Education is a fundamental human right and should be accessible to all, irrespective of their gender, caste, colour or creed. According to the Article 37 of the Constitution of Pakistan, education is a fundamental human right. However, gender discrepancies are practiced against female scholars in Pakistan, who lack the means and opportunities to pursue quality education.

According to the Human Development Report by the United Nations Development Programme released in 2011, almost twice as many as males than females attain secondary education, highlighting the dismal state of girl’s education in the country. However, the number of female scholars in the higher education sector is on a steady rise, with more young girls enrolling at higher education institutes in a bid to secure their future or that of their loved ones.

February 11 is celebrated as the International Day of Women and Girls in Science globally. The aim of this day is to promote female education across the globe, particularly in the fields of science, engineering and technology that have been traditionally dominated by males. In the quest of promoting female education in Pakistan, particularly in the fields of science and technology, we give you the top five engineering disciplines for females who wish to pursue a career in engineering sciences.

Textile Engineering

Textile engineering is an academic discipline that is both economically viable and creatively rewarding. Textile is the largest manufacturing industry in the country and contributes 8.5 percent to the GDP of Pakistan. Pakistan is the 8th largest exporter of textile commodities in Asia and hence a degree in the discipline can open doors to a prosperous and bright future for young girls. A number of universities offer textile engineering including Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan, University of Engineering and Technology (Faisalabad Campus), Mehran University of Engineering & Technology and Ned University of Engineering & Technology. It is makes a great choice of career for girls who want both science and creativity in their work life.

Metallurgy and Materials Engineering

Metallurgy and Materials engineering can be defined as a science that deals with processing, producing or giving proper shape or form to different metals and alloys through economically viable processes. Very few universities offer this discipline in Pakistan, the most prominent including University of Engineering & Technology, Mehran University of Engineering & Technology, Dawood University of Engineering & Technology, and Ned University of Engineering & Technology. Metals and alloys are used in the majority of engineering applications and hence more metallurgical and materials engineers are required in the marketplace. This field is dominated by men and hence more girls in the metallurgy industry would be a good omen for the economy overall.

Aerospace Engineering or Aircraft Maintenance Engineering

Aerospace engineering is the science that deals with the designing as well as building of airplanes or machines that fly. It is a new branch of engineering studies in Pakistan and requires in-depth knowledge and understanding of the basic principles of mathematics, material sciences, aerodynamics and physics. Aircraft Maintenance engineering technology is the study that deals with controlling, repairing and maintaining aircraft or instruments related to aircraft.

Bachelors in Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Technology can be an excellent prospect for young girls wishing to pursue a career in aviation or those who are interested in gaining hands-on experience in aircraft operations and maintenance. Degrees in aerospace engineering or aircraft maintenance engineering technology are offered by Institute of Space Technology, College of Aeronautical Engineering, and Aeroline Institute of Aviation Studies, University of Management and Technology, University of the Punjab and Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan. So gear up girls. Get ready to fly and make things fly with a degree from any of these wonderful institutes.

Building and Architectural Engineering

Building and architectural engineering is an exciting branch of engineering that deals with the application of engineering principles to constructing or designing buildings. Architectural engineers design and construct buildings and handles the structural, electrical and mechanical aspects of designing buildings. Architectural engineering is an innovative and multi-disciplinary branch of engineering that focuses on the structure, operations, electricity, lighting, ventilation and other mechanical services within a building or construction site. University of Engineering & Technology, Lahore, Bahauddin Zakariya University, Multan and the University of South Asia offer undergraduate and graduate degree programmes in this discipline. Undergrad or masters’ degree in this discipline can offer bright career prospects to female scholars in Pakistan, given that real estate is one of the fastest growing industries in Pakistan and one that is need of well-educated human resource.

Telecommunication Engineering

Telecommunication engineering focuses on computer and electrical branches of engineering, in order to seek support or enhance the operations of telecommunication systems. Once considered a task only for the males, the discipline is no more an unchartered territory for females.

A telecommunication engineer is required to design and overlook the installation of a telecommunication system or equipment including optical fibres or cables, electronic switching systems etc. A number of universities offer graduate degree programmes in the field, including Islamia University of Bahawalpur, Government College University, Faisalabad, Comsats Institute of Information Technology, University of Sindh, Ned University of Engineering & Technology, University of Engineering & Technology, Taxila, Preston University, and the Institute of Business Management. Telecommunications is a growing and developing field of engineering in Pakistan, as demand for graduates specializing in telecommunication is growing due to the expansion of technological applications in the present times.

To sum up…

Female education is the need of the hour and is the only way forward to compete with other advanced and developed countries of the world. Female scholars in Pakistan should pursue a career in the fields of science, engineering and technology in a bid to walk shoulder to shoulder with men and turn the fortunes of Pakistani economy around.

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