Engineering is considered one of the most esteemed career paths one can take. Engineers play an integral role towards a nation’s progress. Hence many Pakistani parents want their children to become engineers. Becoming an engineer requires hard work and a profound interest in the field. Sadly, the outrageous college and university fees one has to pay to become a qualified engineer are very difficult to pay. In public sector universities, Engineering courses cost a student almost half a million rupees. In the private sector, it can cost as much as 1.5 million rupees. But student life is not the only time engineers have to suffer. Many engineers find themselves unemployed after graduating, which increases the chances of an engineer suffering from depression and anxiety. To make things worse their parents suffer as well. Simply put, engineers are not valued in our country. A young engineer’s salary is approximately Rs 15,000. This is disgraceful considering the hard work and time they put into their education. The suicide of Aizaz Ali, a graduate of NUST — one of the most prestigious universities of Pakistan — is a testament to the fact that this line of work is not given the respect it deserves. One of the reasons for this problem is that the country is simply producing too many engineers. Certificates are granted to new universities, far too many of which want to start their own engineering programs. As a consequence, we are producing engineers which our economy — which has an underdeveloped industrial base — cannot accommodate.The merit standards of the engineering universities have also suffered. Now a low scoring student in intermediate education can easily get admission in any private sector university and become an engineer. Consequently, the students who apply on merit suffer. It is the Pakistan Engineering Council’s (PEC) job to form strict regulations so that the quantity of universities reduces and quality improves. However all the blame does not fall on the PEC, successive governments are also guilty of negligence here. The previous governments have been unwilling to establish these industries. Institutes under the government such as WAPDA, PTCL, SNGPL and so forth have no human resource facility for engineers. These departments deploy a minimum of one or two engineers, which is unsatisfactory. Furthermore, if an engineer wishes to go abroad he is plagued with strict Visa policies, along with the other high expenses they must deal with.As such, Pakistan’s engineers find themselves unemployed without the option of escaping to thriving industrial economies where they can find employment. The last nail in the coffin is the policy shift in the recruitment of engineers for the post of educators and lecturers. According to this policy, an engineer is not eligible to apply for this job. “The suicide of Aizaz Ali, a graduate of NUST — one of the most prestigious universities of Pakistan — is a testament to the fact that this line of work is not given the respect it deserves”The current government must perform a better part in the recruitment of engineers by offering them a proper apprenticeship program and by giving unconditional and interest-free loans so they can start businesses relevant to their field.Lastly, our engineering institutes are also responsible for the unemployment of engineers. Most universities confine engineers to theoretical study only. Others lack modern laboratories, which don’t possess advanced instruments for practice. Lecturers encourage rote-learning and urge the students to secure the highest CGPA rather than allowing them to develop a genuine interest in the subject. These factors make some engineers less competent, and hence they are incapable of performing well on international forums. Universities should encourage practical work. It is the duty of a university to hire a specific number of students for its specific departments who graduate every year. In addition, universities must establish good relations with different firms, so they recruit their graduates yearly.The new government must take precautionary measures in earnest to promote engineers job resources. It needs to help establish both micro and macro level industries. Furthermore, the government should establish good relations with other states. It should negotiate with foreign countries so they take a specific quota of engineers every year. Engineers are assets of Pakistan, their services must be valued for Pakistan’s benefit.The writer is a freelance columnist and he Tweets at @iamusmanghaniPublished in Daily Times, August 21st 2018.