Don't get me wrong I am pursuing mechanical engineering, I love what I'm doing and I chose this. But, did everyone else?
The choice of any other profession that is not on the lines of a degree course is rapidly looked down upon, feared like the plague. Why is this? Statistically, There are more number of business tycoons who do not possess a college degree and this falls well under the perception of common sense. So, why are we genetically hesitant to pursue what we are designed for by the cosmos, more so, a duty we must carry out to restore balance. Why do we first choose to add a degree besides our name before we realize our burning passion?
Fear, doubt and insecurity.
Engineering, in India has somehow crept into the minds of the middle class and the soulless bodies that are making a living-somehow, as a security for income, a promised source of living and a few other redundant lies. Don't even think about it. How many Engineers' names do you know? What about the CEO's of the Big Three? Fail. But you can go on about musicians, sportsmen, politicians, actors, T.V hosts etc. You even know their dogs' names. Yet, engineers have the most direct and palpable effect on our lives. Well, you could argue what is dynamically changing and is entertaining goes a long way in being remembered. Exactly, What has the most dynamic and not passive effects are the ones that seem significant. Tesla and Elon Musk seem significant but not Hyundai and Chung Mong-koo (I had to google it) because where there is no change and achievement there is no acknowledgment.
Is that where all the few million engineers that graduate out every year are heading? Towards revolutionizing the industry? No, most of them to Cognizant and TCS.
The apparent reason behind the anxiety involved in choosing a non-engineering career path is higher competition and lower income. About competition, it's only with regards to quality, unlike in engineering and about lower income, fuck you. Right, we have had this talk already. Dwell a tad more and you'll see the actual risk lies in not making it big in the field of art, music or dance. The horror of not having what it takes because art is a gift and not everyone can possess it. If this holds true for music, art and dance, why not for engineering? How short does it fall of being considered a form of art for which you need the knack? It needs interest to begin with, passion to keep you going and a 100% commitment to become successful. It may not demand physical mastery but sure as hell a mental presence.
Can you think about opting to be a sports or a rock star, forcefully? Commit to it without a passion, reassured by what you know are fake results like IIT = life sorted? If not, then why do you follow this methodology with academics? Mediocre artists don't see the light at the end of the tunnel and so do not mediocre engineers who are pursuing it for all the wrong reasons. If art is not everyone's cup of tea, why engineering alone?
I do not intend to discourage anyone having a rough time with engineering, I'm not suggesting that people are unfit and should drop it and destroy their parents' dreams( majority chose it for this). Hell, I'm having a hard time and stray dogs will laugh at my GPA, but my credentials cover me up, they roar. All I'm saying is explore; uncover your destiny - that one thing that jolts you out of your bed and doesn't let you sleep (not referring to semester exams), follow that motherfucker.
Engineering is an art, an art of the highest order and not a fallback option. It's the most unforgiving of all the disciplines but also a beauty of the rawest form. Dedication is the only payment to be made not x million rupees of "donation", it will simply not accept that.
Everyone is gifted and contains the ability that will blow the world into two, you owe it to the society, to the planet and to yourself. Success derived out of chasing your dreams will remain above the ground even when you go underneath it and that is when you are warranted to rest in peace. This I will stand by till my last breath waves me goodbye.
This article is highly specific to the Indian system of functioning.