According to the Mckinsey report issued more than a decade ago, just a quarter of the engineers in India were actually employed. Irony being a student scoring 60% cannot pursue B.A.English but can definitely go in for engineering. In the words of a dutch social psychologist Dr.GeertHofestede, “India is a collectivist and a high power distance country” which means that we believe in decisions that value groups over the individual and we rever authority, which means that children are not even given enough of a choice with careers and so they are generally not even interested in exploring alternative career options based on their skill. Indian prefer ascription over achievement, where we respect age, experience and family name over expertise and achievement.
I was wondering when we talk about commerce, when we talk about science, I just want to ask the students, Do you want to be a small fish in a big pond or a big fish in a small pond? And I say that based on the numbers I get to see, Ten lakh students write the engineering exam every year, all exams put together. So they all become engineers irrespective of which institutes they go to. I was talking to a gentleman who actually got a chance to look at the entrance exam papers with due permission from AICTE and all and he told me that a lot of students get zero in entrance exams in engineering. So we started wondering what was happening, so he further looked into the answer sheets and he realised that a lot of students did not write beyond their name and the roll no on that answer script. Otherwise, even if they had taken a guess and filled up all as A,A,B,B, they would have got some marks, it would not have been a zero and they still get admission by the way. That is a poor state of how we make choices in our country. There are so many students who are getting into engineering possibly because everybody else is doing that and they do become engineers, but the fact is that they probably do not get the right kind of education which is required to become an engineer. Now what i would like to tell the students who are on the verge of making a choice is that, think a little differently and act differently, don’t go by the herd mentality, make smart choices. Think about it just by seeing the numbers. If the majority of the students are getting into engineering there are some good, smart opportunities which are there for you and which not every student is eyeing. Those are the non science career options, I am talking about Commerce, Humanities: not every student is thinking about it. If you make a smart choice and you get into Commerce or Humanities and by the way, there is a good demand for such students in the industry, you will actually end up picking a good career because not too many students are going there. If the industry is seeking those kinds of candidates they will find you to be one of the best ones to be picked. So why don’t you make a smart choice, think a little differently and act differently and make commerce as your first choice.