Are you sure you want to do a job? Do you think you will be able to survive the 9-5 routine? Won’t you be wasting your time? Why don’t you start-up again, and make it bigger this time? You can go abroad and get a master’s degree in any management field, but still, you want to stay here and do a job? You have proven yourself in the management field and now you want to get into the technical part, you are kidding me, right?

These are the type of questions with which I am being bombarded from the time my first startup got acquired and I took the decision to go for a job that too in machine learning and data analytics. This decision did not come out of the blue, nor was an easy one. I was about to enter the last lap to become an engineer and I wanted to have my aim clear so that I could work on it and give in my best. I had a few options in mind, first and the most exciting one was to start-up again (obviously, not in the service sector again) and this time with greater risks. Second, was to get a job, in the management or technical field. Third, was to go for higher studies, maybe an MBA or a certified course from the top schools. Most engineering students have these three options, and each one of them has its own pros and cons. Another option which I had to confuse me further (am still very motivated for this) is, travel the world, volunteer (maybe in some monastery) and try my hand at unconventional jobs. I had to choose the one which was best for me and of course, the one which I found challenging.

Challenge is something which I love taking from the time I was a teenager, be it while choosing science as a stream and going to Kota after my secondary education or starting a startup while in college and not letting my grades fall below average. And for this decision too I gave the highest weight to how challenging that task would be. As a matter of fact, all the three choices seemed as challenging and difficult to pursue, but there was one regret/fear during these three years at Indian Institute of ‘Technology’ Jodhpur which I wanted to overcome. Being in a technical institute I did not know anything about my field and it seemed that I would be another student who entered into an IIT for just the brand. Moreover, technology did excite me and somewhere within I knew I could be able to do good at it. The only thing which had stopped me from learning to code rigorously was the number of students involved in this field. I did not want to enter the rat race and do competitive coding; I always wanted to do something which no one does, I always loved to be the first to initiate. Even though I was scoring good in the academic courses which involved computer science and had even scored better than a few hardcore programmers (which just shows how our educational system is screwed), I never considered being a software engineer by profession, maybe because I was too engrossed with Startify and its business end. Now, I did not have Startify and had the freedom to choose any field I wanted to. I knew with my profile and all the public speaking, mentoring I had done in last two years, entering into the management or business field would not be a problem. I had proven myself in this field and why would any company/startup not hire me if I could provide them value.

It was time to take a decision and this thought of not doing anything technical was hitting me whenever I used to sit to think about this. I started by eliminating the options by writing the pros and cons of each option (the best way to take any decision). First on the list was higher studies, an MS or an MBA: I am very negative towards the Indian education system and want to experience the foreign education. MS was out of the equation as I wasn’t interested in spending two more years in a technical institute. Doing an MBA would give me a good exposure and network, but it did not seem sensible to do it right after graduation. Firstly, because I would need work experience to get into a top school and secondly because all the quora answers convinced me to not do it at all or to do it after a few years of experience. So higher study was eliminated for the time being. I could do an MBA if required later, or maybe just do a certified course to experience the foreign culture and to travel. Next was starting a startup: entrepreneurship is addictive and I wanted to do this, but then starting up again without even knowing how other companies work or function would be like missing an opportunity to learn from them. So, doing a job was confirmed, yes I wanted to do a job (not a corporate one, would certainly do it in a startup)! Even the thought of shifting from entrepreneurship to doing a job is weird, but I had to face this.

Had banged into the field of data analytics a few months back and had even tried to learn R language (Luckily there were only a few people doing this in college) and going deeper into this field I realized that this could give me a good blend of business and technology. But the road ahead to master this field and also get a job would not be easy. The bigger task of deciding my aim was done, and more importantly, I was confident on it. If I would have chosen, the managerial job (which still is my backup option) I would have the regret of not doing something which I thought I would be good at. That was the easier way, obviously!

From that time, I have been working rigorously in this field, learning to code and taking part in various competitions. I am confident that I have taken the optimal decision and there would be no regret even if I fail to get a job as a data analyst! I don’t know where will this dream leads me and how rocky the path will be, all I know is that I’ll do what I enjoy doing with full dedication. I don’t know if my life will be fun or a funny one!

Update as of April’17 : I received a pre-placement offer from Accenture Digital for an analyst role, also got selected as a Data Analyst at SocialCops and received an offer from Rocket Internet, China as a Resident Entrepreneur.