What if not IIT ?

Vijay Garg *

In a country obsessed with the prefix of an engineer, it is almost imperative for the parents to dream of their kids being one. In junior classes, you will get to hear all sorts of dreams from the kids. You will come across wannabe pilots, art teachers, tango dancers, and photographers.

But once they reach their junior college level, you will be amazed to find them rushing to some coaching institutes for preparing IIT Joint Entrance Exam. What is such a rush all about? Why not follow your passion than to be a part of the rat-race?

But then there are students who are really passionate about getting into the premier engineering colleges and graduating from there. Many youngsters dream of creating their own unique identity in the engineering fields. The vast opportunities offered today are unparalleled. The advanced IT training prepares a student to be a torch-bearer in the IT revolution.

Today graduates from Indian Institute of Technology's and several Indian engineering colleges are holding top positions in Google, Microsoft, and several IT giants. Every now and then, we come across some architectural marvels around the world. Just imagine the pride associated with the architects of Burj Khalifa! There are many students who want to share this pride and prestige.

IITs allow students to bring these dreams to reality. The high quality of faculty and exposure is unparalleled. IITs were established with the motto of promoting industrial development in war-torn India. Over the subsequent years, they grew in number as well as student capacity. They began to attract the attention of companies all over the world. Obviously, the youngsters found themselves attracted towards these institutions.

But this is also a sad reality that the seats are limited in IITs. So, when the not so lucky kids fail to clear JEE, they begin to lose hope as if their world has ended. Come on kids! The world is full of opportunities.

Do you think Mark Zuckerberg needed a degree from MIT to create Face-book? He had passion and he followed his dreams. He did not get bogged down by the academic requirements. And he won!

So, when you realize that you failed to clear IIT Joint Entrance Exam, spare few moments and introspect. Try to find your real calling. And if you realize that engineering is not the one, then work towards your real calling. You can appear in entrance exams for NIFT, NID, law colleges, CA, CS, allied medical fields like biomedical engineering, lab technicians and so on. If you are really into computers, you can consider doing BCA and MCA. As a matter of fact, people with MCA are paid the same as engineering graduates.

And if you are passionate about being an engineer, then look at the other engineering colleges. We have got several National Institute of Technology's that offer equally good education and environment. You will get an equal number of opportunities there. And always remember, it is the talent that matters. Try to exhaust all the opportunities provided to you in these NITs. When you work really hard and smart, you are bound to succeed.

Along with the NITs, we have got a number of Indian Institute of Information Technology's, BITS Pilani, BIT Mesra, SPAs and state engineering colleges. There are a number of private engineering colleges also that are well-reputed and boast of the rich faculty and alumni. You will be surprised to know that the Google CEO Satya Nadella is not an IITian but alumni of Manipal Institute of Technology.

What I want to convey here is when Satya would have failed in IIT entrance exam, he too would have been unhappy. But he did not let that failure stop him from achieving his dreams. He worked hard in the college and let the fire to succeed be in him forever. Today he might be the CEO of the biggest IT firm, but he did start modestly. So, when you too fail to clear IIT, take it as a chance to work harder.

You have nothing to lose but everything to gain. Work on your weakness and hone your strong points. You have 4 years of the engineering course to make a concrete road towards your success. Utilize the chance.

Was Sir Jagdish Chandra Bose having an IIT degree? No! IITs were not even established in his time. He graduated from the University of Calcutta. But it was his endeavour and efforts that made him one of the greatest scientists of all times. Having an IIT badge is not everything. But having the persistence to excel does matter.

And who can forget our own missile man, A.P.J. Abdul Kalam! Even he wasnít an IITian. He did his engineering from a state engineering college and went on to be the soul of Indiaís missile mission. But then he did work hard. And only that matters at the end. We are not saying that the IITs are bad but we are emphasizing that IITs are not the end of the world.

If you wish to get into the field of architecture, always appear for NATA. This will give you chances to apply in premiere architecture colleges of India. School of planning and architecture are spread all over the country. These are the ones that are the most sought after by future architects. If you find yourself more inclined towards building structures with an aesthetic sense, then studying the architecture should be your call.

You can even pursue your career in interior designing. They have a huge demand these days. We have buildings all around us and at the same time, we are facing space crunch. A good interior designer knows how to utilize the maximum space. You must have seen the craze for space saving furniture.

So, when people or organizations get a new building, they consult an interior designer in order to make their home/office look presentable and comfortable. Most construction and architecture firms hire interior designers who work in sync with the architects.

Along with all these options, you should really give it a nice long thought if you really want to be an engineer? Talk to your seniors, teachers or friends. We need to accept that Indian parents canít see anything beyond medical and engineering streams while the world is bubbling with opportunities. There are a number of websites that offer career advice. Interact with them.

They deal with hundreds of students every day and have a good experience. They can suggest you a better career option to suit your personality and needs. They also have a good knowledge of colleges and their fees along with the placement opportunities.

If you are taking admission in some private engineering college, always inquire about the placement. There are tech colleges growing like mushrooms in our country. Majority of them donít even have a permanent faculty, let alone proper infrastructure. Graduates from these colleges face problems in getting jobs. Also, many colleges donít even have proper affiliations.

They may have big hoardings on the prominent locations but that does not mean that they are recognized. Most of you must have read about IIPM in New Delhi. It gets front page news and big events every now and then. Just check the UGC website. You will be shocked to know that this high profile institute comes under the fake university category. You may get a job but you will never be counted as a graduate.

If you wish to appear for government services or UPSC exams, you will not be eligible. So never go after the advertisements, do a proper background search before joining any college. If your economic status allows, you can go for engineering abroad. Many countries are known for their quality yet affordable education.

You will get a global exposure there. You can learn the engineering techniques there and utilize them back home. But this option is strictly based on your economic status.

* Vijay Gargwrote this article for The Sangai Express
This article was webcasted on June 17 2024.

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