A common joke goes like this: “In Hyderabad, if you throw a stone randomly, it either hits a dog or an engineer.” And the current scenario couldn’t have been explained in a better manner.
If you look around in the society you will find that “Sharma ji’s beta”,”Verma ji’s beta”,”Gupta ji’s beta”, heck everyone is an engineer from XYZ or ABC university! You attend the wedding of your neighbours daughter and at the venue you are bound to the bride’s family (or some unknown random aunty) discussing how they managed to land one of those “rare” engineers from “IIT” who lives in the USA and earns a six digit salary each year.
What gives rise to this trend? As an engineer-in-the-making myself (from an “IIT” 😛 ), I feel the reason behind this is the manner in which stuff is portrayed nowadays. They show all these students from “IIT” getting 6 digit salarys every year and/or getting selected as the CEO/COO of some Multi-Million Dollar company. They show all these success stories of little known people making it the world by doing engineering!
Which, putting in a very simple manner, is a very one- way manner of showing how the situation is. Just like a coin has two faces, in a similar manner, engineering has its own pros and cons. Provided you are the absolute-fuckin-best and have a mighty good luck and some good contacts, there is no end to the level you may rise and the person you become! But, if you lack the requisite talent and aren’t good enough, the there is no end to the depth of your sorrow!
For every engineer that earns a 6 digit salary, there are 10 such people who just got fired from their job. For every engineer who is enjoying an all-expense-paid vacation at Maldives, there are 10 who are trying hard to meet the expense of living in a big city while earning a measly salary. For every engineer who is living in the USA , there are 10 such kids who found that suicide was their only “option” since they were not getting good enough marks to make it through the entrance exam to a decent enough college and become an “engineer”.
Simply stating, engineering isn’t some kind of joke. In few words, it is tough. It sucks the life out of you. Even the entrance exam. Tell me, have you seen a single stream where you give an exam (read JEE Mains) to be eligible to give another exam (read JEE Advanced) just to get a seat at some of the most prestigious engineering colleges in the country! Absurd, isn’t it? But that is what engineering is all about!! It will try to break you in every possible way. If you get demoralised, that, my dear friend, will be the end of you!
In foreign countries, the situation is far far better and surprising! You will definitely be surprised when I tell you that a plumber commands as much respect as an engineer in the USA! It is our mentality which has hardcoded us into thinking that Engineers are a class above the rest. In fact if only engineers existed in this world, there would be no one to treat us when we were sick, no one to repair our cars and bikes when they broke down. Each and every profession and each and every person in society has a part to play. If we had only engineers and engineers, who would perform the roles of others??! That’s just one of a series of questions to ponder upon when you *actually* start thinking about it.
You must be thinking that I am an idiot, dissing out the same profession which I chose for myself( yes me myself and not my parents , unlike some who are FORCED to)!
Engineering is fun. If you are strong enough, good enough and tough enough to withstand the grinding, then trust me, you will see millions of avenues opening in your life! But withstanding all that stuff is in itself is a tough exam! The life is indeed awesome and worth dying for (pun intended, no offense 🙂 ) From spending hours playing games and late night parties with your friends to getting the very best of faculty, infrastructure and atmosphere for learning . From getting GPL (kindly translated into English as Ass-whipping) on your birthday (and if you manage to do well in an exam) to becoming the pride of your family when you get your degree and have an awesome job offer in your pocket. From studying for an exam one night before it to controlling your friend when he is too drunk, studying engineering is a journey like no other! It is filled with innumerable number of highs and lows.
Trust me, there is no greater depth than failing in exams for the first time and no greater height than realising that more than half the class has failed with you. 😉
The fact still remains that engineering is one of the toughest thing/ phenomenon (or no matter what you decide to call it) that you will ever come across. During the 4 years of engineering you will be fighting many evils including lack of attendance, numerous projects, GPA building exercises and the occasional damsel in distress (mechanical engineers look aside!) But again, the pains you suffer will be worth experience that you shall gain!.
Most importantly, CHOOSE what you want to be for yourself and DONOT be influenced and forced by your friends and family. Do what you feel is the best decision for yourself! For once, be selfish! Because 10 years down the line you don’t want to suffer, just because someone told you that engineering was the best prospect for you. The pain and suffering wont be worth it! Give your best attempt at what you actually want to be, be it a pilot, be it a poet/writer, be it an actor or be it something far out of the “mainstream”. Always remember, happiness is worth far far more than money! Ultimate joy is when you see happiness, pride and joy in the face of your near and dear ones 10 years down the line, when you are one among the “noted” ones in your field, something which even money cant buy !
The next time your parents tell you “Beta, kya banna chahte ho?” be frank with them, try to make them understand what your passion really is and I’m sure they will understand!
And finally, if it is Engineering that suits your passion for no matter what reason you specify, all I want to tell is ” Welcome to surely the most exhilarating and enjoyable 4 years of your life!”
From A Fellow Engineer-in-the-making 🙂