would include major companies like L&T also.

There are equally good opportunities in the private sector for civil engineers. A major opening for qualified civil engineers is also in armed forces where they can make vital contribution to the protection of the country. Last but not the least you can set up your own engineering consultancy.

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Shibayan Mandal
Kolkattan. 19. Education journalist. Contact :