EDUCATION PLUS

Dare to think beyond engineering, medicine

“A few years ago my parents would have thought twice about letting me do Commerce. When I finished my class X there were many who wanted me to join MPC or BiPC stream. When I chose MEC instead, it was a big shock for them. My parents were the only ones who backed me. But now looking back, I’m glad I didn’t simply go along with the tide,” says T.A. Rajesh, who after doing B.Com and MBA now works as a manager in an MNC.

Today there are many who have similar stories to tell. But a few years ago this was almost unthinkable for many a parent in Andhra Pradesh.

For students just out of school the first question from family and friends was, MPC or BiPC? And when an occasional brave chap muttered something different like MEC or CEC, a bewildered stare was almost certain. The next question naturally was, “What will you do studying MEC or CEC?”

For many parents then, just the thought of letting their children pursue something other than engineering or medicine was enough to give them nightmares. From childhood itself, children were told by just about everyone that there was no salvation beyond engineering and medicine. And so when they did grow up, in flocks and scores they rushed to walk down the tried and tested path.

Thankfully those days are now seemingly gone. As David Chung, a B.Com student says, “The ‘engineering only’ trend is gone now. Courses like management, advertising, biotechnology and fashion designing are growing in demand. It’s all because of the changing job market.” Joseph John an employee of GE feels, “While there are lots of non-engineering jobs, BPOs are where most people end up. Although they offer quick money, as a long term career option they are not good enough.”

Losing status

Others like C.H. Arun feel that engineering is slowly losing its status as a ‘must do’ course. An employee of TCS, he says, “People seem to believe that companies prefer candidates with MBA after engineering over those with an MBA after B.Com or other degree. But actually this is far from the truth. It all depends on the company’s requirements and the candidate’s performance in his MBA and the recruitment interviews.” “Even parents are now open to change,” feels Vaishaali Chopra, a mass communication student.

A few differ

So has Andhra Pradesh’s obsession with the ‘engineering-medical dream’ finally come to an end? “Not really, especially Andhra Pradesh,” feels Neelkant Raju, an MBBS student. “There still is family pressure, peer pressure and other considerations like prestige, social status and even dowry.” There are some who even regret joining these streams. As one BDS student says, “When friends in other streams are already employed we are still doing our graduation.

It feels bad. For MBBS students it’s even worse. Without a PG their course is almost of no value.”

TOMIN PAUL

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