“Opportunity doesn’t knock twice”, “It’s now or never”, etc. These are the phrases that we frequently hear from our parents, mentors, or peers. A phrase, that merely looks like a meaningful progression of words, can sometimes put people under an immense burden. What if that person is a 16-year old kid? A kid who has barely seen the outside world and has just come out of his rather intact school life. Parents imposing their will on making their kids pursue engineering has become a trend now. In some parts of the country, they don’t even remotely think of considering other career opportunities. The kid’s fate is set and sealed in the 11th standard itself by starting to prepare for engineering entrance exams.
It’s that time of the year again, so being an engineer myself, I thought I should share my perspective on engineering entrances. At an extremely tender age, a career path is decided for the kid. “If you don’t get a good rank, you won’t get a good engineering college.” This is something that almost every engineer could relate to I guess. Everyone wants to give their best shot, but not everyone can succeed on the first try. You win some, you lose some.
What could be the reason behind Indian parents choosing engineering as the primary career path for their kids? 30 years back from now, engineering was one of the most exclusive courses. The institutes were limited and imparting education was looked like a noble profession. With time, the competition kept on getting more and more ruthless. Engineering colleges mushroomed throughout the country, and the process which was once noble turned into a means for minting big money.
If we look at the brighter side, liberalization opened gates for several other courses of study in India. The courses which were once invisible in any university’s brochure are now relevant to several professional domains. What I’m trying to state is that engineering is no more the only course which could give your kid a safe and glistening future. There is a huge array of opportunities out there. You just need to explore.
So kids, even if you flunk the JEE, don’t take it hard on yourself. Probably it was never meant to be. Probably you were born to take a less traveled road perhaps. One exam is not the end of the world. There is always the next wave.