Sc or E

So I was recently asked following question (translated)

What should be selected after 12th standard? A BSc or a BE/BTech? What is the situation in the respective fields now? What will it be in the next 5 to 10 years? What will then be better suited?

For the record I have done my BSc in geology and am currently pursuing Masters in Geophysics. I have strong personal views regarding the business side of things of an engineering degree but i am going to restrict myself to answering the question above.

It really depends upon what an individual wishes to do in his/her life. Engineering is usually more application based course. The focus is to find solutions to real world problems. A lot of things like programming, web development, etc are usually included in the course.

BSc goes the other way. Course is more theory based where theories are developed and taught. Focus is on research and development of the field. Geology, biotechnology, microbiology, BSc-IT are niche courses which are more applied and a student can get a job in private sector companies working in their respective fields. But I will not focus on these subjects much as they are not as common as Physics, Chemistry and Mathematics.

In today’s job market, an engineering degree is far more likely to land a decent job than one in the pure sciences. At the end of an engineering bachelor’s degree, student is eligible to get a job straight away whereas hardly any jobs are available after a BSc degree in the fields of ones major. It is almost imperative that a student will at least complete a masters degree before seeking jobs in the field of pure sciences.

So it all boils down to what your focus after a bachelor’s degree will be. A lot of students want to pursue research in engineering fields in which case they will have to seek and engineering degree. For others who do not want to take the stress of the rat race and want to pursue their passion in pure sciences, BSc is the best option. There are a number of research institutes which offer a research position after MSc in India as well as abroad. The overall income in the research field is less when compared to engineers who work at MNCs and Indian Conglomerates. That being said, stipend given for a PhD position in a decent institute is more than some of the engineering jobs landed by the students from lower tier engineering colleges.

In next 5 to 10 years, the job situation may change. engineering jobs may fluctuate but over a period of time, number of jobs will be stable. Research positions are limited and with cuts in the funds to research institutes, everything from PhD all the way up to professorship will be cut. But it is difficult to say. I would also like to mention that dreamers like Elon Musk are emerging who want to make world a better place. If you want to be a part of some project of that sorts, see what a company like ‘Tesla’ or ‘The boring company’ requires. Who knows? may be you will start one to rival Elon.

Make this an informed decision. If you want to study in IIT because you want to, pursue it with all your might without feeling guilty. But if you want to study astrobiology and you will be thrilled to do it for the rest of your life, do not let anyone pressure you into doing anything other than that.

P.S. – It is worth mentioning that a lot of things like advance courses in pure sciences can be taken by an engineering graduate but practically none in applied/engineering sciences can be taken up by a pure science graduate without doing an extra degree. For example an MTech in Geoexploration requires a BTech in Mining engineering but an MSc in Earth Sciences.


A guide to the post apocalyptic world

Before I am criticised for posting things which are not so obviously useful in life, I have decided to post about survival techniques in post apocalyptic world. Why will we need them you ask? Be a lamb and google following things:

  1. President of USA
  2. North Korea
  3. Turkish president
  4. French elections
  5. Cows(!!)

You will find out after about an hour of research that any of this factor alone can escalate into something terrible. (I seriously hope it doesn’t) But in any case, you should be prepared.

You will need to learn:

  1. Constructing a makeshift shelter – Imagine cities are bombed and the area is contaminated with nuclear waste and chemicals. You are forced to seek shelter in the wild. (Again, I sincerely hope those are left by then) You will have to put up a makeshift shelter in the beginning to protect yourself from elements (and other scavenging parties).
  2. Hunting, gathering, farming – With no ways to purchase things you need you must produce your own food by foraging, hunting and farming. Familiarise yourself with plants that you shouldn’t eat. Knowing natural medications for treating headaches, fever, diarrhoea, wounds etc will help too. Learn how to grow basic things like potatoes and other roots. Making and setting traps will be necessary until you move to proper farming. (If you are in India, you know what you are not allowed to hunt…)
  3. Animal Tracking – Identifying animals by their footprints and faeces will keep you away from danger and bring you closer to food. Also there are specific ways to  encounter various animals, google them while you can. And try to get a pet canine for wow factor.
  4. Weapons – With resources scarce, every single human being will be fending for himself. To get an edge over them,  develop weapons. Start with simple spears and bows and arrows. Advance into swords, guns and eventually full-fledged artillery and tanks.

It’s funny how willingly we watch and read about post apocalyptic scenes in movies and books. There are clubs of people specifically preparing for zombie apocalypse for the sheer joy of getting to use weapons. Other theorists (conspiracy ones) engage themselves in (mis)interpreting ancient texts to predict when the doomsday will come. While we are at it, check out doomsday clock. At midnight on this clock apocalypse happens. That clock is set at just a few minutes before midnight. That is alarming. And the way this world is functioning, i will not be surprised if the clock isn’t moved backwards ever…

If an apocalypse is to actually occur, the civilisation will cease to exist as we know it. It took us more than a hundred thousand years of evolution to reach to the stage we are now. The natural thing to do now would be to forget the differences, fade the borders and focus on advancement of technology and intergalactic travel… Right? Right??

Whatever happens, my sincere request to everyone would be to keep writing. Write about your experiences, your thoughts, your ideas… Because when the dawn of next civilisation comes, your books will shed light on the past and the mistakes which are never to be repeated…