Gonna choose Engineering College? Beware of “Monkey Factories”!!

In: Education

By Bakshi Gulam

4 Mar 2014

Alumni Feedback Form

Recently, I happened to go through the alumni feedback form of my University. I was really frustrated after going through the entire form and I got angry seeing people filling that illogical form and someone collecting & updating the statistics. The reason why I call it ‘illogical’ was the metric used to measure each aspect. All aspects were measured on a scale of 1 to 5 (1 being ‘Very Bad’ & 5 being ‘Excellent’) and people were just choosing a random number between 1 & 5. On the other end, my Univ was very happy seeing these statistics on pie & bar charts.

Is “Placement” the only responsibility of UNIVs?

In that Alumni form, I could see lot of importance being given to one aspect – “Placements”. Many questions were related to “placements” – “Your current Employment” “Your First Job – How did you get it? a) On Campus b) Off Campus c) On your own effort” “How do you rate placement efforts of the UNIV?” It is clear that “Placements” is one of the critical factor for most of the UNIVs and Engg. Colleges when it comes to “selling their seats”. I’ve also seen UNIVs and Engg. Colleges bragging about their Placement Records during admissions and “Engineering-Unaware” students falling prey to it. When looking “Engineering” as a “Higher Education Business” this may sound great. But this looks horrible when we look at the same with an academic prespective!

Students’ Career Post-Placements

And these UNIVs and Engg. Colleges don’t care about student’s carrer post-placements. There are many who gets an offer during campus-drives but waste their time awaiting an call to join the same organisation. And there are many who gets into the organisation but fail to survive there. I’ve seen engineers who were once bragging about their major in college, trying desperately to move completely out of their field.

Are they making “Real-Engineers”?

In my opinion, a university/engg. college has many responsibilities other than just making sure all students get a job when they leave the campus. Because each student spend 4 crucial years of his lifetime in the college. I repeat “whole 4 crucial years” – which these UNIVs and Engg. Colleges can’t give them back. Are they enabling each student to make the most of the 4 years he/she spend in the college? When a student joins an UNIV/Engg. College, it’s an implicit agreement that the UNIV/Engg.College has to make him/her a ‘real Engineer’ in 4 years. But are these Univs/Engg. Colleges keep up their promises? Unfortunately, the answer is a BIG NO.

A Litmus Test

If you are skeptical about this answer, just go and grab some engineering student (from Electronics or Computer Science background) from any engineering college at random and ask some questions of following kind: “What is the difference between char *ch; and char ch[SIZE];”; “Explain the address space of a process.”; “What happens to uninitialized data in a program”; “What is a DB? Why go for DB? Why not file? What is the difference between a DB and a file?” OR give them breadboard and good old 8085 microcomputer and ask them to interface a switch and an LED without using any trainer kits/development boards. I hope you will be convinced with this answer.

Final Word – Beware of “Monkey Factories”

So what these UNIVs/Engg. Colleges are doing? They are just acting as a “Monkey Factories”. Yes! When a student joins them, instead of making him a Engineer, they will make him a “Monkey” by making him mug-up and vomit whatever text they give. You can wonder “How can they survive if they are not up to the mark?” It may be due to current business scenario where there are lots of corporate giants who want someone (some monkey even, if it’s dressed for the corporate) with 4 years of professional degree just for head count. Unfortunately, Engineering happended to be a 4-years degree!! So be a bit catious when choosing your Engineering College!!

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This is Bakshi Gulam. I’m a programmer, a blogger and an open-source lover interested in anything related to computer systems. Click here to read my bio.

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