Four out of five college students you come across today would probably be engineers. Blame the IT bubble for that or the slimy ignorance of their parents. Engineering is a way to earn decent money as soon as you walk out of college, which is the sole reason most people take up this four year course. Many of the drafter-carrying boys and girls will vouch for this fact, as well as point to a 150-year-old University to blame those dreadful four years on. Sounds bad enough?
But then I have been through that gruel and guess what, thinking about it now, Engineering is the best thing that has happened to me because it has set up such a base for me that among becoming what my parents wanted me to become. I can probably become anybody I choose to.
Let’s not confuse this anymore. How many doctors do you know who turned out to be writers? The same question can be asked for chartered accountant who became cricketers or pilots who became actors or directors. Or for that matter even journalists who probably became sales & marketing people. But how many do we know of who have achieved, might I say the above feats, in our day to day lives.
Let me turn the question around. How many engineers do you know who became writers? Now think a little of engineers who turned out to be actors or directors or journalists or marketing people or entrepreneurs or politicians. Your mind’s running, the list goes on and on and on. To name a few - Anil Kumble, Aarya, Karthi, Chetan Bhagat, Gautam Vasudev Menon etc., etc.
Now you understand me a little, I hope. The obvious reason why it took you so long to figure this out is that you are probably a non-engineer. Yes, I’m trying to make it sound like an insult. We engineers are more or less looked down upon when we say, “I’m an Engineer” and the reply goes like “Yeah, one among the crowd. Are you working for a company that remotely does anything to what you studied?”
Next time when a friend, who probably is a lawyer, asks you this question snap back at him and tell him – “You can do that just one thing. I, sir, can do anything. My education has taught me that. I can engineer my beliefs to what I want to be. Can you?”
Watch how that jaw drops and the eyes look up at you with slight remorse. And no, it isn’t wrong to follow what you think is best after those four years of assignments and viva and micro bits. You use what you studied in some way. Maybe make the world a better place with a new idea mixed with those engineering skills. Walk with your head held high because dear engineer brethren, we can do anything we want to do without guilt. We are a national treasure! We can build bridges and also paint them. We can programme software and also write a poem with it. We can design stadiums and also play for the National Team. Or else, even if you are not an engineer who studied IT, you can still get a job in IT!
We can choose to B.E. or not to B.E.
(The writer is an Engineer by qualification and writes such free-lance work among an ocean of other things and is available on twitter @javeeth for all your feedbacks and be kind enough to share it)
As Published in the Doorstep - The Magz-paper Vol.1 No.1 - 29 April - 12 May