Why Students Should NOT Take Up Diploma Before Degree In Engineering?

by Tejas Nair

Stupidsid dubs it as the most overrated course on Earth. Very well, the then teenage founders knew what they were dealing with when they included Engineering into their database. But, little do students know what the course has in store for them once they step into its confusing & humongous world of information. And I am talking about students, passed out of the meagre yet important SSC, at the entrance of matriculation edifice. Should I take up the three/four year course Diploma or should I take the HSC-CET route?

That is when your relatives clog your home network with phone calls, text messages and what-not giving worthless advice with a post-script that reads – “experienced source.” Your parents cling to the ones whose children now walk behind the top CEOs or are the top CEOs of some native amalgamation. Your friends won’t speak. Your girlfriend is doing fashion designing or perhaps busy photographing her newest fad, cat-beard. You want to take up Diploma because it sounds cool & will give you a respite from appearing for the tough CET exam. But, you should give a peek through the following points that I have personally experienced over my engineering days:

  • You Will Suck At Math: This is the biggest drawback of doing diploma before degree in engineering, because whatever stream you choose, the former has the subject Mathematics only in the first three semesters. And the pathetic syllabus by MSBSHSE will have you learning basic Matrices. By the time you complete Diploma, you will forget most of it chiefly due to lack of practise & implementation. Next, since you will directly enter the second year of Engineering Degree, a huge part of essential Mathematics (first two semesters) will elude you and there is where they teach you why Maths is so, so, so related to Engineering. Eventually, the chances of you flunking in the third semester Maths is astronomical. Tutors may help you, but remember, coaching classes is a multi-crore business in India.
  • Desolation Or Paranoia: You will find out how badly you suck at Maths in less than five days of your degree. And there’s this lack of friends group to throw the baggage on. Your classmates have all braved the CET and are younger to you, they have already formed groups and all the pretty girls are taken, the topper has been throned and is usually hideous, teachers have capped their white-lists and created nicknames for you. You will never be called by your first name until the time you almost forget how a BJT works. Diploma students are called D2D students, direct second year admissions, failures, scumbags and thankfully, sometimes “scholars.” Too bad, they won’t call you back-benchers because unlike during the school times, here the only vacant benches are the front ones. Dr. A P J Abdul Kalam might want to edify his quote, eh?
    To cut the long story short, if none of your Diploma classmates have enrolled with you in your college and if you are an introvert, then you will indefinitely sink into ennui-ridden desolation. Paranoia will take time, but history shows that soon you will find solace in other Diploma students from different college or/and streams.
  • Standard Is Standard Now: Diploma will give you accolades for participating in the ubiquitous Technical Paper Presentation competitions where you take a topic (which is often – “Recent Trend In Engineering/Technology”) and plagiarise every other online journal/ Wikipedia article/magazine post related to that topic without citing. The rookie jury will be astonished to see you present a Prezi slideshow because they are used to the famous MS PowerPoint. Technobabble will win you that cash-prize. In degree, the story is totally different. You think of changing the monotony by participating in a presentation in the upcoming technical fest. They have challenging competitors, professional jury, brainstorming sessions and concept-debriefing. You will fail terribly if you follow your Diploma protocol and that will further attack your self-confidence.
    You should think over why Diploma is a three/four year course and Degree is a four year course… but you only move forward a single year (direct second year admission) in degree after you complete a diploma. That answers the question why Diploma has such a low value in career shelves.
  • Parents Will Never Understand The Paradigm Shift: Okay, so you cracked that Diploma examination with flying colors (read 92.57% agg.) and are consistent. You get the provisional Diploma certificate. Fine. But, since you suck at Math and will invariably find out that the remaining subjects are partially related to it, you will have the dishonour of flunking in minimum one subject. And if that above percentage makes you barf, I’m afraid the story will be nasty. Because what you studied during Diploma will be located on the farthest part of your brain and Math, along with alphabets now has ambiguous sentences & Greek letters guarding it. Techmax Publications won’t be sufficient; they will amount to hardly 5.7% of your total grasping knowledge. Plus, I hear they are crammed with errors.
    And that failure won’t be like they seem to be in that famous inspiring quote about light bulb by Thomas Edison. It will bring you embarrassment and suicidal symptoms but you know suicide is too lame for an engineer to end his/her/their life. Teachers of your former polytechnic will understand and react totally opposite to how your parents will. That’ll be a relief, and if your Diploma mates are ATKT (allowed to keep term) in same subject(s), that will be a support against your parents, too. Pressure will falter and you will stop introspecting. This moment will be worthy and I am pretty sure, the next time you sit to study with a credible reference book, it will be with vengeance. Only, here the adversary is no one.

So, it is up to you and only you to decide what it will be and how it will be. Engineering is high as eff when it comes to knowledge and learning, but make sure the path you choose is trustworthy and unmasked. DO NOT listen to people who use sentences like “Diploma will give you experience,” “Diploma is better than the pain of CET,” “Diploma is in parallel with Engineering.” This is all blabber because they are actually referring to how mainstream terms it. Of course, self-thought can outmatch these above listed discrepancies and there are people who have epitomized with the Diploma route, like my father who is a Civil Engineer in one of the leading petroleum companies (and this is not like the ones your relatives’ children are working in) in UAE.

On the other hand, Anand Gupta, a friend and former colleague, earns a handsome half a million INR per year as an engineer in Schlumberger after doing ITI & Diploma courses. Yay!

With respect to how the word sounds bold, Diploma is good enough for students who are financially frailer and are not planning to pursue degree in future. Another friend of mine, earns a monthly package of 20K at Godrej after only pursuing Diploma in Industrial Electronics. How cool is that!

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