• Azuko

What should I do? I am a mechanical engineer with no job. How do I start something from scratch?

First of all we don’t blame any student for same. We do not blame colleges, although they cannot left aloof of the situation. In fact, there is no point is blaming anyone, rather focus on future, where treasure remains for everyone.

Now the question is, how to be successful? Where do we start? How to proceed and what to expect? Let me take step wise approach such that you can plan your career in informed manner.

There are five area in which mechanical industry works:

  1. Drafting (2D work)

  2. Modelling (3D work)

  3. Analysis (Testing work)

  4. Manufacturing work

  5. Research and development

One path is to follow step 1–2–3–5

Another path is to follow steps 1–2–4–5

Basically either you go for design work or you work on shop floor. Both have their own pros and cons. You select the type of work you like, opportunities are available in every area.

When we say ‘opportunities are available in every area’ then why don’t we get job?

Let’s understand what is expected by any company? Let’s further break it in to two parts: 1 for freshers, 2 for experienced professionals.

What is expected from freshers?

When we hire any fresher in industry then we look for following factors:

  1. Knowledge of the basic subject areas. In this case we would check the fundamentals of mechanical engineering. You have to refresh them.

  2. Exposure to latest tools (software) used in my organisation. we would recommend different software for different types of work in next part of our answer.

  3. Your efficiency to do the work. You would be given one or two tool tests to perform some real life activities. For example, you may be given a drafting work for a mechanical component to make in AutoCAD, or you may be given a surfacing tool test to be performed in CATIA, or so on.

  4. Your attitude. Generally we first ask simple question and move towards tough and tougher questions. There are two intentions behind this approach. First intention is to check the level of knowledge or exposure you have, and second is to how what you do when you actually don’t know the answer. If you try to make up some answer then we assume you are over-smart and you will become a maintenance item in any team. If you are wrong but not ready to agree then we assume you have less appetite to learn new things. If you say that I don’t know but I may attempt if you wish then we are happy, because it shows honesty and attitude to learn. We need open minded team players, who is ready to learn new things, as the world and technology is changing faster than we can blink our eyes.

Now let us go back to the point which we left in point 2, that is the software to learn based on today’s industry needs.

You should align the work and software, let us take one by one:

  1. Drafting - AutoCAD is king. Freshers underestimate the importance of efficiency they need to demonstrate in tool test and generally fail there itself, and the further doors are closed, even though you may know more software and may be having proficiency as well, where you paid more attention. Don’t be biased, learn AutoCAD to expert level.

  2. Modelling - These software are used to create 3D models for multiple purposes, like components modelling, assembly, different views, drafting, tolerancing, Manufacturing, meshing, analysis and so on. There are many software which will give you different types of jobs. We will rank it in increasing order of salary potential. Inventor - Solidworks - Croe - Catia - Unigraphics NX. If you are in urgent need to job then go for solidworks or Inventor or both, else if you can wait to prepare and get better job then learn CATIA and UG-NX.

  3. Manufacturing - Generally people may advice you to learn CNC programming, but that is old method of manufacturing. new method is called CAM (computer aided manufacturing). You should go for NX-CAM.

  4. Analysis - There are three parts of analysis. One is pre processing, another is processing, and yet another is post processing. For pre-processing, we recommend Hypermesh, which is the best software in world for pre-processing. Going to processing and post processing we recommend Ansys - structural and thermal for freshers. Alternatively you may choose Ansys - CFD, which is also called FLUENT. Take the informed decision as per your choice.

Hope this detailed enough to guide any fresher or any passed out students. If more guidance is needed then visit our website, details of which is available in our profile. You may also connect with us through our website and we would be more than happy to respond.

Take care, restart your career, don’t look back, that is not the way you are going.

All the best, happy learning!