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Published in the 16-30 Jun 2004 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Education & careers
All about a career in Engineering & Medicine

Every year more than 10 lakh students in India take up the ENTRANCE exams to get into either Medical or Engineering profession. But only 50-60% of them actually make it to colleges. Hence for the benefit of all such students who wish to know about Engineering or Medical, a few facts are presented here. 

What is Engineering? Is it the best profession at present?

Engineering is a systematic approach of applying thoughts to solve a problem, analyse things. It gives the essential technical skills and makes a person industry ready. Any profession carried out with "Taqwa" is the best profession. Its we who decide what is best for us and not the outside world. A student must be able to assess his / her abilities, likes / dislikes, etc.. and then make a study of different professional courses on offer with a global view. It is only then that he / she should make a choice of his profession. If that profession happens to be Engineering, then it's the best for the student otherwise its not.

How is Engineering different from other fields? 
Each field is unique in itself. Engineering is one field which not only seeks to impart technical knowledge to the students but also makes them disciplined. Engineering is analysis of the problem rather than remembering it. 

How is the current syllabus in Engineering & what are the challenges?

The syllabus does not completely meet the requirements of the course. One needs to learn many other courses which are coming up very fast. A student has to face the following problems: lack of time, lack of good lecturers, high fees for payment, seats, heavy traveling ( if the college is far from the residence), attending tuitions, lack of motivation to carry on the heavy schedule. etc….

What kind of study plan, efforts, qualities and attitude a student should develop once into Engineering?

Remember: one academic session previously was one whole year, and in Engineering it’s cut down to six months or even less. You have to work right from the day one. You read and understand the subject matter as and when its done in class. A student should always have two motto's "In depth Knowledge" and "Very high Scoring".

Will I be getting a job by studying only the syllabus prescribed by the University? yes / no.

Yes, most companies recruit students on the basis of the marks scored by the students throughout the course of study starting from schooling, +12 / P.U.C, & Engineering. So you need to study the university syllabus and score higher marks in the university exams. 

No, most companies also look for aptitude, technical skills, communication skills, practical knowledge & personality presentation etc in a student. And that these cannot be achieved by restricting oneself to the syllabus prescribed by the University. 

If not a job, which are the different courses available for further studies after B.E?

If you are a person who is looking for more technical knowledge, M.E or M.Tech is the course.

One can take up competitive examinations like I.E.S, I.A.S, I.P.S, K.A.S and many more central & state services. If you intend to study abroad, G.R.E, TOEFL are the exams to be taken up. 

If you want to be an entrepreneur i.e., you want to start your own business or you want to occupy a very high executive position in the company you work, M.B.A is the course from highly reputed institutes.

If not B.E what are the alternatives available?
The alternatives to B.E courses are offered by certain select institutes like Associated Members in the Institute of Engineers (A.M.I.E), Associated Members of the Computer Society of India (A.M.C.S.I), Associated Members of Institute of Dairy Technology ( A.M.I.D.T) These are considered equivalent to B.E. 

What is medicine (MBBS/ BUMS/BAMS/BDS/BNYS)?
The Oxford Handbook of Clinical Medicine says " Decision and involvement are the essence of action, reflection and assumption are the essence of thought, the essence of medicine is combining these realms of action and thought in the service of others." 

Is it the best profession at present?
The answer to this question is very biased and cannot be generalized. The question should be "Is it the best profession for me?" However, when a P.U.C student asks this question, he/she is actually asking about 3 of his primary concerns - FINANCIAL, INTELLECTUAL & MORAL concerns.

Financial concerns occupy the 1st position in the priority list of most students. The fee structure has increased & now in the near future becoming a doctor may be a privilege only for people who have money. But students who have the burning desire, whether or not they have money, they some how either by scholarships or loans, manage to become doctors. 

So one should always keep the factor of finance in mind. Alhamdulillah, doctors are paid well and a doctor with a super specialized qualification makes good money. Even for a M.B.B.S / BUMS/ BAMS/BYNS graduate the situation is not bleak and he can lead a sound financial life. 

Intellectually medicine is a very fascinating subject. You are studying supreme creation of God and believe me its delicacy and complexity are mind boggling. Most people think that medicine is all about " mugging," its true, didn't you have to memorize numbers before solving a problem, its the same with medicine, only that the fundamentals are not as easy to memorize as the numbers. But once you do that its as interesting as mathematics, if not more.
Morally medicine is a noble profession. You are constantly communicating with people, you have an in depth insight into the society. Of course corruption and deceit have crept into medicine too. How efficiently you tackle them will depend only on your "Iman". 

What are the qualities a student must possess to become a good doctor?
Work hard : Working hard is a pre - requisite. You need energy and stamina for working long, irregular hours, an urge to serve and heal the sick. Strong communication skills & ability to remember more is an advantage. You have to read from books which weigh more than 4 kgs & have more than 3000 pages. So you must work really hard.

Being kind to patients : Most of the diseases have a natural cure and most of the rest can not be cured You need to have good listening skills and ability to deal with various kinds of patients. Being kind with everyone : This is a pre-requisite to be a good doctor. You need to share your knowledge freely. Always be ready to learn from others. Respect each other and never develop pride and arrogance.

What are the job prospects?
There are various job opportunities open to those who take up a career in allopathic medicine: In various hospitals / clinics and health departments, in defence medical services, in private hospitals / nursing homes / clinics etc., in the railways and public sector medical departments. Union Public Service Commission conducts Combined Medical Services Examination for recruitment to various posts as private practice after opening your own clinic / self employment

Amazing Fact: In India more than 10,000 doctors graduate and all are equally important and precious to take care of the health of more than a billion people of the Indian sub continent. So are you ready to be one among them?

Any queries?
If you have any queries, kindly mail us. We will put the best solutions (not answers) for your career queries. 

Ameen-e-Mudassar, Career Counsellor
MSW-Career Guidance & Information Center

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