With CAT results around the corner - perhaps this is being timed really well. With the ever increasing hype and hoopla surrounding B School admissions and the still more increasing volume of engineers trying to set their foot into one of these, there is one such debate always running at the back of my mind. This is probably one of the most important decisions an engineer has to take in his life - "Am I born to be a techie, or am I born to become an mgmt guy?!?!?"
At the outset, the answer to this question might sound really simple. But as someone who's trying to answer this himself (and who's been trying well over a month now) - I should accept that it is a really tough decision to make.
With the enormous number of engineering colleges in the country, it is no big deal getting into one. We hear stories of seats being vacant. It is of course difficult to get into the top notch ones - and ppl who pass out from such institutes are also on my list, perhaps they come before anyone else.
Management is not rocket science - but engineering is. All the best brains that get into decent Engineering institutes come out, become a part of the IT bloom, work in their respective organizations and eventually get bores with what they do. Two years in the field and you can hear ppl murmuring - "It sucks yaar!!!" The decibel levels only increase...
Now comes the decision making part - when someone hits this roadblock he/she has two totally different ways out. To shift into a new company, or to pursue a masters degree. Now comes the best part - you can do a masters in the tech field or you can do a masters in management. Let's just group this into 2 kind of let outs "techie" and "mgmt", and that'd explain the reason behind this post.
Now - there are 3 kinds of ppl. Two of them fall on either extremes and the third group is the center of our discussion, those who are confused - like me.
A tech job has a huge list of pros and cons - but the one striking aspect I find necessary here is "passion". If you aint got the passion to put your mind on the problem, you're not gonna solve it - however good you might be. So the minute you feel you lose interest - it is time to look otherwise.
An mgmt job again has its own pros and cons - but the single most aspect I find necessary here is, hold your breath, "passion"!!! If you don’t put yourself into the problem and run around to get the work done - you aren’t a good manager, are you?!?!
So - is it confusing. No - that's as definitive as it gets. When you guys (ah, girls as well) hit the road blocks and try to decide where your future would be, relax. Forget every other aspect of both these jobs - however hard you think I can always provide 1 - to - 1 mapping between the 2 job profiles (nomenclature might differ). The real answer to this puzzle is - soul searching.
Try to identify where your interests lie, what will be better for you, what you'd want to do 5/10/15/20 yrs down the line. That'd answer where you should go today. Really, there has been no one who has caught the wrong bus and reached the correct place. Analyze everything, pull in all the factors, speak to elders and seek advice - but finally, the answer is within you and will vary from person to person. Give it some time and it will evolve itself and stare you in the face.
Now – pack your bags and prepare the long travel towards success on this chosen path. In Matrix jargons – it is always the path that chooses you…