And Education is seen in most cultures around the world as an essential commodity to succeed in life. It has been a gateway out of poverty for millions across the globe and a way to achieve improved salary, growth and social mobility. It is systematized learning to such an extent that employers look at minimum education requirements for every job.
However, in the last two decades, one major change has occurred in the way education takes place that has had a significant effect on most aspects of education. Education has been a for-profit industry in the largest economies in the globe. USA, India, China and several other countries have prioritized university profits over quality of student education. Privatization of colleges in the USA has led to a significant increase in tuition; and most employers find that the training they receive at school does not prepare them for the real world. In India, though the cost is not as high, the education received is still more theoretical than practical; and employers face a similar problem with new graduates.
Also, in India, there is an additional expense in training that parents pay for students in way of out-of-school tuition. Students from 6th grade onwards go to Math and Science training for 2-3 hours after school every day. These are expensive but parents pay for them anyway as they feel that it is needed to make their kids competitive. Do the kids really learn to become better engineers or scientists at these centers? Do they remember what they learned in 6th grade during that one important exam in 10th grade? And do they work on practical projects to improve their skills?
Whatever the answer to these questions, you will realize that education is a business in India and a source of profit for a lot of people who benefit from these systems. School curriculum does not teach you the two basic skills that you need to succeed in life: how to build relationships with people, and how to choose the right job.
The solution to this problem is to communicate with the right people. To figure out which subjects to pursue; talk to people in the field who have worked in those subjects. They will give you a perspective using practical experience. Same thing with universities. These are the decisions that can make or break a career. No amount of theoretical knowledge or schooling can help you with those decisions. You might get advice from parents and relatives who mean well but may not have worked in the field. Or you might get it from some career counselor who’s paid each time someone gets to a particular university. But that may lead you to act with the wrong information. And the best way to do that is to talk to real professionals who know what it’s like to work in your field of interest.
Author, Scholarships for Indian Citizens