In India, 1.5 million students complete their engineering every year. You can count me too. Yes, I too completed my engineering graduation because am from Telangana/Andhra Pradesh. (Source)
Am I proud of being an engineer? I used to be. But, everything changed when I spent nearly a year searching for a job. After facing many interviews at last I choose to join something that my engineering professors never taught me.
Who is responsible for this? Parents? Society or Yourself?
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Why are India Parents Obsessed with Engineering?
In my case it’s not parents, but relatives who forced me to join engineering. Let’s not hold parents as sole culprits. It is the whole society who is responsible for this shit. Do you know we produce double the engineers what US and China combined can. In India we’ve 4000 colleges and universities that contribute to this noble cause of producing employed engineers.
Parents, relatives and friends, everyone in the society shows utmost respect to engineers that they are honored with marriage proposals that other career student never imagine affording.
It’s unfortunate, more than passion of their child. Indian parents think about the social status and pay cheque.
If a child choose to go with arts after completing 10th, then it is regarded as he/she isn’t good at studies. It’s true. Back then when I was doing my graduation I too believed that students from arts and those who choose B.com, B.Sc after 12th are C level students who don’t have analytical ability.
I guarantee it, even today many students and teachers think same what I though few years ago.
Am surprised, even with increasing unemployment of engineering students, parents or private institutions aren’t caring for career.
So, who is responsible for this? On whom can I vent my anger and frustration?
Calm down. Let me first share how it all started. Spare few more minutes and am sure you’ll enjoy this writing. (Because it is an article from frustrated engineer who is talking about engineering)
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This Indian film industry glamorizes engineering and medical streams. A rich person in the film is given a title as engineer or well paid doctor. Eventually parents, who are dreaming of your future, wish a luxurious life as the character in the scene. Sadly, they ignore the production cost and real life profession of that character.
Fortunately, there are few film directors who prove this wrong and hold the mirror of reality, like 3 idiots.
If you think it’s wrong to hold Bollywood and films responsible for your career, as they are solely for entertainment. Let me defend. It’s the mentality that needs to be changed. Films have great impact on Indians; it has the power to change the perspective towards other career options.
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#2 Indian Education System
Unlike education systems in US and Germany, in Indian you can’t opt for arts class after choosing engineering as stream.
Few engineering colleges and universities either don’t allow you to participate in sports or they don’t have option of sports.
It all started much before 10th that you as a student don’t even know about other career options available in the country. If parents or teachers ask, what you want to be in life other than engineer or doctor, more than 80 percent students can’t name alternate career option.
Toppers in 10th CBSE or State secondary board are pushed to science stream by school and college authorities.
This whole system made your parents to think (believe) that without science stream you can’t imagine a good career.
Lack of knowledge of career options available in the market forced many students to opt for engineering or medical as a default choice.
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#3 Fee Reimbursement
To lure voters, government started fee reimbursement program in Telangana and Andhra Pradesh. According to a report by The Hindu newspaper about 77.14% students applied to be eligible for fee reimbursement. (Source)
Misuse of this scheme is because; anyone can get an income certificate of below 1 lakh rupees in India. Reports say that many non-serious students also joined engineering colleges to get benefited from this fee reimbursement program. Only way to stop is to cross check the income certificate, but government failed to do it and you’ve engineers in every home.
Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh are two southern states that have more unemployed engineering students.
India after getting independence with high mortality rate was need of medical facility. Everyone treated and still holds medical professionals as GODs, this made Indian parents to dream of making their child a Doctor.
An underdeveloped country like India, tried to go hand in hand with developing countries like USA & UK. This increased industrialization in India and thus the demand for engineers increased.
So, this left Indian parents with two reputed career options, one is medical and the other is engineering.
Though Indian arts & culture flourished in 70s, not many Indian opted for career in this stream. May be because, in 90s rapid growth of industries increased the demand of engineering graduates. During 2000s, IT industry took a great jump and pay cheque of software engineers skyrocketed.
#5 Society & Greed
When everyone is enjoying marriage or any other function, there will be few age old people who discuss about our career. This is when mind manipulation of your parents commences.
I experienced this many times. In my case it was my uncle who called me and asked me to join engineering after seeing an advertisement in the newspaper.
Engineers and medical professionals have great respect in the society, especially in family functions. This is where arts & commerce students are degraded and treated as 3rd world people.
Eventually, any parent or student studying in 10th desire for same attention and follow the herd.
Here comes the greed. Let’s clear this, are you after your passion or money. Are you choosing your career because it promises of good package? Then stop reading this and follow what your inner greed demands.
Before your parents, you must be passionate about what you choose. Don’t consider what the society says about your career.
With passion towards the work, you can excel and reach top most position in your career. But, greed towards a career will take you nowhere.
#6 Lack of Knowledge about Career Options
Many students prefer to follow what their parents tell, because they don’t see any other promising career.
Do your research and check out different options available before completing 10th. Yes, it’s difficult, as you’re already busy with your semi-finals, pre-finals and broad exams. This is when career counselors come as savior.
I’ll blame coaching institutes for the holding big hoardings of toppers. These institutes lure parents to admit their child to two most reputed courses, either MPC or BiPC.
Inappropriate decisions are made based on myths. Bursting these myths can help students to choose the right career.
- Myth: As mentioned earlier, many people think that science stream is for toppers and commerce is for students with weak aptitude. This mentality needs to be changed.
- Myth: If you gained good marks in Maths, then you must choose engineering. Students who got good percentage in science subject will go for medical.
- Myth: Do you love to spend time on computer; then computer science engineering is the best option for you.
- Myth: If you want to select with good package, then you have only engineering as career choice.
Not just this, you can many more myths in the society.
Passion Vs Market Demand
You must face this; globalization and automation in industries are contributing in increasing unemployment.
Look at the stats and you’ll be surprised to see the basic income for a fresher is same or decreasing from last 15 years.
Discover your passion and learn different skills that are essential for your career. Market demand for skilled professionals is increasing. With passion and multiple skills you’ll have vast number of opportunities in Indian and abroad.
Important Note: If you look at education system, institutes and society is forcing you to think as an employee. This is not the case in developed countries like US. This is the reason why you see starts-ups there grow globally. With multiple skills you can start your own business venture be it in arts, commerce or science.
How to Tell My Parents That I Don’t Want to Join Engineering?
Are you choosing some other career option only because you hate engineering? Do your research to convince your parents that you’ve knowledge and passion towards other career alternative.
Shouting or crying won’t work all the time. Be practical and think how you can change their mind.
- Take help from your family friends who support you.
- Give them some examples of reputed people in career you’re choosing.
- Show your parents that you’re firm in choosing your career.
- Get knowledge and explain them how you can progress in your career.
- Yes, lure them like those coaching institutes with hefty package offer you get after completing the course.
- Visit institutes that offer those courses and bring brochures to explain your parents.
And every child knows the weak point of parents. Do your bit, because it’s about your career.
Things are Changing Gradually
Fortunately, due to increasing unemployment things are changing and Indian parents are turning towards other career options.
According to reports, students opting for engineering degree decreased gradually in last 6 years. (Source) You can show this report and easily convince your parents.
But, I personally think coaching institutes are behind this change, with their advertisement on other career paths gradually they are shifting the focus from engineering towards CA.
Never go with what society is talking about. Discover your passion and go what you like the most.
What Are The Best Career Options Other than Engineering and Medical?
So, you don’t want to follow the herd of engineering and medical students. But what are other career options available after completing 10th? Below mentioned are best fields in which you can explore to build your career.
- Data Science
- Law Courses
- Bachelor of Architecture
- Digital Marketing
- Teaching (B.Ed)
- Fashion Designing
- Course Related to Marine
- Aviation Course
- Hotel Management
- Interior Designer
- Agriculture & Food Science Technician
- Waste Management
- Digital Arts
- Market Research Analyst
- Sports & Athlete
- Public Affairs Consultant
- Event Management
Indian parents care their children and they dream of a hefty package engineering degree gives. Explain them and convince that there are better career options available in the market. Obsession of Indian parents towards engineering and medical is decreasing gradually. Hope no other course replaces them, because every stream as its pros and cons. Student must have freedom to choose and go with her/his passion. Only then we can think about global companies from India.