Hey, what do you want to become?                                                                                       


What’s your aim in life?  


Where do you want to make your career?


What are you going to study after +2?                                                                                        


Aah, how do you ask, or whomever you ask, you’ll get the same answers regarding one’s career choice. Doctor or engineer. That’s it, & nothing else. There’s no other choice. Simply nothing beyond these 2 fields. Everyone is rushing to become a doctor or an engineer. But is it practically possible to just have these 2 choices only? Is there nothing else beyond these? Is it possible that everyone’d choose these 2 fields? Possibly ‘NO’. Then why everyone is rushing toward becoming doctor & engineer?

If you do a survey in India (I’m not that concerned about other nations regarding this matter) you’d get that maximum number of students, especially those who’ve secured good marks, want to become either doctor or engineer. Roughly, it can be determined that almost 90% of students of India want to have engineering or medical as a career. But would everyone have these 2 choices only? This is a question which confused me for years. Still, I don’t have any answer to give. It’s a matter of great puzzle that whomever you ask, he/she would give an answer of becoming doctor or engineer. There’d be hardly those who have other choices. And rest is rushing toward engineering & medical.

Why does everyone choose engineering or medical? Why there’s no choice beyond these two? Is there no career choice beyond these? Why do parents prefer their children to be a doctor & engineer? Is the choice of choosing these 2 career options, the true choice of students? Or is it due to others say to become or everyone is becoming the same? Does the world need to have doctors & engineers only? Is it good to choose something you don’t want to choose? How many true doctors & engineers are there in the world?

We’ll discuss all these questions here.

Before starting the discussion, I just want to clarify that I also don’t have much knowledge on the answer to this question. Here, I’m trying to discuss the topics & its possible answers. Replies from readers would of much help.

So, let’s start with how students enter to engineering or medical. First, when a student passes 10th std, & enters 11th, he/she is actually ‘forced’ to take science by his/her parents. The student may or may not be of science stream, but he/she has to take science whether interested or not. Parents actually force students to take science in +2. Those who don’t take science are those whose parents understand what their children want to take, or simply children refuse to take science. Among them, there’ll be lots who are interested in science in reality, & take science in +2. After that, when they pass out 12th exam, they’re forced to take either engineering or medical. Some force to take engineering, & some force to take medical, & even some force to take either of them, wherever the student gets seat. If students can’t get admission, their parents give donations of lakhs of rupees to college. After that, through several complex processes (complex processes = giving donations to college + cheating in exam + other malpractices), they pass out as doctor or engineer. And when you ask their parents, they’d say with pride that their children are doctor or engineer. After that, engineers would try for companies, & doctors would either work for hospitals or start their own clinic. And continue their lives. They get satisfaction by just labeling ‘doctor’ or ‘engineer’ in front of their names, & nothing else. And parents also feel pride by saying that their children are now doctor or engineer.

This is the scenario of India at the moment. Everyone just wants to label the titles of doctor & engineer in front of their names. No one has the feeling that becoming doctor or engineers through these complex processes is really nothing. Today, if you count doctors & engineers in our country, you’d need a supercomputer as the numbers go on forever…!! And you can count other professions on the heads of your finger.

People have very wrong thoughts that position, money, respect, & every good thing lie in engineering & medical. Other fields are simply nothing. This is now a common mentality of lots of parents, & so from very young ages, children are told to become doctor or engineer, & so when you ask someone what he/she would become, you’d get two common answers always. Also, as everyone is going to become doctors or engineers, every new student has these two fields as their aims. This scenario also shows that people only care about degrees & jobs, & nothing more. Continuously, I’ve been writing about these issues in my blog. The only theme in such posts are that that people share a very wrong mentality that everything lies in marks, degrees, jobs, & competition. They simply can’t think beyond this.

Engineering & medical are among the most important & demanded fields, without which many of our progresses would be stopped. All the latest technologies of today are only possible due to exponential growth in engineering, & we’re creating treatments of many previously untreatable & deadly diseases only due to the same exponential growth in medical. So both of them are very important for our both development & survival. But the problem, in anyway, doesn’t lie within engineering & medical. The problem lies with the fact that whether they’ve talents in the fields or not, the majority of students in India are taking either engineering or medical as their careers. As pointed out above, it’s impractical that everyone would have a common goal in life. The main defect is with the society. It’s a common mentality of the society that everything lie within engineering or medical, which is actually untrue. One faces the force of society to either become doctor or engineer. It’s actually not a force, but a regular appeal. People would ask you to become a doctor, an engineer. Moreover, you’d find lots of ads of engineering & medical institutes. Also you’d get to know that almost everyone you know is studying engineering or medical or is an engineer or a doctor. So, over the time, you develop an interest towards it. And if you find it hard to get into these fields, your parents in some way force you to choose them. And still, if you don’t get the marks needed to enter the institute, all the complex processes would be applied. Hey, don’t get confused complex processes with complex numbers! It’s something different. So by all these, at least you either become a doctor or an engineer.

So, it can be concluded that by this way or that way, most of the students go into these 2 fields. This is not actually the fault of students; it’s the fault of society. If we give our children complete freedom to become whatever they want to, then this problem wouldn’t have happened. Everyone would choose what he or she wants to. Then, this world would have the privilege to give births to lots of Einsteins, Vincis, Edisons, Harveys & lot other geniuses. But today we’ve very small numbers of Edisions among lots of engineers, & very small numbers of Harveys among lots of doctors. Now, why this happens? Simple. Because among large numbers of doctors & engineers, there’re small numbers of doctors & engineers who actually have talents in these fields. Others are just those who became doctors & engineers by complex processes. And these other guys have talents in other fields which they didn’t choose for reasons mentioned above.

Another problem to be dealt with is of the view of society that every good thing lies in engineering & medical. I really don’t know how such thoughts had come into the minds of people, but this is a great misunderstanding to be dealt with. Engineering & medical have all the hardships, failures, successes, rewards, discouragements, goods, bads that other fields have. There’s simply no difference. If you’re really talented in a particular field, you can leave marks in that field. If you’re not talented in a field, then whatever you do, you’d not be able to do anything special for that field. There may have some stereotypes about some fields a couple of decades ago. But today there’s really nothing. World is giving scope to each & every field. And to be honest, today no one gives interest in what your profession is, but everyone gives interest in your skills & what you can do with them. Whether you’re a doctor or an engineer or an artist or a businessman or a politician or a social worker or a sportsperson or an actor or a journalist or whatever you’re, it’s not of any interest. The interest is in what you can do with all these.

So, always choose to become what you want. The choices of life shouldn’t be affected by others interference. It should be solely personal. If you want to become an engineer, go with your dream. If you want to become an astronaut, go with your dream. If you want to be a writer, go with your dream. If you want to be a doctor, go with your dream. If you want to be a singer, go with your dream. If you want to be………, go with your dreams. But if you don’t to become, never go with it. You’ve the rights to choose for your life. Never hesitate of doing something you know, is right for you, & you want to do.

So what should we do to prevent this situation in future?

  • We should reform, & change our thinking.
  • We should let our children to become whatever they want to.
  • We shouldn’t force anyone to choose something which they don’t want to.
  • We should support every profession that has positive impact on society.
  • From the very beginning, we should introduce our children with different professions, so that they can choose which one better suits them.
  • Children should have their own choices & should have their own judgment capability.
  • Children should search themselves wherever they are talented in.
  • We should create more & more platforms for talented students.
  • Instead of providing jobs by corruption, we should recruit those who have real talents in a particular field.
  • Educational institutions should admit talented students, instead of those who give donations.
  • We should all develop strategies to turn a desert into grassland, than to stay in the desert. Means, instead of going for some developed fields, we should turn an undeveloped field to developed one.
  • We shouldn’t keep on saying about some specific fields as career options again & again to children, which create negative impacts on them. (This should be taken care especially by parents & teachers. When they’d always say about engineering & medical as career options to children, children get more pressures of choosing these two. Instead, if they talk about every field, children would get to choose vast majority of professions).
  • Educational institutes should advertise various professions, instead of few particular.
  • Government & other organizations should take initiatives towards supporting all forms of talents, & creating quality platforms for them.

These are some of the things came to my mind, which can be done. There may be more things which we can do. But the thing which can really affect the system is the education. Our education system should teach children to choose professions according to their talents, instead of choosing some common professions. Parents & teachers should take care of the fact that children explore themselves, & choose to become whatever they want to. Any ill thinking of society shouldn’t prevent them in doing so.

In conclusion, I just want to say that we’ve lot of options ahead of us. We can choose what we want to. The choices of life are not like the MCQs of exams, where if one answer is wrong, one mark would go. But these are something which affects us lifelong. If we choose something incorrect because others are saying to do, we may need to suffer for the whole life. Again, I’m saying at the end, to prevent misunderstanding, that the choice of becoming engineer or doctor is never bad. Instead, they’re excellent if you’ve talents on them. But the bad lies in the fact that without having talents, everyone is rushing towards becoming doctor & engineer.

So, explore the possibilities of life, choose your profession according to your talents, become what you want, & rock the world with your talents…!!!

 Copyright©2011-12 Sandeep Deva Misra

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