A Parent’s Guide to Engineering: Considering the stream and beyond

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Introduction

On the occasion of engineer’s day let us appreciate the precision and expertise with which they do their jobs. Their contribution to the nation is something that we should be eternally grateful for. However, the stream and study of engineering has for far been the ideal stream to pursue and is put on par with medicine. The study by itself is crucial and pretty hectic because it expects the students to have a specific technical tener and dedication. The jobs in the field also offer good pay packages, especially after the IT boom and so it has turned out to be one of the most preferred career choices by parents and students alike. 

The branches and academia 

Over the years it has been realised that engineering is not just mechanical or electrical. As we see with time, there is a technical side to any process of work and so out of that multiple jobs have emerged, wanting candidates to be experts in a given field. Today, apart from mechanical engineering, chemical engineering, electrical engineering and civil engineering, there is also software, biotechnology, bioinformatics, data analytics (which is one of the latest branches of study). It is truly insightful to see this stream of study flourish owing to the drastic technological innovations and discoveries. 

When everything’s good, what isn’t right?

Like established earlier, the stream seeks people with a specific technical tener and it goes without saying that only people that naturally are inclined to such streams will be effortlessly good at it. Now, what about the ones that aren’t naturally inclined but are pushed, directly or indirectly, to pursue this field under the garb of making good money in the future. This is where things go wrong. 

Parents do not understand that the stream is not more or less difficult, it is one of its kind and only children that are good in it will be able to enjoy the machines, the coding programs or the erecting buildings. Under pressure, the student can only afford to clear papers and backlogs without becoming an engineer.

Many engineering colleges take advantage of this typical dream of every parent, and they have successfully established engineering colleges with no successful engineers. All these students eventually end up in a career that suits them better or they struggle with their jobs as well because they do not know what suits them the best. 

What should happen at an earlier stage is that parents should make the best effort to understand their child’s mental ability and skill set. Invariably every child is blessed with a talent or a skill that can be worked upon to create a beautiful career. A career that we enjoy. So, all of this goes to say that engineering is undoubtedly a beautiful stream and can promise a good career, but if forced upon somebody, it will only turn out to be a disaster. 

Money can be made in many ways, engineering as a career is rewarding but it is not the only career. We need to guide budding teenagers to take up fields that inspire them and motivate them. Their work should be a calling, where they feel like putting themselves into it without any force. Because almost 80% of our life goes working and if we don’t spend it doing what matters to us, we will be unhappy. 

What can be done

When your child reaches 12th or so, take them to the counselor, an academic or career counselor. They will give a series of tests, which will analyse the strength and weaknesses of your child. They will also suggest a list of career options your child will possibly like. Post this, have a discussion with your child, weigh out the pros and cons and then make a decision. 

This way of approaching the issue pragmatically considering all the facts will benefit the child. At the end of the day the child seeks your moral support the most, financial is secondary to the child. You pushing them will make the child more confident and will also help the child perform better. It reassures the child that yes they are good at what they are doing and that they have indeed taken the right decision. 

Conclusion

On this engineer’s day, let us appreciate the field for what it is and at the same time also understand that every child develops a certain skill set and no field is superior or inferior to another field. All jobs are equal and we must learn to focus on virtues that will make any person successful, like hard work, dedication, sincerity and vision. This will make anybody successful. If engineering is the only way to be successful then look at all the successful people around the globe, are all of them engineers? No, right? They are smart leaders and intuitive thinkers and that is why they stand out and that is why they have established multinational businesses which have been running for decades. 

Work on your virtues and sky’s the limit!

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