Which is the right career choice Engineering or Medical?

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An interesting trend started in 2013 when 16% of MBA aspirants also prepared for banking and other government jobs. This number rose to 43% in 2016. There are still numerous portals that advertise government jobs in India. It is true that many are lured by government jobs, largely because of the associated prestige and pay hikes, not to mention job security. But the choice of selecting a career primarily starts with opting for either Arts, Science or Commerce. A start in this direction begins after appearing for the Std. 10th exams itself.

While the choice of a career has been an age-old question, the choice becomes critical for those in the Science stream. A difference of a single subject can alter the direction their academic life takes. With new areas of inter-disciplinary studies opening up in medicine and engineering, the choice between the two is becoming less stark. Discounting the humorous take on why engineering is better than medical, one needs to take a hard look at both options. At this stage, it is then advisable to opt for career counselling. But the final decision should be taken by the student after thorough research and an understanding of what lies ahead.


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To decide between medicine and engineering, know that studying medicine involves copious amounts of theory. While the engineering stream focuses on analytical abilities and logical reasoning. So if you are not the one to cram and not for rote learning, steer clear of the medical stream. If landing a job fast is your sole criteria, then engineering is your best bet. After all, in India, 81 entrance exams are held for engineering at the national, state and university levels. In comparison, 18 national and university-level exams are conducted for entrance to medical. Obtaining a medical degree is like going on a long distance journey. It takes double the time to get a medical degree than to get a B.Tech degree. Besides, getting into medical colleges is really tough, due to the paucity of medical colleges. But with less number of medical colleges, the demand for medical pass-outs is high. This means jobs for medical students are guaranteed. While with engineering, as the pass-outs exceed the jobs available, there is slight scarcity. It is a clear case of demand and supply! However, with substandard engineering colleges closing down, the situation is likely to become grim. Further, Aspiring Minds in its Annual Survey 2019 has revealed that the general quality of India’s engineers is still crucially subpar.

Ok, this has probably got you worried about the exact choice to make! Let us then weigh both the options systematically.

The medical stream is for you if:

  • You love Biology and are lured by the nobility of the profession
  • Healing patients and saving lives gives you a high
  • You want to see the world as a better place for people to live
  • Are open to other diverse fields within it other than medicine
  • You are sure of being in it for the long haul, and we mean really long. Getting a medical degree takes 8-9 years. The MBBS course takes up the first 4.5 years, followed by a year of internship and then 3 years of specialisation.
  • Money is not the only thing that matters to you.
  • You are a people person and love serving people.
  • You are willing to compromise on your personal and social life.

The medical stream is not for you if:

  • You don’t like cramming theory
  • You don’t see yourself studying another nine years of your life
  • You can’t stand the sight of blood, dread dissections and are terrified of being amidst corpses
  • You can’t put up with the fact that others will settle in life earlier than you
  • You totally detest rural posting
  • You cannot handle the stress of juggling consulting at different hospitals and running your own clinic
  • You value your personal and social life too much to make any compromises


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Opt for engineering if:

  • You have a very high intelligence quotient.
  • You have a way with numbers.
  • If technology and innovations fascinate you.
  • You like to question, explore, invent, discover and create.
  • You have great analytical, logical, observation and reasoning skills.
  • You like solving problems with a practical approach.
  • You want to be employed soon after graduation.           
  • You want to have a healthy work-life balance.
  • You are willing to look beyond the conventional domains offered by engineering.

Do not opt for engineering if:

  • You do not possess the ability to think creatively
  • You are terrified of numbers
  • You do not have the knack for number crunching
  • You are not prepared to handle a rigorous and intensive program comprising of maths, science and other highly technical courses
  • You do not possess soft skills such as communication skills, strong leadership and the ability to work in a team.

So should you take up either medical or engineering, Target Publications offers preparation material for both the stream. For Joint Entrance Examination JEE Main and National Eligibility cum Entrance Test-UG (NEET-UG), the Absolute Series and Challenger Series in Combo and as individual books are excellent. Assess your preparations for JEE Main and NEET-UG, with Target Publications’ Online Test Series.

As such both fields offer a plethora of options, not to mention the hard work and dedication required. The final decision making comes down to knowing your skills, interests and the perseverance to get you through. Knowing what you would like to do for the rest of your life will then be the deciding factor.


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