A question to all the engineers out there – Were you passionate about the subject of engineering, much before you pursued it as an education?
How many of you took to engineering coz;
- You liked the idea of doing engineering.
- It was the proven success path to a well-earning job
- It was the only thing you knew you could pursue apart from medicine, for that respectable career path
And, how many of you took to engineering coz;
- More than interest, there was love to make things work and build systems.
- A natural problem solver wanted to learn how all things worked. Actually get down to the nitty gritty’s.
In other countries, one has to be a ‘licensed’ engineer to be called a professional engineer. An Engineer has to prove his mettle and the final project or thesis is the ultimate showcase of his/her understanding of the concepts, duly applied to solve an engineering problem.
How many of us are doing that in Bangalore? In the many Engineering Colleges here, Engineering is broken down to this-
- Each semester with 3 internals and a final semester exam
- Choosing the 5 sure shots questions out of 8 to study for the 100.
- Taking only 2 out of 3 internals to score the base 15.
- Textbooks catering to the marks hungry students.
Directionless – opting to study mechanical engineering and then choosing to take an IT job. Pursuing an MBA after. We are just going with the flow, following the general proved path.
It’s imperative to note that more than what the society asks of us – our parents believing that becoming an engineer is the first step to success, the friends, and family around who ask ‘engineering or medicine?’, they are not the only ones pushing us towards engineering. We as students also believe that engineering is the way to go. The choice of a lucrative job offer at the end of 4years is more than enough motivation for an average joe/jane.
Our exposure to others forms of career is limited and the career path that we are exposed to get filtered out by the monetary compensation that they guarantee. For me, growing in a strict household, the want to spread my wings needed the funds. And what better way to earn than engineering – its science and math, a bit of common sense and understanding the workings of human technological advancements. Also, the moment one starts becoming a handyman around the house, one starts to believe that it could be pursued as a career. Adding to all this is the sense of ‘am doing something right’ that guarantees a sense of respect amongst your peers and elders.
So what happens then? Why does the interest fade away and we become jaded? Why doesn’t that interest build over years?! why is engineering the gateway to realising other dreams and aspirations?
There are so many of us having a natural flair to be comedians, authors, writers, travel guides, singers and dancers, Gamers and animators, directors and scriptwriters, rockers and singers, organic farmers.
Sivakarthikeyan – a comedian turned successful actor – an Engineer and an MBA graduate, Shankar Mahadevan – music director – a software professional, R Madhavan – successful actor and a cultural ambassador – an electronics engineer, Karthick Subbaraj – new age director -mechatronics engineer, Chetan bhagat – famous novelist – IIT and IIM alumnus, Rashmi Bansal – non-fiction writer, youth expert and entrepreneur – IIM alumnus, Anuradha kedia – ‘The Better India’ -an online positive news portal – Civil Engineer and ISB alumnus. These are few famous people who have taken up other careers and have been a tremendous success.
There are a lot more people who are starting out to venture into ‘what I love to do’, having quenched the monetary thirst and now want to lead a more balanced life. A work life created out of a passion and building it with a fervent zealous, day in and day out. A more wholesome life quality and have the money follow them rather than chase it.
It isn’t all a total waste either. Being a true engineer helps you to think analytically, logically and have more common sense. Having scaled a certain trajectory at work, travelled a little or a lot, seen the people and the world, one gets to have a more grounded sense of life. Then when you do start of something ‘else’. It would and should be purely driven by the love for it.
To quote a popular movie – 3 idiots – “Do not pursue success, pursue excellence and then success will follow”. There is a lot of truth in it.