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What are alternatives to B.Tech Degrees?

Every year in India, barely half of the students who start a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) degree will graduate. In 2007, an astounding 57,110 students entered into the field of engineering while only 31,230 passed out by the end of four years. What is going on with this disturbing trend? And how can we put a stop to it?

A large issue with the alarming number of dropouts is the pressure that many Indian students are dealing with on a daily basis. Students join the B.Tech programs with huge expectations of finding a high-salaried job when they get out. The reality, however, is that a large number of these students don't have the intellectual skills to be successful in such a program to begin with. Whether Indian students are feeling pressured from themselves or their families to find a job with a large income, it is vital they reflect on and analyze their individual strengths before jumping into a degree program that might not be of their best interest. 

Another issue is the fact that students these days may not have the perseverance or grit needed to challenge themselves in a program as strenuous as a B.Tech. They are used to rote memory and a lot of assistance from teachers, then struggle when they are on their own and have to think by themselves. There are so many students joining engineering programs each year and the best schools take the most talented. Those who may not have the top skills are then forced to start at a lower quality school, continuing the cycle of struggling in academics. 

These are just a few of the problems affecting thousands of students in India each year and then in turn affecting their families, as well. Students may realize they don't enjoy their engineering courses and want to quit the program, but their family pride may be keeping them from pursuing their true interests and dreams. If they then fail their B.Tech courses, or eventually drop out of them, they may feel shame or think they are a failure, leaving them discouraged or even depressed. Some of these dropouts have even admitted to lying to friends and family about their careers in order to keep their name from being smeared. With all of the disappointment, fear, and even mental health issues stemming as a result from being unsuccessful in B.Tech programs, what can an individual in India do? 

The first thing that is so necessary for individuals to remember is that they need to do what they are passionate about. There are many excellent career paths that one can pursue besides engineering that have opportunities for high salaries as well as career prospects. It is also important for the student to reflect upon their own unique strengths, not a friend or family member’s, and look into getting a degree in something they know they will enjoy and be good at. Below are some of the most promising emerging career options as alternatives to engineering. 

An exciting and challenging alternative to a degree in engineering would be a degree in law. Just as prestigious and respected, a career in law would be an excellent option for someone who enjoys debating, has strengths in public speaking and researching, and can always see multiple viewpoints to a situation. It is important to keep in mind that this degree would also be strenuous and demanding but it could be exactly what someone is looking for!

Another very different career path from engineering would be in media or journalism. This is a career that will always need employees and is constantly changing. This job is extremely versatile and can be located at an office, online, or even in a different country. There are many chances for writing about large varieties of topics and journalists are often seen as leaders of change. This would be a great career for someone who is outgoing, likes speaking and communicating with people, and who is talented at writing. 

A career in fashion has quickly turned out to be one of the most valued and sought after in recent years. It allows one to use their strengths of creativity and sense of style. It will be important that one aspiring to this career is a trendsetter and isn't afraid of going outside of the box. Some of the jobs a student could obtain with this degree are designer, owner of a clothing store, personal shopper, or stylist. 

Marketing is an emerging career path that is simply exploding and in constant need of new workers. Working in marketing would allow many unique opportunities and give the individual a chance to really show off their skills. This position could easily incorporate technology and computers without all of the maths courses a degree in engineering would require. Some jobs that could be obtained with a marketing degree are marketing manager, human resource specialist, sales manager, or a social media expert. 

After looking at the shocking numbers of dropouts from B.Tech programs in India, it is obvious that something needs to change. Students and families need to accept that not everyone can be an engineer and especially, not everyone wants to be an engineer. There are many career paths that one can take while following their passions and being happy. And at the end of the day, isn't that what being successful is all about? 


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