What should I know before becoming an engineer

Number 1 – You must not become an engineering graduate, but an engineer. Engineering is not a degree, it’s a profession. So you must be ready to acquire skills, knowledge, problem-solving abilities and an innate determination & interest to build, create, tinker, solve and optimise things.

Number 2 – Engineering is not the only way. There are other professions which are equally dignified. Lawyers, CA, Bank Manager, Railways, Management, Research, Police, IAS, PWD and many others which may suit as per your interest and capabilities.

Number 3 – You must not become an Engineer to earn money. Sure being an engineer pays you well and it can be your trumph card if you are from poor background with talent. It can be your gateway. And you must use your maximum potential to get the best out of yourself and your degree. Having said that, engineering is not a means to earn money, at least not just money. Engineers build stuff. They fix stuff. They plan and create. So that’s the primary responsibility and focus you must develop. Having failed that, you may become rich, successful and happy, but you will not be a good engineer.

Little signs that show you were meant to be. Having said that and cleared. If you still believe and feel, that engineering is your way and you were meant to be one. If you like problem solving and thinking about the why. If you are curious and interested to build things. If you are good at focusing your attention on something for a prolonged period with high level of analysis. If you feel that you want to contribute to nation building in core fields. If you want to solve long pending problem in particular area of world.

A childhood dream meant to be followed and achieved. If you have always had a dream to be an engineer some particular field by your own inclination and influence and not by someone’s pestering or constant bombarding. Then welcome to the world of Engineering, the gates are opened for you. You must strive to prove your worth among the millions, literally to be able to get a stand and that’s just to study engineering. The path towards being one and glorifying your dream will have many rollercoaster rides, challenges and experiences.

How to become an engineer?

First and the foremost step for you is to clear your HSc (12th STD) with Physics and Mathematics along with chemistry or other subjects with minimum 50%. That’s just ELIGIBILITY. But if you cannot score 75 or more, it starts to show some signals.

Secondly, you must prepare yourself for entrance exams – which comprises of complete knowledge, understanding and problem solving of 11th and 12th standard. So if you are of the kind that you forget the syllabus of last year, then you know this is not meant for you. Anyway every new year in college and there on in your career will bring new things to learn where you must remember everything that you previously encountered. Again only if you want to be a good engineer. As mentioned in the prologue.

So you must either aim for

  • JEE Advance to get into IITs
  • JEE Mains to get into NITs, IIITs and likewise
  • State entrance exam (like GUJCET) if you have any, within the top 10% of applicants.

Missing to secure any of the above 3 with your every might and complete efforts, you may start thinking of some other alternative. As said in prologue, something else might suit your style and talent where you can become the best in that profession than being in wrong place. However if you missed giving your best due to some other issues like medical, pandemic or some other stuff, you can reappear for the exam next year by taking a drop and giving your double to secure good position. It will take lot of grit, discipline, will-power and clarity.

Alternative paths and few Lucky ones

Sure you will read about many success stories, prodigies, rare examples of students making it from small to large. It is inspiring. But what you must also know is that you must be willing to put equal amount of efforts, focus and willingness into it to be able to get the same results.

As mentioned earlier, engineering is not the only way, let alone being a topper or great candidate. Life will present you with some more opportunities, that change life for once in and all, but you must be in the right place at the right time with the right frame of mind. Skills, Talent and Knowledge might not be the only thing, once you get out of college, for you to be able to get a good opportunity.

And you can choose to get some job, continue to earn and live to be a clerical engineer. It pays decently. It’s nothing less. You are still an engineer, at least on records. What you must be very clear about it is that you must then not have exuberant expectations like those prodigies, IIT graduates, high paying jobs or respect. You became a clerk and you will get the returns in the same proportion.

So if you don’t make it into the lot where you may have a equally bright future as you imagine, you try for reattempt at your discretion. Or you may try to amplify your efforts in the college to get a fair chance. But do not continue to postpone your results by taking masters, courses and so on just hoping for some better world out there. You must do masters if you have things like Teaching, Research, Higher roles and specilisations on your mind and periphery. It must not be an option because you didn’t make it through placements or worse you didn’t have placements in your college.

The choice will be yours. The decision will be yours. And the outcome will be accordingly. You may prove to be an outlier but then you must know that. All the other times we have far more engineering graduates who fail to make it out of the lot and far more students after 12th trying to get into the lot and slip out by margins. It would have been far more worthwhile to focus efforts on other things to secure good position and hold on the preferred or suited profile or course.

At the very blank perspective towards what it may fold out to be, whichever branch or college you may choose or wish to be in, you must appear for JEE Mains to know where you fall in the lot of millions. Avoiding a correct evaluation or competition, you will only reduce your abilities to face life in it’s original sense, making it only difficult for future challenges that may come at your desk. Your efforts, merged with your choices will give the results that are in proportion. You must be reasonable in that aspect to seek what you plant.

All the best for your career and future.

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