Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Engr-MBA (Slurp! Slurp!)

First things first. I am a half-engineer. I dropped out of engineering after two years for purely personal reasons, which have no bearing on my two cents of wisdom.

Interviewer: So, Mr. Dhananjay. Your undergraduation degree was in Management and now you are pursuing an MBA. Aren't you studying the same things twice? (Snide glances and loud guffaws from all the three panelists)
Dhananjay: Sir, do you prefer an engineer, who would end up wasting 4 years of his education, by joining your company???

The above incident occured during one of the interviews during my summer placements. As expected, I was not selected. Not that I care.

The point I am trying to drive at is this:
Some of the best brains from the student community slog for four years (glass-tracing included) and end up in a b-school, finally taking up jobs that have absolutely no relevance to their under-graduation degree. And, corporate recruiters go head-over-heels trying to woo them into their net.

Let's look at their top reasons (excuses):

Engineers have a certain higher level of aptitude - In a general sense, this is largely true. But, if you look at a batch of 60 or 120 students in a b-school, there is absolutely no difference between the aptitude levels of engineers and non-engineers. In my batch, I'm sure a few of us non-engineers would have beaten anyone black-and-blue in a pure aptitude test. If any of my batch-mate disagrees, challenge me.

Engineers bring technical expertise to the recruitment table - This is a valid reason, if it is a manufacturing-related company.

Engineers grasp things faster - Complete hogwash. If someone can conclusively prove this theory to me, I shall walk naked through the streets of Bombay.

Throughout my life, I have been a witness to a certain bias towards engineers from a wide section of individuals, including non-engineers. In Bombay, flash the VJTI or SPCE card and people kowtow, as if they are in the company of super-intelligent, supra-human studs.

In my opinion, the only aspect where an engineer scores over a BCom/BSc/BA... the 4 years spent in an engineering college instills a certain amount of discipline and work-ethic in an individual. I hope my non-engg readers do not raise their arms in self-defence at the above comment. But, honestly, let's give it to them. They slog a lot, lot more than what we guys do for our degree.

But the pertinent question is - what's the use???

Look at IITs. I have all the respect in the world for the high-level technical education that they impart. But, what is the probability of an IITian doing cutting-edge work in an R&D facility? Though, I do not have the statistics, it would be safe to assume the figure to be miniscule. (If anyone differs, please bear with me)

Apart from IITs and another 20-25 engg colleges from across the country, the lesser said about the quality of education being imparted in other institutes, the better. They are the modern-day assembly line mass manufacturers that Henry Ford would have been proud of. Plus, they are less than half as good (and I am being generous) as what Ford's final product was.

Another reality...which very few engineers would admit, once they are out of the 'factory' with a degree... Given a choice, they would have wanted to quit engg midway, but it was family pressure and society-mein-izzat that kept them in check. (Betaa, building waale kya bolenge? Rishtedar Kya Sochenge? Blah...Blah...)

How could I forget the famous law:
The amount of dowry demanded is directly proportional to the perceived value of the boy's degree.
And, an engineer weighs heaviest on the money scale.

I mean, is all this really worth it? Would it not have been better if someone genuinely interested in pursuing a career in engg, had gained admission? If one sits back and analyses our obsession with the engg phenomenon, these uncomfortable truths are so obvious. Still, umpteen corporate recruiters turn a blind eye in their mad scramble for an Engr MBA.

I feel the same contempt for others who waste their precious education.
For ex) Female MBAs who quit their job after marriage.


Anonymous K.K. said...

Hi dude,

well said. very few institutes in the engineering field actually promote research.( mgmt. institutes also are on the same lines ). and most of these engineer ****ers ruin my chances of raping the bitch.

6:10 AM  
Blogger Surya Ragunaathan said...

hii DJ
well! i completely agree with ur take on engineering students...n yes! some of the best brains r indeed going waste...but i wud largely blame the parents for this(not that the students themselves r innocent)...conservatism has enchroached the minds of many parents who force their kids to take up engineering no matter what...i have seen this trend specially in the South Indian families(no offences meant...u know i m one too)...my personal experience on this has been such...my sis was forced to take up science after her 10th & the same for taking up eng after 12th which fortunately for her didnt happen due to not-good-enough PCM marks...she landed up doin her Bsc in stats n then an MMS...now is a personal banker at HDFC ultimately doing no justice to any of her academic records...much to my mom's frustration i being as stubborn as ever never even looked in the science direction...took up arts(not that i didnt have enough marks to get myself into the science stream)...but just that 'history' was a facination...but u know how mothers are?...they will get things done the way they want...my bro is currently in his 1st year eng in NIT(surat)...attending lectures(wich he finds dreary)all day, mugging humungous notes, n then vomitting those in the exams....n doin all this more due to peer pressure & yes,trying to be the typical mom's boy....
parents do all this more bcoz yes, the damn dowry factor, n of course...the misconception thats been thriving for so long that 'science/eng is the best career option in the world'...n to be able to proclaim to neighbours, friends, relatives, "my son is an eng....blah...blah.." and there are many such families, mine being just one of them...
guess by the time realization dawns on this act of tyranny(if i must say)...it'll b too late...

11:34 PM  

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