Nowadays, we find thousands of doctors, engineers and other professionals desperately searching for jobs with high hopes and aspirations. A large number of them are making a hard living while working temporarily for meagre salaries in their relevant departments. Some of them have become square pegs in round holes and others are languishing at their homes relying on the families to support them. Despite this, parents continue to spend huge capitation fee and donation, to admit their children into BUMS, BE, MBBS etc courses in and outside the country. Some are selling their property and some drowning in education loans debts. The grapes at the end of the courses, very often turn out to be sour for them in the job market.
Parents today are not allowing their kids to grow on their own with their own natural abilities. I can understand, if the parents had rough life they would definitely want their kids not to suffer the same way they themselves did. But in the process, the parents tend to become possessive and overindulgent towards their pampered children. With the result their wards are trapped in the comfort zone and they never become fighters to chase their goals; rather they expect everything in their plate. Besides, the obsession with the name doctor or engineer and the feeling of being left out in the competition is so much that these guys refuse to do anything else with their lives. They never think for themselves but follow public opinion. I wish, I could encourage such students towards pursuing their studies in academics and building a successful future through hard work.
In 1997 when I was at Govt College Sopore, one day a parent came to me. He was highly qualified and holding an important position in the Govt. His son had then obtained admission in BSc part Ist in the college and he wanted me to keep an eye on his activities. Though the boy was not reading Physics but he had impressed me a lot. He was a brilliant boy who had narrowly missed qualifying entrance exam for medical. On many occasions, I had told his father not to interfere with his future and allow him to pursue academics, no matter if he can't crack entrance exam. But, he always used to take my suggestion as ridiculous and childish, as I could observe.
The boy used to meet me off and on in the college. But one day I heard it from his father, who was in full joy and excitement "that I have sent my son for BUMS course outside, but don't tell any body, as people feel jealousy and cast evil eye when they come to know about some big news". I remained silent. Now, after more than a decade since the boy came out completing BUMS, he is yet to get absorbed permanently. People call him Dr Sahab.. Dr Sahab…but the Dr Sahab is gone. He is about to cross age limits, he is unemployed, unmarried and he has no money in the pocket. He barely has a social life. Though he is under a false sense of pride, but he has to remain cheerful and maintain his body language otherwise people may think different about him. I am sure there are thousands of such cases in our Kashmir. Ruining the carrier of a son is the biggest blunder a parent can do ever.
It is generally said that, our university degrees make one attend only lectures and pass exams and our colleges and university funnel countless graduates and postgraduates into the market every year as if academic success is the only thing that mattered. Given the high rate of unemployed conditions in our state, it is also argued that that a plain college degree can hardly guarantee a person to get a good job. In spite of all this, I still maintain, that BA/BSc degrees have wider scope for getting a good job and are far better than obtaining engineering or medical degrees from a 3rd rate institute. There are immense job opportunities for building a wonderful carrier on a plain graduation as there are lots of private as well as Govt. jobs available, unlike the professional courses which have a limited scope and absorbs huge money and energy.
For example, a graduate with BSc or BA is eligible for a variety of posts advertised in service selection boards. He/she is eligible for thousands of posts advertised as Bank Clerks, Probationary Officers, Insurance Clerks and Officers, which need a few months serious preparation. Then varied attractive Govt. sector jobs like excise and taxation Officers, Inspectors, Compilers, Auditors, Clerks in central departments etc are advertised in staff selection commission under Combined Graduate level Examination every year. Then, we have the prestigious civil service exams etc and its state level versions which also require one to be a graduate. Considered to be the toughest examination, here the candidates have to plan out a strategy to crack this examination as it needs perseverance and hard work for long hours and over a long period of time. Cracking these exams at a young age may get a reward to reach at the highest position, at the end of ones career.
Besides these options, a student after graduation can go for higher studies in science, arts, humanities etc and pursue teaching and research to contribute to the good of a society. The students, who are weak in studies and unwilling to fight competitive exams, can go for short duration vocational courses like computer programming, web-designing, Stenography, shorthand etc after graduation. So, with a lot of these carrier options available for college graduates, why should they rush after being a doctor or an engineer? Why shouldn't they pursue college education seriously and not brood over the failures. Why should they spend huge money on capitation fees, the small fraction of which can enable a student to qualify a prestigious examination? Our youngsters who are living in deprivation and facing consistent difficulties can accomplish anything and everything provided they have the will and the courage.
It is true that not all graduates are equal in the fierce battle for jobs. While one graduate can be assertive and thinks out-of-the box, the other one can be a silly fellow. The most important thing is that, a graduate must know what is expected of a graduate. At a time when our universities and colleges are introducing a multi-disciplinary approach and gearing up to design courses to add value to the conventional subjects, so that college graduates stand more chances of getting good jobs, the students need to pursue college education with passion and zest. The more serious they are with the studies, the better jobs they will get. In the end, I will close my chapter with a saying by William Shakespeare "It is not in the stars to hold our destiny, but in ourselves."