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Is the craze dying down?

Kavya Balaraman, Dec 6, 2012
wide scope Students have a variety of options when it comes to their higher studies. dh photo for illustration purpose only

By and large, it would seem that the craze for engineering isn’t as rampant as it was, say, two decades ago.

In fact, students have begun to diversify when it comes to their further studies — the age-old staples of engineering and medicine still have their support groups, but with opportunities opening up in fields like media and communication, design and finance, they aren’t the only options anymore.

Technically speaking, this would translate to a dip in the demand for engineering seats in college — a problem which gets compounded because of the explosion in terms of the number of engineering institutes in the City. Metrolife speaks to a few students and teachers to find out if this is true.

Most agree that ‘engineering’ isn’t the golden world it was once upon a time. In fact, Vidyullatha, who recently graduated from HKBK College of Engineering, points out that the trend has changed rapidly in the last few years.

“When I was applying, which was five years ago, engineering was practically the only option I thought about — in fact, on my road, there are about 25 people who studied engineering. But things are different now.

Students are beginning to explore other options and even the number of students who take up science in their plus-two has decreased,” she notes, citing personal examples — “My brother, who’s in the seventh standard, is adamant about not taking up engineering and many of my cousins follow the same line of thinking.”

Partly, she feels this has to do with the increasing scope of other fields. “Someone who studies commerce has as many opportunities as an engineer.

There’s so much more scope — it isn’t like earlier, when a person took up commerce or arts only because they didn’t have the marks for science,” she says, adding that given the recession and saturation in the industry, many engineers remain unemployed — prompting others to steer clear of the field.

Sipu, also an engineering student, agrees with this idea. “Earlier, huge crowds of students would take up engineering — but the trend has been changing in recent times. People are opting for other domains because of less competition — it’s easier for them to set a benchmark,” she observes.

However, not everyone feels this is the case. Gururaj, the principal of Acharya PU College has noticed that the trend hasn’t shown any dramatic changes in the last few years — the number of students who take up engineering has remained more or less constant.

“The craze is still there,” he states, adding, “There’s a big number of engineering colleges these days and any student can get a seat  — it’s only after that they realise they have to work very hard and it’s not easy to find a job. In fact, we have seen many students who complete their engineering and then take to teaching because they can’t find other jobs,” he laments.

Personally, he feels that parental pressure has a role to play in this. “The attitude of parents hasn’t changed. Medicine is costly to pursue but engineering is relatively easier to afford — and since there are so many colleges, they feel it is best to enrol their child in one,” he sums up.


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