Whether it is buying a cone of ice-cream or choosing career options, opportunities and choices have increased to the point where decision making occupies much of our time.
With numerous developments in technology and many emerging fields, finding the right match has become of paramount importance. Having a keen interest, aptitude, and passion for your job has become requisite.
The current trends and scenarios to maintain a high-profile status in the society have coerced the students to conform themselves to just a few selected age-old norms of career choosing.
Society, failing to recall its norms, role and duty, has been pushing a writer to become a doctor, a scientist to be an engineer and a businessman to be a researcher. Besides being a researcher, an academician, a businessman, a banker, and a journalist, there is an open space for aspiring administrators via civil services- both dignified and high-profile.
Not understanding the depth of other subjects, people in Kashmir have limited their vision to misinterpret the science students as most intelligent ones and those who opt for arts, as dumb and weak.
When it comes to career choices, the students of Kashmir, though having a diverse range of careers to excel in, have been known to gravitate towards the two most lucrative and “safer” fields- engineering and medicine. Parents also encourage and confine their children to select science subjects to ensure steady careers.
In school, the freedom of choice seems limitless. The decision ultimately comes down to choosing between science, arts, and commerce. When confronted with the prospect of choosing careers, how many students are equipped to make an informed decision? To make the informed decisions, most of these students are influenced either by the aspirations of their parents or by the idea of living a better life- with job security and money.
In an attempt to know the career choices of the students, Moosa Hayat talks to random students and a teacher to see what they have to say:
1. Dr Bilal Ahmad, teacher: “Lack of awareness and exposure has made people of Kashmir bi-directional in choosing careers. And those who want out, are silenced by their parents emotionally. Parents must not see their children as a source of investment with good returns, but rather support them to be what they want to be. Children should be exposed to all career opportunities because their minds are impartial and open. Academic degrees and certificates need not be requisites to discovering the right career. Kashmiri parents care more about the society than what their children want and this must change.”
2. Dar Mustansir, 17, student: “When you belong to a family of doctors, you’re automatically self-pressurized to become a doctor too. The idea of becoming a doctor, whether if you want it or not, penetrates deep into your psyche. My parents have invested their whole life in me, if I can’t be a doctor they would be really disappointed in me. That would break my heart. Medicine is my only choice.”
3. Shayaan Shafi Khan, 16, Student: “Engineering and medicine, both are respectable professions. I won’t have to worry about going bankrupt or unemployment. Hence, they are my only career choices. I am preparing to crack both the examinations. And if I become a doctor or an engineer, my future will be safe.”
4. Hilal Mir, 17, Student: “Given the present situation of Kashmir, medicine or engineering are the only two ways which can land my future to safety. In Kashmir, if one has a government job, then one’s future is safe. And the cherry on the top is if you’re a doctor or an engineer, so you have a different status and respect than other common people.”
5. Urooj Ayoub Bhat, 16, Student: “I aspire to become a researcher in physics. But I took up medical stream, just because my parents want me to become a doctor. They believe that it is the only respectable job that can give me respect and status in the society. They kept repeating it so much that now I believe them, now I think I can get in but my heart is not in it.”
6. Mohsin Farooq Wani, 17, Student: “My heart is in literature but I’m studying non-medical to become an engineer. It is funny, but I’m doing this on directions of my parents, they said literature has no scope. I tried talking to them, but they won’t listen. I don’t want to hurt them, so it is a sacrifice that I’m going to have to make. And if I did it, I wouldn’t be honest to myself. And I’d take the spot of someone who really wanted it”
7. Manan Rafiqi, 18, Student: “I want to become an entrepreneur, but my parents want me to pursue engineering as a career. They said it’ll get me a government job immediately after I finish my studies. I don’t have the slightest idea about what I would do if I would become an engineer.”
8. Shahid-Ul-Islam, 18, Student: “The main contention of the parents is that after their ward completes engineering or medicine course, they will get a government job in J&K State – that too in Kashmir. Students end up in medical or engineering tuition centres, due to sociological and psychological pressure. Many are forced by their parents. Basically, the problem of Kashmiri parents is their lack of exposure and short vision, they weigh everything in terms of money and status. Passion means nothing to them.”
9. Mohsin Gayas, 18, Student: “In Kashmir, the education scenario is not good, you have to be wise and see it a long way through. I’ll be in either medicine or engineering, for its job security, glory, status and respect.”
10. Yarzuq Bilal, 17, Student: “Being a doctor is my choice, no one is forcing me, not even my parents. When I thought about what I must choose to be, it’s either becoming a doctor, not for money or status but to fulfil my desire to become a doctor. If I am not selected for medicine, then I’ll choose to be in academics. I believe that if you run after your passion, the career will follow on its own.”