I met Abhijeet yesterday. He is a IIT'ian doing his third year degree in Material Science. He has gone into IIT after taking a drop one year at Higher secondary. He asked me 'What is CFA'? When i asked him the reason of asking this question, he said his other friends in IIT are also planning to do CFA and he would like to know if CFA is worth doing?
All the courses are good. CFA is good, MBA is good, learning SAP is good. But the real question that a student should ask is ' Is it good for me?' I have seen MBA students later doing IAS to join Government job, or CFA students taking over a NGO job and so on. Instead of thinking which course is good or bad, it is more useful to think whether the course is right for me or not?
Why do students start exploring such courses in the first place? Why is Abhijit trying to find about CFA in his third year of IIT when he has taken so much effort in entering IIT? ( Please remember that getting into IIT is more difficult than getting into Harvard !) As i pointed out in my blog for children, thinking competency unfolds in unpredictable ways. Having entered IIT, Abhijit has discovered that technology is not the path that is meant for him. And because he has discovered that IIT is not meant for him, he is exploring other paths. Everything attracts him. He finds all other options attractive.
As a careerologist, i would like to say Abhijit is lucky to find that 'technology path' is not meant for him. ( Many executives discover this in their 40's) But having discovered that IIT is not meant for him, he needs to explore other options methodically. Like a drowning man frantically splashing his hand, he should not frantically seek everything. Instead he needs to concentrate on finding what he is good at, or where his interests lie. He needs to explore his mind. Unfortunately, this skill is not taught in any course to any graduate. Unaware of how to explore his mind, Abhijeet is more confused. He is doing what most of us do: follow others.
Will mind exploration help him chose his path before he finishes his graduation? Given insufficient skills, the time may not be enough. In that case, he also has to prepare for Plan B. He has to find an alternative, because life does not wait for our decisions. This is all about being career- intelligent.