To Engineer or not to Engineer?

Engineering has been one of the most sought after avenues for teens aiming for a life of prosperity especially in the Indian context. The fact is evident from the number of engineering schools(over 7000) that have popped up across cities, are producing engineering graduates every year in hordes like clockwork every year.   

Obviously, not all of them get placed into good companies and pocket huge salaries. What this equates to is an engineering degree doesn’t by default guarantee a life of prosperity. So much so, that over 70% of engineering graduates remain unemployed due to the level of competition. But the fact also remains that companies claim only 7-8% of the engineering graduates are actually employable.

But hey, we’ve heard these statistics before, we understand the level of competition that exists in engineering, but we still insist that we opt for the degree, because we assume a level of safety in finding a job when it comes to engineering. Also it is difficult to fight against the tide and stand up for the future when everyone around is touting laurels about the one stop solution to all troubles is completing an engineering degree.

In truth, if you are not in the 7-8% of the people who enjoy what they do with engineering, though you may end up in a job, you would probably end up stuck in a vicious circle you cannot find a way out of.

Financial stability is important and it is very much necessary to build a life where needs are met, but in the quest to build wealth we lose focus of everything else around us. What drives us primarily, is fear. The fear of not being employed, the fear of our peers succeeding before us, the fear of the pressure society would put on us in case we don’t follow the same path as all.

These fears are real and valid. If you truly are passionate about engineering and if working hard to apply yourself in engineering concepts give you happiness, and excellence then please do opt for engineering and do what you love. But if not, aside from allaying your fears, if you choose to take on the gauntlet of engineering just to get societal acceptance and money, you probably would also need to be okay with not being happy with the work that you do, and the routine you might feel like your career would become. In the end lose out on all that life could be, and you will not have the chance to go back in time and undo it.

Doing what you love and being really good at it offers you happiness at the end of the road, whether it is engineering or not. But it is a road that will be tough and would require you to prove yourself time and again, undergo struggle and fight an uphill battle to get there. But if you do explore avenues and put in the effort needed to achieve excellence, you will find ways of how you can build your finances doing what you love. And that is the truth, that when you are really good at what you do, solve a problem for the world using your skill set and can get the job done – people will want to work with you.

So the question you should be asking yourself is not whether to engineer or not to engineer, but am I willing to do all it takes to succeed doing what I love?

-Rashmi Ramesh

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