Here’s Why Your Child’s “Dream Career” May Not Work Like You Expected


Last Updated: September 5, 2022
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When children make an independent career choice, they are usually driven by their passion for the subject and a thirst to learn more in the field of their choice. But while they do their research about entrance exams, learn more about the syllabus, and maybe even look at PG courses, someone has got to do the dirty work of assessing how the course can translate into a successful career and a good salary for your child. From “how long is the course” to “how much does it cost” to “will they even get a decent job after it”, someone has to ask the tough questions. We discuss the three most popular vocations in India – medicine, engineering, and MBA. Let’s take a look at what goes into each course and how it’ll pay off in the long run.




Course duration: 5.5 years (4.5 years academic education + 1 year compulsory internship)

The average cost for pursuing an MBBS degree in India ranges from INR 10-12 lakh per year. These costs may easily go upto INR 50 lakh for the entire course, including study material, lodging and mess expenses, examination fees, etc. According this article in PubMed Central, a popular international journal, India is the only place where medical seats are sold, which makes it even more difficult for the economically challenged. You can read a couple of case studies here and here.

Even with an education loan, a medical student could be in a vicious cycle of debt. Doctors in Government institutions make around INR 45000 to INR 50,000 a month, and according to the Times Of India, the “private sector is even worse”.

These statistics only apply to the MBBS degree. Most MBBS doctors are expected to pursue a specialisation in order to be able to practice successfully and earn more. Your child needs to invest two years in the MD degree, along with a hefty fee of upto INR 15 lakh per year, or even more, depending on the specialisation they choose. Even if you decide to ignore the added expenses, it will take years before your child actually starts earning well enough to cover the cost of their education and start making profits.

If you are looking for a list of scholarships, check out this Quora thread to get started.



Course duration: 4 years

It is difficult to say how much an engineering course costs in India because it depends upon the college that admits your child. However, according to Suyash Baranwal, who is a BTech student at IIT Kanpur and an avid Quora contributor, the fees go up to about INR 2.5 lakh per year in an institution like IIT. Furthermore, private colleges such as BITS Pilani charge about INR 3.5 lakhs to INR 5 lakh per year. NIT charges INR 1.7 lakh per year as their fees. Then there’s the entrance exam coaching, hostel charges, food and other academic expenses that will burn giant holes in your pocket.

Fresher engineers start off with salaries ranging from INR 20,000 to INR 50,000 per month. However, this depends majorly upon your child’s scores and other soft skills. Unfortunately, it has been observed that as many as 94% of engineers in India are “not for hiring”. You should go through our mini-series on That Engineering Life, where we’ve covered what goes into the preparation of JEEthe college life of engineering students, and placement opportunities available for your child.

If your child has a keen interest in pursuing engineering and maintaining good scores, many opportunities could open up for them when it’s placement time. Even if they don’t necessarily find a job in engineering, there’s a list of non-engineering jobs engineers can take up if they are not interested in hardcore technical jobs.

MBA (Masters in Business Administration)


Masters in Business Administration

Course duration: 2 years

Even if we don’t consider the option of studying abroad, there are about 5000 management institutions in India alone that students can pick from. It is thus clearly not possible to quote an average figure. An MBA programme in the IIMs, XLRI and other such management institutions would cost the student up to INR 22 lakhs for two years. Practically speaking, graduates pursue an MBA degree to get an edge over other applicants while securing a job. However, with full-time courses, part-time courses, affiliated and deemed institutes offering MBA courses, MBA seems to have lost its edge. While the top colleges such as the IIMs and XLRI are still held in high regard, the same cannot be said for all MBA institutions. In 2016-17, about 2 lakh MBAs passed from 5000 management institutions in India and only 47% got placements.

On an average, an MBA graduate will earn a salary of INR 3 lakh per annum while about 1%, who pass out from the top B-schools, earn upward of INR 9 lakh per annum.

As important as it is for you to support your child’s dream, it is also your responsibility to do your research. Will your child be able to find a decent job once they pass or will they drown under student loans? What if they change their minds halfway through the course you signed them up for? Simply speaking, courses such as engineering and medicine are far too expensive to simply discontinue. Plus, you don’t want your child to have wasted four to five precious years of their lives pursuing courses that may not be practical in the real world.

Having said that, your child has a real shot at making a great career if they are passionate about what they learn. Apart from making good money, your child will also have work satisfaction if they do what they love. But it is important that the course they choose is solely based on their interests. Today, even a poet can make as much as a successful doctor, if they’re passionate about their writing and know how to market it to the right audience. If your child needs help figuring out which career path is best suited for them, head over to our website and begin by taking the Mentoria assessment!