It has now become sort of a fashion, if not a ritual, for students to step into the engineering arena after the higher secondary education. As Kerala is now overflowing with engineering colleges, B.Tech degree is now one of the most easily attainable degrees. Unfortunately majority of the students enter the course without having any idea about the course and end up as aimless and lost, trained dolls. After four years of struggling with numerous text books, all that the so-called engineers earn is merely a degree; and if lucky, a job.
So what goes wrong, and where? To begin with, the very choice of the engineering stream may play the trick. It is of great importance to know what to expect in each stream very well before we take the leap. Students tend to choose the branch which is usually taken by the top rankers.Bad idea! The choice of the course should always be about our interests and talents and not the conventional flow. Because in the end what counts is our expertise in the respective field, and not the field we choose. Right? Unfortunately it takes few semesters for most of us to embrace that sour truth! Perhaps this is one reason why most of the engineers end up in the software field irrespective of their original streams.
Well, you have successfully got into the race, now what? Go with the flow of course! Your internal sensors start buzzing and picking up the dos and don’ts and finally settle down at few important conclusions or revelations:
THE PURPOSE OF YOUR LEARNING IS PLACEMENT!
In most of the colleges, since the day you step in, one word keeps bashing your ears: PLACEMENT! Is that the end of your life? Is that the sole purpose of doing your course? Why does everyone make such a big fuss about placement! If you don’t get placed, your life is finished! Really?! Slowly students end up doing everything, as in EVERYTHING, in a placement-oriented manner. All of a sudden they start reading English books, watching English channels, and running around for certificates related to anything they can set their hands on, all for the sake of getting ‘placed’. In short, they eat, drink and breathe ‘placement’!
WHAT’S YOUR AGGREGATE?
For newcomers aggregate is simply a collection of few alphabets a-g-g-r-e-g-a-t-e. But it takes no time for them to feel the bitterness of its significance. In the sprint to score marks, we often let go the need for real knowledge. We stick to the syllabus and learn by heart few theories or algorithms and diagrams to score high marks and oh yeah, we become engineers, but in paper. It is sad to say, but we sweat in front of the fundamentals. Pathetic huh!
YOUR NEIGHBOURS GIVING YOU THAT HERE-COMES-THE-ENGINEER LOOK
It is understandable. All they know is about the successful engineers making a fortune in big companies. They seem to be ecstatic and over-excited when you enter the final year of BTech – as if you have reached the final level of “Who wants to be a millionaire”! It is very simple and easy for an outsider: you join a college, complete the degree, get a job, make money, and get married. Wait a second, so is marriage the ultimate aim of your studies? Game over?
YOUR PARENTS TREATING YOU LIKE ‘ENGINEERS’!
Something goes wrong at your house, and you are expected to spring into action – be it electronic, electrical, mechanical or computer related crisis. Try failing to do so, there follows the criticism ‘what the hell do you learn in your college?!’ No offence to those master brains who can repair stuff, but I am sure that there is a fine section of the engineering society who can’t deal such things on their own. Seems like equations and practical knowledge are two very different things! And how many of us are able to relate them both in real life? Food for thought.
I SHOULD NOT HAVE CHOSEN THIS COURSE (WEEPING)
This is a common line which most of the wannabe engineers lament over. Every course has its own pros and cons. What good does it do to weep over our choice after being trapped? While we are in it, try to do justice to our (or maybe the parents’!) choice and ‘move on’!
The stark realities of engineering degree do not end here. It just keeps piling up on top of one another and gets worse year by year. And we often forget to enjoy in midst of all this chaos. There are numerous possibilities to gain experience and have fun while pursuing this degree. Instead of cursing and swearing we should try to earn something worthwhile before stepping out of the college. What is the purpose of four years of toiling in the college if in the end we feel that it was all a waste of time? It is about time to think about the direction we are headed to before it gets too late. There was a time when engineers were looked upon with great respect, let us not blemish the value of this noble degree.
God bless us everyone!