One must understand that after being exposed to 5 years of engineering mindset while there is a gain on the analytically side of things -
break down things and to be able to put them together and to be able to create new from it, there is also a substantial loss of emotional intelligence skills which are what HR practitioner's need in various capacities of the role.
At the face of it, here is nothing special about Engineer's being able to add anything to HR that other professionals from other vocations cannot.
Infact it would do a lot of good for an Engineer to suspend their logical construct of predictable outcomes in favor of the other construct, of unpredictable outcomes that one encounters within human relationships and behavior. Not every Engineer is going to find that it his/her strength to be able to do so.
You can leave a machine there come back after 10 days and it will be there just as is.
You leave a human being there come back after 10 days you are going to be surprised with the changes that have taken place within it.
The field of Engineering till date has no business with such stuff. Therefore there is nothing special an Engineer can do right away that others in field aren't already able to do. If at all an Engineer does manage to do something about it, it is not because he has remained in his shoes of being an Engineer.
Lastly its good to remember that Management is both -science and art. And it takes years of exposure to business and its process and to its people to understand, what part is science and what part is art.
If you really want to road test how good an Engineer might be as an HR professional then simply ask them, how much better can any person from any other filed medical, teaching, sports athletics, sales-customer service would be as an Engineer. You would have the answer for yourself.
You have posted a very nice article. I fully endorse the views expressed by Mr Umakanthan. Anyone with an interest and aptitude can learn HR and shine.
By the way HR itself is a new terminology and that is in vogue probably for the last three decades. If I remember right in India, before he became the Prime Minister, Mr P V Narasimha Rao was the first HRD minister.
However people skills or human behaviour as a subject is taught and practiced from age old times. This is a world wide phenomenon pervading in all languages.
As an Engineer, I wish to share my views. While Engineering has been my basic forte, I was often invited to be an internal trainer for over two decades in my career. I handled technical and soft skill topics and was a sought after internal faculty. After my active service, I am devoting more time to Soft Skills. I qualified myself by attending classes and clearing exams to reinforce my experience of people skills gained over four decades. While doing so, I have not given up Engineering altogether.
The experience gained in the last year during my studies was unique and unparalleled. We had a leading doctor (also plus sixty) in our fold. Then there were others who included a post graduate in psychology, professional trainer, house wife, dietitian, school teacher, engineer from a different discipline etc. During the interactions every one was able to contribute with examples from one’s own field in a manner that could be understood easily by others.
Whenever I facilitate, in my training sessions I find myself at an advantage to bring out simple engineering examples that make the participant understand certain concepts. I am sure those from other disciplines will also find it easy to explain through their own domain.
My experience in Cite HR in the last four years has been a very healthy one.
The feedback numbers whether it is appreciation or down loads give more than a feeling of satisfaction.
Thanks for your post,