It's not an Indian thing, however, it happens a lot in India. Fixation with an engineering degree is a worldwide trend. It does give an edge to your resume but there are many who, despite having a degree in engineering, went ahead, pursued their dream careers and became famous.
Actors, politicians, musicians, sportspersons and models, many, whose work we admire today, decided that being an engineer was too mainstream for them and we are thankful for that.
On the top of our list is the master of suspense — Alfred Hitchcock
Hitchcock studied engineering at the London County Council School of Marine Engineering and Navigation and worked as a draftsman before launching his career in Hollywood in 1920. Director of classic suspense films like Psycho (1960), The Man Who Knew Too Much (1934) and The 39 Steps (1935), Hitchcock's first American film, Rebecca, won an Academy Award for best picture.
Better known as Mr Bean, Atkinson has a masters degree in Electrical Engineering. He received his degree at the Newcastle University. He also pursued the degree of MSc in Electrical Engineering at The Queen’s College, Oxford where he got interested in theatre and eventually turned to television. The rest is history.
The former Indian captain and one of the greatest leg-spinners in the history of cricket needs no introduction. Kumble, who is the third highest wicket taker in test cricket, studied mechanical engineering. He graduated BE from Rashtreeya Vidyalaya College of Engineering (RVCE) in Mechanical Engineering in 1991–92.
The common man of India, who changed the face of Indian politics three years ago and rattled the established political leadership in India, is a mechanical engineer from IIT Kharagpur. In fact, Kejriwal was hired by Tata Steel in 1989 as Mechanical Engineer in Jamshedpur. He worked there for almost 3 years. But his heart was not in engineering. So the Delhi CM quit Tata Steel and decided to prepare for IAS exams. In 1995, he cleared Civil Service Exams to join the civil service in the revenue department.
Yes, the 39th US President was a trained engineer. Even though, Carter as a peanuts farmer is more famous, he went to the Georgia Institute of Technology and the US Naval Academy. In the navy, he focused on submarines and was chosen for the nuclear submarine program. For a short time, he did graduate work in reactor technology and nuclear physics.
Herbert Clark Hoover
Another US President, the 31st one, Herbert was a civil engineer before making it to the White House. Starting out at Stanford in 1891, Herbert studied engineering and planned to become a civil engineer (the options were civil or military at the time). He later took a job as a mining engineer in Australia and later went to work in the Chinese mining industry, reportedly becoming China's leading engineer and learned to speak Mandarin. In fact, Herbert's passion for engineering becomes clear with this quote:
Engineering ... it is a great profession. There is the fascination of watching a figment of the imagination emerge through the aid of science to a plan on paper. Then it moves to realization in stone or metal or energy. Then it brings jobs and homes to men. Then it elevates the standards of living and adds to the comforts of life. That is the engineer's high privilege.
The man who is responsible for superhit Bollywood numbers was a software engineer before he decided to follow his passion. He left listeners 'breathless' when he released his album of same name and has gone from strength to strength since in partnership with Ehsaan Noorani and Loy Mendonsa in movies such as Kal Ho Na Ho, Bunty aur Babli, and Dil Chahta Hai.
In an interview with Firstpost, Mahadevan's wife Sangeeta said that Mahadevan studied engineering and even got a job. "But he had been learning Carnatic music and would perform at concerts. On the side there were jamming sessions with friends, where he played with the Divya Band. Music was a part of his life by then. Then just before we got married, about six seven months before the date, he quit his job. He was so passionate about music that it was obvious that he needed to change tracks."
The heartthrob from Andhra, Nagarjuna, who also gave blockbusters for Bollywood is an actor, producer, television presenter and also an Automobile Engineer.
Sushant Singh Rajput
Newcomer and the latest Bollywood hot property, Sushan Singh Rajput studied Mechanical Engineering before foraying into films.
“The science guy” Bill Nye – studied Mechanical engineer and went on to become a star with his TV show for children.
Famous for her upper lip mole, supermodel Cindy Crawford studied chemical engineering before dropping out to become the highest-paid model in the world
Hollywood hottie Ashton Kutcher studied Biochemical engineering before joining the film industry.
And the list does not end there: Cricket commentator Harsha Bhogle, former cricketer and current ICC match referee Javagal Srinath, novelist Chetan Bhagat, actor Sonu Sood, are all trained engineers but their passions laid elsewhere.
Happy Engineer's Day, I guess.