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A story I wanted to tell...

Ayushman Bilas Thakur
Web development is my ❤. I love writing blog posts and experimenting with new things!
・3 min read

I know what I'm going to write is maybe a controversial post, but this one thing bugs me down. I want to tell my own story.

But before starting this post I need to make some confessions. Yes, I'm studying in a Tire 3 engineering college in India. Yes, I might be jealous of the tier 1 students. But what I'm going to tell is true and truth is often harsh. Another disclaimer, I'm a Computer Science student. So, I can't advocate for any other field of study in engineering. And a final disclaimer: this post might be rude, but this is what I wanted to tell for the past two years.

First of all let me clear some things for you. In India IIT's and NIT's are often called Tire 1 colleges. Some exceptionally renowned govt. and Private colleges are Tire 2 colleges and the rest of them are tire 3.

Now let's come to this - how students get admission in top tire computer science colleges. JEE Mains and JEE Advanced examinations. This exams test your skills in Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics. Now just step back 1 step and read that again - for admission in "Computer Science and Engineering" people are tested for their skills in Physics and Chemistry. I know mathematics is really useful for the core concepts of Computer Science. But Physics? Chemistry? Yeah, there might be some field specific cases, but in general, I don't think so.

Now, these experts in physics chemistry and mathematics get a chance to get to the tier 1 colleges. And they study computer science. And the kid who did not like chemistry and struggled to accumulate 1 - 2 hours a day just to learn game development (which is actually doing some programming related work) is thrown away in a tire 3 college. Yes, I appeared for JEE, both mains and advanced but Chemistry always backstabbed me. I got 72 in mathematics but in physics and chemistry I was in 30s and 20s. And in advanced I managed a score around 90 with mathematics and physics alone, in chemistry I got something near to 0(I can't remember, or maybe I never wanted to remember).

I know this is getting personal, but I want every reader reading this post, feel the discomfort, the sadness, the emotional pain I went through. Yes, after all this I was heartbroken enough to abandon game development completely. You can tell me, there is nothing to be sad about, or you can bounce back from here. But no, a kid stepping just into 18 is not adult enough to realize the "other" ways. Since my childhood I have been told one thing, "better college = better opportunities". And, yes it is totally true in India.

Remember the just adults getting admission in tire 1 colleges with computer science? Yes, in their colleges the MNCs and the best of the best companies go to find students. Yes, among those who are just interacting with computers on a deeper level for only 3 years(yes, in the 1st year you are given general Science subjects to study). Meanwhile, me and people like me who are tinkering with computers for more than 5 years often have to go to these MNCs to 'beg' for a job. And after every well trained 'robots' from IITs getting a job in these MNCs, thousands of students compete in ridiculous coding contest with more ridiculous coding challenges, just to get a job where they make a REST API calls to save form data. I can do that in 5 minutes. But the tire 1 student you are getting has to even be trained for doing that. Because, previously they knew Physics, Chemistry while coming into Computer Science, and now they know how to solve riddle like competitive coding problems in a whiteboard without an IDE and Google, which is just the opposite to solving competitive coding problems. I will talk more about competitive coding and DS Algo problems from a web dev perspective in a different post.

Sorry, I got a bit off-track. So, my point on that paragraph above was that, the students knowing physics and chemistry get better training, better opportunities and all that. While someone thriving on their passion since class 10, gets mediocre(compared to the IITs) guidance and chances, clinging on to which can be really considered as lucky.

So my question at the end is: should we follow the system or the passion? Should I study hard to get in a dream institute which may lead me to a dream job. Or, live with my true passion and climb my way there.

Discussion (9)

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steelwolf180 profile image
Max Ong Zong Bao • Edited

It's not where you start but where you end up in life. You are still young and you had more opportunities than me. At the very least you are not required to do military service at 18 with 2 years of your life to your country.

I came from a trade school and pushed my way to university and graduated university at 26. So just focus on developing yourself and beat on a different path. Good luck.

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liyasthomas profile image
Liyas Thomas

Hiya - thanks for bringing this up.
I'm Liyas - from Kerala, India. Six years back I was in your position, after higher secondary schooling I couldn't pursure my engineering because of my family's financial background. I waited 1 year to resume my studies. I joined in a tier 3 college afterwards. Graduated on time and joined in a 3 member startup near my locality. Later I joined Buy Me a Coffee and now I run Hoppscotch (Postwoman) and works at Sensibull. The journey was quite bumpy but I would say you should pursue your passion.

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hatlesshacker profile image
Syed Nasim

Couldn't agree more brother.

I used to feel the same way.. But then I discovered the world of OSS and Freelance. Trust me, the situation is much more fair there for people like us.. I'm earning $100s every month, whereas people with IIT/NIT tags struggle quite visibly while filling their profile. Maybe start freelancing?

I finished 12th this year.

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sharmarajdaksh profile image
Dakshraj Sharma

Hey that's really cool if you've just finished high school. Getting a head start into coding could be beneficial for you later on.

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gabesoares profile image
Gabriel Soares

System's harsh...
I'm from brazil, and around here we do have a similar situation. You can enter a Tier 1 university using your memorizing skills (wich will barely help you out with programming) on chemistry and whatever, or you have money for the Tier 2 universities, otherwise, like in my case, you go to a Tier 3 university, wich won't teach you almost anything if you teach yourself on the internet and with books.
I guess that the solution for situations like this is inside the big companies, I do work on a company that understood that if they want talented programmers, they can't filter them through their universities renown, that's how they accepted me, but there's still a lot to work on that.

Nice post! Thanks for the discussion.
Followed you on twitter, if you want, we can share experiences and talk about IT! :D

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pmgysel profile image
Philipp Gysel

Thanks for the honest post! Sounds like competition is pretty tough in India🤔 Hope you manage to pursue your passion and still "climb your way" to a nice job!

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ayushmanbthakur profile image
Ayushman Bilas Thakur Author

It is not only about me ... There are a lot like me... I hope everyone of us can follow their passion and land their dream job 😊 Anyways thank you for your comment❤️

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greggomatic profile image
Greg Thomas

I can only speak from experience. I took a Bachelors of Commerce, mid-way through, I fell in love with software development and couldn't get enough of it. I went so far as to eschew powerpoint and do my presentations in web browsers with fancy buttons that did the same logic.

I decided not to stay in school longer and switch degrees, but I kept learning web development on the side. From there, I kept getting "gigs" and small contracts that helped me accelerate my learning. The pay wasn't always fantastic, but it helped me learn.

At some point, I was finding employers asking for "validation" of my skills. I took a couple of MSDN certifications to put their minds at rest - but in all honesty I find certifications to be a bit of a game and they only served to open the door.

I can't say what the market is like in India or how it works, but if you can do the work on your own - I'd say go for it. Especially in Game Development - build an app, publish it!

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naresh profile image
Naresh Poonia

The world is not fair and it is not going to be fair anytime soon.
Just keep trying to figure out a way out of it and everything will fall in place eventually.
Good Luck.