Each and every one of us wants to be happy and successful in life. Yet, not many of us can say that we have reached that goal. Why is it so difficult to become successful in life? Why is it that even though many students work hard and complete their education, only some of them go on to be successful? In this article, we bring to you the essence of success and a guaranteed pathway to becoming successful. Read on if you would like to know how to become successful regardless of your financial status, educational background or social status.
Education is the key pathway through which people can become successful in today’s times. In India, however, we are currently facing the problem of an extremely high dropout rate. While the enrollment rate has nearly reached 100%, the dropout rate is so high that it is eroding any gains that are made by enrolling children in schools.
The second issue is lack of employability. According to the HRD ministry, India has 6,214 engineering and technology institutions which are enrolling 2.9 million students. Around 1.5 million engineers are released into the job market every year. Yet, according to an employability focused study conducted by a New Delhi-based employment solutions company, Aspiring Minds, only 7% of India’s engineering graduates are employable in core engineering areas. Such is the scale and magnitude of the problem.
Thus, a large pool of dropouts and unemployable graduates resort to casual employment (for example, unskilled labour) or contract based employment (usually candidates with low employability). Clearly, for such candidates, finding employment throughout the year becomes a struggle. While a majority of those employed on a full time basis find job security, the others are left to fend for themselves - as indicated by the large percentage of persons who do not find employment throughout the year.
Percentage distribution of persons available for 12 months according to the duration of their work
|Worked for 12 months||63.4||92.9||71.5||42.1|
|Worked for 6-11 months||35.3||6.9||27.3||56.2|
|Worked for 1-5 months||1.3||0.1||1.2||1.6|
Millions of students are graduating every year but only a few thousands are really employable. The reasons might include lack of high quality teaching, lack of standard facilities and infrastructure, lack of access to learning resources, lack of etiquette and soft skills etc. This represents a systemic failure of India’s education system which needs to be addressed at the earliest. However, even for those who manage to find employment, life isn’t always successful. Personal issues, a failed marriage, office politics and alcohol or drug addiction are problems that also affect employed and moneyed people, preventing them from being successful in life.
What is needed to be successful?
There is a strong belief among the people of our country, that rich, highly educated, and powerful parents having a high profile career can easily make their children successful. The belief is that such parents can afford good schooling and send their children to expensive, top level international schools where they are trained to become successful in life. This, however, is a myth. There are thousands of students who fit this category and yet are unable to be successful in life. Therefore, having rich parents or having attended a very exclusive and expensive school are no guarantees of success in future.
The fact is that, as the title suggests, anybody can become successful irrespective of their background, even the poorest of the poor. We find it very heartening when, for example, we see the news of a rickshaw driver’s child topping the board exams, or when a daily wage labourer’s child clears the civil service examinations. In our view, such stories need not and should not remain isolated instances but rather become the order of the day. Some children are dealt a raw deal in life, for example, those with alcoholic parents or those with an unstable family life. Even such students must not lose heart and continue to strive towards their goal.
The ingredients for success
What then is the deciding factor in a student turning out to be successful in life? It is having a burning desire to achieve something in life, and having a vision to achieving that goal. As children, we dream of becoming what we believe is the best profession in life - most children would pick something like pilot, actor, cricketer, policeman, doctor, engineer, artist etc. However, as we grow up, we generally lose sight of our childhood goals. Yet, as we will see, having a deep and burning desire to become successful is the most basic requirement.
The second step is to ascertain whether one’s dreams are achievable. Students have to take a realistic look at the path they have chosen and whether there is a good chance of achieving their goal. There are many avenues to becoming successful. Many of these avenues might be exactly the same as the dreams and desires of thousands of students. Yet, not all youngsters are able to achieve their dreams. Despite the burning desire and vision, many might not be able to achieve it. Therefore, students have to consider the possibility of being unable to achieve their goal. In such a case where the student is unable to achieve their goal, there is no need to be disheartened. One only has to take a realistic approach and prepare themselves with an alternative option - a plan B. In case a student is unable to achieve their primary goal despite having great desire and vision, they must ensure that they have set aside an alternative option that will allow them to pursue a successful career. This is the third requirement.
Avenues for success
If a student believes that their first calling in life is sports, then they must pursue it with complete dedication. In such a case, the student might go on to represent the country in the Olympics, perhaps even winning a medal and thus making a successful career out of sports. As such, there are hundreds of sports and martial arts which students can pursue to become successful in life. In the field of film and cinema, there are again many career options available - actor, director, cameraman, choreographer, scriptwriter, casting director, make up artist, etc. In each of such professions, people can become very successful. Even in the field of music, if any talented student puts in efforts, they can be very successful as solo artists, or as part of a musical ensemble or band, or as playback singers, music directors, or studio musicians. In the field of literature also there are many options - poet, novelist, writer, theatre artist, playwright, content writer, etc. There is scope to become very successful in this field, earning admiration and fan following from all over the world. Even if they do not become famous, such students can have a very successful career. In the field of politics and civil service, there is lot of praise and position to be achieved. Even a mere tea seller has risen to become the Prime Minister of India today, thus giving hopes to even the poorest section of society. In fact, in such a field, having a very high level of education or a rich and wealthy background is absolutely not necessary. As fashion or interior designers also students can go on to lead successful careers. In the aviation industry, one can find many different job roles with a high remuneration packages as well as the opportunity to travel around the world for free. Even as painters, artists, dancers, photographers, and other such artistic pursuits, many people are becoming successful in their life. In today’s times, job roles such as blogger, youtuber, digital marketing expert, content writer, fitness coach, health instructor, dietician, nutritionist are increasingly in demand. One of the best ways to make a successful career is through business. There are thousands of start-ups coming up every year in India and many are even going on to become very successful. We must remember that most businesses that are extremely successful today, were started on a very small scale. Even in fields such as agriculture, organic farming, indigenous farming practices, dairy culture, pisciculture, sericulture etc., there is great scope for creating a successful career and at the same time, addressing the food quality and food security of over 1.3 billion people.
So how to achieve success?
The guaranteed path to achieve success is through the right type of education. Most students in India, including a large section of the underprivileged population, opt for a beaten path in education. After finishing their 10th standard, they move on to junior college (11th/12th) and after they finish their schooling, they pick one of - B.Com, B.A. or B.Sc. Students these days are encouraged to take up B.Com. with the intention of getting a good job and career either in an accountancy firm or in a bank. However, only students who study the course at some of the best commerce colleges in the country (for example, like Lady Shri Ram College or Shri Ram College of Commerce, Delhi) can really make a mark in life. However, only a select few candidates actually get admitted into those colleges. A majority of the student crowd will go for local colleges which might not be very reputed. Similar is the case for students who pick B.Sc. or B.A. for their graduation. Those that make it to some of the top colleges in India (like St. Stephens or St. Xaviers) will, no doubt, go on to have successful careers and perhaps even become well known in their field. However, not everyone can make it and the majority ends up a what is considered a good college locally, if they can afford it. What is the scope for students who graduate with these degrees from local colleges? It is quite poor. There have been students who continued onwards to get an M.A. or an M.Sc. but still are unable to be successful. Take the story of Ramesh (name changed), for example. He graduated with a first class distinction in M.A. economics from a college in south India. Yet, today he is teaching in a college temporarily and is paid a wage of about Rs. 100-150 per class that he teaches. This is a very poor wage and he manages to earn only about 6000 rupees in a month, more than half of which is spent on traveling to and from his workplace. For someone like Ramesh, it is difficult to make life successful - he is too old to study now yet at the same time, cannot afford to sit back because he needs to earn money to feed himself and his family. Therefore, students must be aware of the job prospects after graduation and what is scope for a student of their prospective college. Blindly joining a course is not the route to success; one must have a long term plan and a goal in place. A very strong belief that is present in society is that only those students who really excel at academics stand the chance to become really successful in life. However, this is just another myth. There are a plethora of options available to students irrespective of even their educational background. All of the courses and pathways mentioned in this article are open to students who have managed to achieve around 50-60% in their school exams. One of the best pathways, especially for students from a weak financial background is to study a polytechnic course. Apart from a lower course fee than junior college, a polytechnic course also prepares the student for employment at a much earlier date than any other option. For further details, watch out for articles on polytechnic courses in forthcoming editions. The option of lateral entry also allows those with polytechnic degrees to get direct admission into the second year of engineering. For further details, refer article on Lateral Entry. Further, students can even aim to become a scientist after studying polytechnic - refer to the article How anybody can become a scientist. The field of medicine also offers immense amount of opportunities. Apart from the traditional MBBS course, there are currently an increasing number of courses that are offered every year. For those interested in knowing how to study MBBS, refer to the article How anybody can become a medical doctor. Allied medical fields, however, offer more opportunities currently in India. Nursing is one such field. Students can take up the General Nursing and Midwifery (GNM) course, which is a gateway into the field of paramedical services. After this, the students can continue with a post B.Sc. in nursing, which will improve their job prospects and skills. A major advantage of studying nursing is that there is no great entry barrier for students. The only entry requirements are to have 50-60% in their school results. In terms of fees also, nursing courses are among the most affordable. Paramedical courses like physiotherapy, occupational therapy, dialysis, X-ray, radiography etc. will have huge demand in the future as healthcare becomes more affordable and more advanced. Courses like B.Pharma, B.Sc. in physiotherapy, ophthalmic technology, audiology and speech therapy, optometry and anaesthesia technology provide ample employment opportunities immediately upon graduation. After studying any of these paramedical courses, students have the opportunity to move to foreign countries where there is an increasing demand for nurses. In fact, many of the nurses even in foreign countries come from India. For example, fresher GNM students can get admission in the UK for higher studies, along with a scholarship and a stipend to manage personal and living expenses. The scope to move to a foreign country is large because most of the developed countries have a large section of old and ageing population along with excellent infrastructure for healthcare, thus creating the scope and requirement for paramedical staff in large numbers. For such medical professionals who move abroad, there is a great earning potential. The average salary for a nursing professional in any of the developed countries ranges from 18 lakh to 36 lakh rupees per annum. This kind of payscale is almost impossible to get if the candidate continues to work in India. However, in foreign countries there is scope for dedicated candidates to even earn upto 15-20 lakhs rupees per month. Some other courses that hold great potential for the future are BCA in cloud computing or digital marketing, B.Com./B.B.A. in Logistics and supply chain management, B.Sc. in Hospitality Science, BHM - Hotel Management, B.Sc. Fashion Designing and Interior designing. For all of the courses mentioned above, +2 students from any stream (be it science, commerce or arts) can enroll irrespective of their educational background. The only concern is that they should ensure that they are enrolling in a reputed institution.