Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Why Engineering, Why?

Ever since I was a kid, I was clear about one thing, I did NOT want to become a Engineer! No, Sir!

It is not because I thought Engineering is a lowly profession! But because I knew that engineering is not my cup of tea.
Why? Cos' I hate Mathematics. Period. Dobara Mat Poochna... (Don't you dare ask "Why?" again)

I wanted to steer clear of anything that was even remotely related to Mathematics.

Mom clearly understood. She felt sorry for me as I wrestled with 12 Grade C.B.S.E. Mathematics, trying to figure out the height of a frickin' lighthouse using Cos and Tan!

But Dad had no idea! He thought that I purposefully didn't choose it to let him down in front of his friends and family.

"The sons of all my friends and family members are Engineers!" he kept saying. Good for them. "There is atleast one Engineer in every house!" Yeah? So? That is such a funny excuse!

So, I gave a shot at the Kerala Entrance Examination for Engineering and scored 28,000+ Rank! What surprised me was that people dumber than me (which according to me, were very few) even attempted Engineering.

I decided, with enough support from my mom, that I should follow science; and so I went for a "simple" BSc. degree. Dad sulked, but never forced me to do something I didn't like! I know he never would. And Thank God for that!

3 years later, I joined one of the top consulting firms in the world (which had nothing to do with my BSc. degree! LOL!) and was earning twice what my "engineering-not-passed-still-trying" cousins were! Now, you might think that my Dad would say, "Well done, Son!" Nope. He didn't. He still said, "The sons of all my friends and family members are Engineers!" This used to piss me off so bad at that time!

What is it with Engineering that attracts so many people (especially in Kerala)? I am sorry! I just don't understand. You go and apply for a personal loan in any bank - 2 lakhs for an engineer (who earns maybe only 1/4th of what you make) and 1 lakh for others! Huh? What kinda rule is this?

And there is one thing that both Parents and Kids need to understand - every Vasu, Gopu, and Chandu (Mallu versions of Tom, Dick, and Harry) might be an Engineer. But they pretty much have worked their bottoms off for it. Yes! IT IS NOT EASY TO BE AN ENGINEER! How difficult is that to understand? And why don't parents just let their kids do what they want, like my parents did! They may not be happy at that time. But they will be relieved later that atleast he has a degree and a job. 

A friend of mine didn't want to be an Engineer. Another friend wanted to be a Computer Science Engineer. Parents of the first guy put him in an Engineering college and the parents of the other guy put him in college to become an Electronics Engineer. Neither have become Engineers. One has quit and gone to work for a call centre in Bangalore. And the other is now following his passion (6 years too late) and started taking animation classes. Pathetic! Why not just let the kids do what they want?

And the "kids" aren't too far behind! "All my friends are gonna be Engineers! Atleast I can go to college with them!" says one young kid. "And Dad is willing to pay anything to get me into one!" What after that, young man?

I hope people realize that Engineering is an elite degree. It is not for everyone. Not everyone can be doctors. Then why does everyone wanna be an Engineer? And now MBAs! Don't even get me started on those ones! People who don't know the spelling of management turn up at MBA colleges, paying heavy "development fees", to just drop out after failing a couple of semesters.

All I wanna say is, in this era where education is purely business, and involves huge investments, please think twice and make a wise choice. Or repent for life!


  1. I am an Engineer out of my liking and choice. And agree to every word you have written in this post.

    And I respect you for following your heart and not blocking 'seat' of a person who really wanted to be an engineer!

    We should always follow our passions...

  2. Thank you, Abu! It was more about knowing that I could be anythin but an engineer, than following my heart, actually! hehe!!!

  3. My story is somewhat similar to you except that I m not working yet.. I was too forced into the herd of engineering and entraces but I knew well that I CANNOT manage physics and LET US ASSUMES anymore after 12th.. I had a little bit of physics and Maths for one sem in the course I m doing and I couldn't thank my wits enough for not taking engineering! I couldn't handle it for sure.. Engineers and Doctors are what every parent wants in Southern places ( I m from one too). Up in the north everyone wants to crack UPSC :D

    P.S What do you work as btw?

  4. Good topic. 'there is at least one engineer in every house'. so true.
    And not to forget the market value when it comes to matrimony. Its not just being an engineer, you need to be placed in an MNC to get respect. You ended up being in some not-so-known companies, years of hard work just goes down in drain.

  5. @M in Love: Cheers to that. I worked for almost 3 years before and then decided that I wanted to do my MBA. Did just that. Now I am a project coordinator for a IT firm :)

    All the best to you :)

  6. @Anju: Actually Enggs have a nice market in matrimony area too!!! Doesnt really matter if the company is small, "but he is an engineer" they say!!! :) Valid point, though!

  7. Aiyo rama..u spoke my mind..u told my story :D

  8. ROFL... Sorry... Wasn't intentional... ;)

  9. nice point bro..really liked the topic..

  10. """I hope people realize that Engineering is an elite degree. Not everyone can be doctors. Then why does everyone wanna be an Engineer?"""
    that's where the problem is. hope people realize that basic truth.

    but they are so focused on the status attached to it & the imagined gold-mine at the end of it that they refuse to understand their child's interests or inclinations

  11. So true... Except it finally turns out to be a deep, dark, coal mine where kids suffocate to death instead of the gold mine... Just let the kids do what they want...



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