Options galore

There’s a life beyond the engineering entrance exams.   | Photo Credit: K. Ravikumar

The Joint Entrance Examination (JEE) is one of the toughest engineering entrance exams with a success rate of less than 1%. Approximately nine lakh students registered for the JEE Main 2020. After an unprecedented upheaval, and a couple of postponements, only 75% of the candidates made an appearance. In some cities like Ludhiana, only 45% of the registered candidates took the exam.

Evidently several aspirants had decided to play safe during the pandemic and avoid appearing for the in-person exam. But is this the end of the road for these students who decided to prioritise their safety over the test? Certainly, not. Here are some of the alternative routes that they can consider:

Other engineering options: The JEE is not the only engineering entrance exam. Aspirants can look at options beyond the IITs and NITs. State and private universities are worth looking at and several have changed their admission policies due to the pandemic to help out the aspirants.

Look at the pure science courses: This is the time to reflect and understand: is engineering the only choice? Many students can choose an alternative path with a degree in any of the core science subjects, which can lead to exciting professional opportunities in pure and applied research in areas such as Robotics, Computational Physics, Aerodynamics, Data Science, Pharmacological Research, Operational Research. While some institutes may have their own entrance examinations, several others will take admissions through merit.

Online learning: From Automation to Machine Learning, insights about different facets of engineering are available through Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs). With edtech platforms partnering leading global universities, there are plenty of options for intriguing and exciting courses that will help students make a better decision about the specialisation or domain to pursue.

Upskilling: Everyone needs to invest in skills that are relevant for the 21st century, whether it is Coding, Business Management, Operations, or Positive Psychology. Understanding different domains and how they come together will help students tide over this challengingg time and make their journey more fruitful.

JEE 2021

For those who couldn’t attend the exam this year, there’s always another chance. Think of it as deferring the exam for a year, and appearing for JEE in 2021. However, evaluate your chances of clearing of the exam if you decide to drop a year realistically. At the end of the day, one year will not make a huge difference to your long-term career, so choose wisely.

Students who decided to not appear for the JEE did what they felt was appropriate in the circumstances. This just might lead to a road less travelled by, and make a difference in a way they couldn’t have anticipated.

The writer is a Career Coach, Mindler.

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Printable version | Jan 18, 2021 4:49:17 PM |

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