There’s a popular saying in India- “India mei log engineering ke baad sochta hain ki unhe life mei kya karna hai” (In India, people think about what they want to do after getting a degree in Engineering)
This may be all fun and jokes, but I think that it has a much bigger implication on our economy. When students are forced to study something because of family pressure or their “cut off” marks, (Read why here) they are investing their time, effort and money into 3-4 years studying something only to abandon it and switch fields later. The money they spend on their fees for those few years goes waste. The other resources invested in their education, for example- books, teachers, transport and their precious youthful time is also completely wasted.
Youth is a time when a child’s mind is the strongest for acquiring knowledge and growing. If in those years, he/she is fed information that doesn’t make them click, they lose some of their best years of learning. The argument that one has to do something they don’t like to find out what they do like does not hold, for I am talking about cases where the child is actually aware of what he/she wants, but is facing pressure from all sides to drop it.
If one were to estimate the money going into training these graduates, it would amount up to a large sum. If they were allowed, (by their parents or the education system) to study something they were truly interested in, then their own money would be saved and put to better use. The time of the Professors and the educational institution would also be magnanimously saved into teaching those who actually care about the discipline. Intrinsic motivation is good for the economy, for when people work with passion, they also achieve better results in the workplace. We have all watched 3 idiots. Hence the resources of the country would be utilized efficiently, we’d have a more productive as well as passionate population of educated people and therefore we would progress.
So the next time your child/cousin/friend wants to quit his/her stream to study another which they are truly interested in, let them! It’s good for everyone in the long run.