Why even JEE Advanced can't get you the best engineering job

Not clearing it doesn't mean the end of the world.

 |  5-minute read |   28-04-2017
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The JEE Main 2017 results were announced yesterday (April 27), with 2.21 lakh student qualifying for the JEE (Advanced) out of the 10.2 lakh who appeared for the exam.

And with that followed media limelight for the toppers, flights of fantasies and "respect" for the selected candidates and their family members in the society. While those who have made the cut are confident of a secure future, those who didn't get through are facing the obvious question — "What now?".

The high pedestal on which these exams are placed on and the subsequent hype around their results, can make life miserable for those taking the challenge. The worth of a student suddenly seems to depend on their "success" rate in JEE test. So much so that we have even witnessed many incidents in the past where dejected students have ended their lives for failing to live up to the society's expectations.

Yet, every year, every result day, we forget the students' plight and the enormous pressure they go through.

exam-story_042817010952.jpgEvery year, every result day, we forget the students' plight and the enormous pressure they go through.

We must realise that not getting through JEE Mains (or for that many any other exam) doesn't mean the end of the world.

While it's good to encourage young people and those who top the exams, more-than-necessary adulation, including media attention, surely can go to their head besides making the ones who couldn't qualify feel completely left out, yearning for the same kind of acknowledgement and limelight.

Even if one doesn't get through JEE Mains, there are several other engineering exams that one can focus on such as the Birla Institute of Technology and Science Admission Test (BITSAT) (for BITS Pilani), VIT Engineering Entrance Exam (VITEEE), Manipal University Online Entrance Test (MUOET), and many more, to get into reasonably good engineering colleges.

Also, there are many good private engineering colleges. And even if you fail to get into any of these "renowned" engineering colleges, if you have the passion, talent and ability to work hard, you can become a good engineer, if that is what you really want to be.

The driving motive for many too aspire for "good engineering colleges" is actually the quest for a plum job. But don't forget that with so many opportunities available and the advent of the internet, recruiters are finding it easier to search for talent outside these traditionally famous colleges.

So, if you are a good coder you can easily get a job that would make many of the top school graduates go green with envy.

Similarly, for many other specialised skills for which there is enormous demand, your skills rather than your background is what matters more.

Besides, most of the public sector entities, amongst the largest job providers, don't formally differentiate between the colleges. They have specific exams like GATE, UPSC, etc., and if you do well in them, a life of comfort awaits you, no matter how you did in the JEE Mains.

Moreover, not making the cut should also be an opportunity for introspection — if engineering is your true calling or there are other interests that you would rather follow.

A lot of young students in the elite colleges have little passion for engineering. Rather their choice for graduation is more dictated by the social trend and relatively larger pool of job opportunities for the engineers. But having done not so well in the rat race, one also has an opportunity to sit back and reflect on where your heart actually lies.

Unlike old times, today opportunities beckon to those who follow their heart. Many earn more from different artistic works than what a regular office-goer can ever dream of.

There are unlimited opportunities and scope for making money and name if you have the passion, and not just the tenacity to slog, which is what a conservative play-it-safe society acknowledges.

No exam can determine your true worth. Firstly, the exam only tests you on a very limited syllabus (which more often than not is very poor at evaluating a person's inclination and capability to be a good engineer) which one may not be good at for a variety of reasons despite being otherwise quite intelligent.

Secondly, even if one has a thorough understanding of the syllabus, performing in the exam and being good at what is being evaluated are quite different. Performances also depend on one's state of mind on the day of the exam, situational pressure that our examination system creates etc.

Thirdly, it's fallacious to base your self-worth on hard to measure and subjective things like intelligence. We can have different talents which may or may not be included in academics. In either case, we should desist from taking a narrow view of self-worth.

Fourthly, doing well monetarily is not the defining criteria for self-fulfilment and happiness.

A so-called poor performance in this exam, presents the candidates an opportunity to learn to take disappointment in their stride. An underwhelming performance in JEE Main can be construed as a challenge to see if one can make a comeback.

Finally, the answer to the question "what now" is not as scary as we often imagine it to be. We must remember that JEE Main is just one of the stops in the long road of life, and not the destination itself.

Also read: What no one will tell you about cracking JEE Advanced

Writer

Apoorva Pathak Apoorva Pathak

The author is alumni, IIT Roorkee and writes on politics, economy, policy.

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