How often do you hear youngsters criticising the current education system and schools and colleges? Plenty of times. But, how often do you actually see youngsters choosing to not go to a college and break the stereotypes? A very few times.
Arpit, a nineteen years old teenager, is one of those few students who walked the unconventional path of not completing his graduation and broke all the stereotypes successfully.
Arpit hails from a middle-class family living in Uttar Pradesh. His father has an electronics shop and his mother is a housewife. His elder brother has a catering business.
Arpit has been interested in programming since he was very young. He once built a website for his brother’s catering business using WordPress. He also integrated payment gateway services from RazorPay. Arpit’s move boosted his brother’s catering business to a great extent. Impressed with his work, his brother gave him a laptop for further studies.
Arpit completed his higher secondary education in 2020. Unlike many other students, he was not confused about his next move. He was very clear about his future. He had decided to not get into a college to complete graduation and instead, polish his skills and pursue his love for programming, on his own. So, he learned HTML and CSS and started working for a company as an intern.
Admission in Masai
Meanwhile, he came across Masai School. He was quickly attracted because his philosophy matched the vision and mission of the coding bootcamp. After a failed attempt at MSAT, he finally managed to get enrolled in the second attempt in March 2021.
Arpit’s goal was to learn about new technologies and programming languages. After the completion of the course, his goal was fulfilled. But, there was a problem. He was too young to be hired. Plus, even today a lot of companies have the policy of not hiring non-graduates.
Arpit stayed determined and confident. He had faith in himself and his skills. He applied for various companies. A lot of them rejected him citing the reason for graduation. But, he was in no mood of giving up on his dreams.
Finally, Arpit was selected as a front-end software engineer by Digital Jalebi. The very next moment, Arpit received an offer from another company that was willing to pay 2x than his current job’s salary. But, being a man of integrity, Arpit chose to stay with Digital Jalebi.
Arpit’s journey is extraordinarily exceptional. One does not get to witness such an unconventional journey that breaks stereotypes, so often.
Recently, we had an interaction with him, where we asked him a few questions about his career, his stint with Masai, and more. Have a look-
Why did you not go to college for graduation?
Nowadays, I see and read about millions of people who stay unemployed even after completing their graduation from prestigious colleges and universities. The reason for unemployment is that these people choose degrees over skills. Just a degree is not enough to get a good job.
I was aware of the problem and so I decided to take the road less travelled. I prioritised skills over any degree. So, I started to learn programming on my own.
After learning the basics, I joined a company as an intern to gain experience in the corporate world. I also started taking up freelance projects. It helped me gain valuable experience which has been helpful to date.
How did you discover Masai School?
While I was working as an intern, I learned about Masai School. I got to know about their ‘pay after placement’(ISA model). Soon, I found myself desperate to get into Masai
I was not able to clear MSAT on the very first attempt. But, I did not give up. I wanted to associate myself with the bootcamp, anyhow. So, I attempted the MSAT a second time. This time I was able to clear it and and I joined the full-stack developer course.
How did you convince your parents for this unconventional step?
It was a bit difficult to convince them. Nobody was supporting me, not even my family members. They, and a lot of other relatives, were asking me to complete my graduation from a reputed university.
But, I was determined and firm on my decision. I asked them to give me just one year. It became easier to convince them after learning about Masai School.
How did your family react after you got placed?
As soon as I got placed, all those people who were against my decision started appreciating my bold move. They all were happy that I was able to get a job, without a degree.
Do you have plans to complete your graduation?
Yes, I do want to pursue my graduation. But, not the typical graduation. I want to pursue a specific subject of my interest if there happens to be any such arrangements in near future.
I am interested in Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality. If any institute comes up with a Bachelor’s degree in any such domain, I would sign up for it.
What makes you interested in AR and VR? Where do you see these technologies in the near future?
I do not know the exact reason behind my interest in AR and VR but, I have been fascinated by these technologies for a long time. That is why I have joined Digital Jalebi because it works on AR, VR, and MR too. My company has some reputed clients like Google, ManKind etc. I work on the projects of these companies.
I believe that these revolutionary technologies are going to dominate the world sooner than we expect. We have seen big MNCs jumping into the trend recently.
I feel that the majority of the content consumption is going to take place over AR and VR within five years. From live concerts to award shows, everything will take place through these technologies.
I want to be a part of this revolution and that makes me inclined towards it.
How did you prepare after Async at Masai School?
I had to Async in the very first unit. I had no idea about the methods and syllabus. I was unprepared and that is why I was not able to clear Unit-1.
During Async, I was prepared for everything that was about to come, as I was now familiar with the teaching methods and also syllabus. In the first unit, I had skipped data structures and algorithms as it was difficult for me. After Async, I realised my mistake and did not skip any important lessons after that.
Due to my health issues, I had to Async again in Unit-3. But, to be honest, Async is not as bad as people assume it to be. Your concepts get cleared, which if left unlearned may create a big problem in the near future.
After Async, did you ever feel that you chose the wrong path?
No, I never felt that. My dream was to get into Masai School. And, I was learning many programming languages and new technologies here. Async was more of like revision of what was not learned properly. So, I never doubted my decision.
What projects did you build during Construct Weeks and how were they helpful?
I, along with my team members, had worked on building clones of various websites.
The projects that we built during Construct Weeks are helpful even to date. We have gained practical knowledge while working on these projects. Whenever I am stuck somewhere in my job, I go back and revisit the projects I had built. That gives me clarity and helps identify problems.
It is easier to forget something you learn, within a month. But, if you apply these learnings in projects related to real life, it becomes easier for you to remember them for a long time.
How does Masai School prepare its students for placements?
Before we get to sit for placements, we have to go through The Masai School Accreditation. Under MAC, we’re evaluated on all parameters. It covers a full stack web interview, a behavioural interview and professionalism check. There’s a live code challenge as well.
I was able to clear all of them in the second week of Unit-6. That boosted my confidence and I was prepared to sit for the companies’ interview.
What do you think about the distribution of students into batches named Alpha, Bravo, Delta and Charlie, at Masai School?
In my opinion, it is necessary to have such divisions. Different students have different capabilities and it is important to teach them accordingly.
Case in point, a CSE graduate would have a better hold on the fundamentals and they’d have lesser doubts than someone coming from a B.com background.
Should students opt for graduation or join an institute to gain skills?
To be honest, if someone can get into prestigious institutes like IITs, they should join such reputed institutes and complete their graduation.
But, if you are very specific about your career path, just like I was, you should join an institute that will help you harness your skills. You can also opt for such institutes if you are not that sound financially. That is a better option than spending four years and lakhs of rupees for a degree. Basically, in the end, it is your call depending upon your situation.