Fables of Engineering and it’s Realities

As a country, our love for IITs and engineering as a career is legendary. No wonder India has been christened as the land of engineers. The country’s romance with engineering is such that the moment a child is born, the parents’ dream of making them engineers begin. The number of aspirants appearing in exams like Joint Entrance Exams (JEE) and BITSAT are a testimony to our obsession.

Aspirants queue up outside coaching centres and pay hefty fees, hoping to one day live their dream of studying in esteemed IIT’s and NIT’s. Unfortunately, this has turned into a rat race rather than an institution of learning.

Dialogues like ‘Engineer banna hain na beta?’ ‘Aur engineering ki tayyari kaisi chal rahi hai?’ are often heard flying around the society that we live in. The people of this nation have created such hullabaloo about engineering and now myths and fables have now formed around it.

Let’s analyse some of these myths and try to look beyond the bubble:

  • Myth: You will become a millionaire or be the CEO of a startup, as soon as you graduate!
  • Reality: Yes, this is a possibility but not as soon as you graduate. There are lakhs of students with the same dream adorning their eyes. You should have industry experience and knowledge to have the package of a millionaire or be an IIT or NIT graduate. To conceptualize a startup idea is easy but to execute plans not only requires finances but also experience.

No success story is a fairytale and it is definitely not devoid of hard work.

  • Myth: A business degree after engineering is the only logical step!
  • Reality: This statement is as illogical as it can get. Why enroll in an engineering course, when your ultimate goal is to get to a managerial job? Neither will you have wasted a seat and taken away the opportunity from an engineering aspirant but also have reduced the value of your engineering degree.
  • Myth: Engineering is very difficult!
  • Reality: It becomes difficult because most students after admissions, let go of the intensity with which they had given exams like JEE, BITSAT etc. No wonder when you enroll in an engineering course, things are bound to get difficult but how you tackle it matters. Dedication in class, focusing on concepts and some planning can make engineering a breeze. One thing is for sure that engineering will mold you for most of your difficult situations in life.
  • Myth: Engineering is all that matters and institutes don’t!
  • Reality: Engineering from a good institute can give your career the desired kickstart but not all institutes can provide that. The notion that any engineering degree will help shape your career and future is false. You have to get into a good institute to get the desired job and the desired salary. The key to getting into a good institute is to ace exams like JEE and BITSAT.
  • Myth: Engineering will solve all your life problems!
  • Reality: No, it won’t! ‘Engineering kar loon bas, life set ho jayegi!’ is the biggest lie that one tell yourself. No one is waiting for you with jobs on a silver platter once you have completed your engineering. Just like any other field of study or any industry, you have to prove your worth not only to get hired but also to justify the remuneration you desire. India produces the highest number of engineers and to distinguish yourself from the rest you really must be good.
  • Myth: Engineers can repair anything!
  • Reality: Have you ever heard of this? ‘Beta engineering ki hain na tumne? pankha/AC kaam nahi kar raha, usse thik kar do’.  Yes, most engineers and even the ones studying engineering face this. It doesn’t matter if you are studying in IT, Civil or Mechanical branch this question will haunt you your entire life. Such is the myth of engineers.

This article is not about finding faults with the engineering stream, but to give you a reality check. Engineering is still revered as a career in our country which is fast developing and rightly so, but the reasons to choose the field of study needs to change. Be an engineer because you want to be one and not because the society dictates you to be or because of the false bubble we live in.