Home » Study in USA » If MS in US, what is your Goal? Professor, Scientist?

If MS in US, what is your Goal? Professor, Scientist?

Below is a conversation that I had with one of my cousins. She really wanted to come to the US for MS.

  • Me: Why do you want to study MS in the US ?
  • My Cousin : I want higher education, the US is good for MS. Good education, etc.
  • Me:  Very Good. But, why do you want to do MS ? Why only MS ? Why not MBA ?
  • My Cousin : Everyone studies MS. I do not know very well. MS is good. Maybe I will study MBA. It gives me more money.
  • Me :  What is your GOAL? Make money or do Job, start Business?
  • My Cousin :  Want to work in a very good company.  Go to higher roles like Manager.
  • Me : If you want to just work in a good company and become a manager some day, why do MS ? You do not need to do MS to get a good Job or become manager. You can become manager by experience. Why MS ? MBA may help become manager, but MS will not
  • My Cousin : Maybe I will do MBA then. Well, I do not know very well…

I am not trying to pick on my cousin here. I was exactly like my cousin a few years ago when I was in Engineering and was planning to come to the US for MS. I was not sure what I wanted to do, I just picked MS because many do MS and it is good.

My cousin got a little mad at me because I constantly challenged her with questions to see what her goals were. She never thought about the goal for studying MS at US universities. So was I a few years ago. If I were to be challenged by someone may be I would have done something different. I do not know…Anyways, coming back to the point, this article will throw some light on what questions you should ask yourself before MS in the USA. You can also check articles at : Guide / steps to study in USA for International students? How to plan?

What is your Goal for MS in the USA?

One of the things you have to do when you are planning to apply to US schools is ask yourself a bunch of questions :

  • What is my goal for higher education in US ?
  • What value will MS add to my career ?
  • Am I going to MS just for working in US later on H1B visa ?
  • Will two years of MS help me gain what I want ?
  • Am I applying because my friends are applying ?
  • Why am I applying for MS in USA ?
  • Why should I only apply for MS, Why not MBA ?
  • Should I work in home country for 2 years and apply for MBA ?
  • Am I really looking forward to become a Scientist or Professor ?
  • What am I accomplishing in next 5 years of stay in US? Will MS help me ?
  • If going for Job and no H1B visa for me, can I afford time and Money?

I can keep on writing many questions. My goal is not to force my ideas or my thoughts on you by giving my opinions or answers to above questions. There is NO right or Wrong answer to any of these questions above. It is YOUR life and you will have to plan your career.

You will have to talk to professors, seniors, friends, family, etc and come up with a justification for you answer. Talk to someone who is doing MS in the US, who is working on an H1-B visa. Get their phone numbers, and email ids and contact them. People are willing to help. You just have to ASK.  If you are coming to the US because someone else is coming, it is not the right justification for all the time and money. First, find out what your passion is and write down your goal for higher education.

Before you go to the next section of the article, you should read Should I study/apply for MS or MBA in the US after B.Tech/ B.Com ? which focuses on some of the key differences, fees, etc.

What is MS Career progression? Ph.D.?

It is very important to understand your next steps after getting an MS from the US. To start, MS is basically a Sciences degree that stands for Master of Science. You study advanced ideas, concepts, theories, etc about a particular subject. When you study MS, your focus is to become a master in that particular technical area.  You are becoming a technical expert in your area of choice.

In general, most people, whose goal is to become Professors, Scientists, Technical Architects, Researchers, etc. tend to pick an MS. Most of these people pursue a Ph.D. after getting MS and take it to another level in terms of expertise in that area.

Also, as a career path, you may become a lecturer or instructor with MS. When I say MS, it can even be in any business-related areas like Advance tax accounting, Advance Supply Chain concepts, Advance Finance topics, etc. People in the business world pursue MS because they want to know advanced concepts for their jobs sometimes or they are interested in Ph.D.

The overall idea is, that you will be studying a lot of technical and advanced stuff that can help you for Ph.D. and future research goals.  I am not trying to generalize here but telling where MS makes more sense for your career.

The reality with many international students studying MS in USA

In all reality, many students come to the US for an MS without a proper goal (I was one among them). In my case, I realized after couple of years that MS did not help them much and then end up going for MBA. Having an understanding of what you want to do after MS in the US is important for your future, it is 2 years of your life.

 I am not trying to discourage anyone from coming to MS to the US. I want you think about your goals for MS and decide if MS/ MIS or MBA. I do not want all of you to make same mistakes I have made in the past. If your goal is to just work and make money, you may have to think of options as I mentioned in the article: Study MS or MBA in the US – Education vs. Job, Money

Does having MS get you better job ?

The fact is, most of the jobs in the US or outside of the US does not require an MS or Master’s degree. Just getting an MS may or may not get you any better job than many others. You are a little more qualified and sometimes overqualified for some job roles. You will not necessarily make any extra money by having an MS degree. Check Jobs in India after MS in USA, perception vs. reality

As an international student, MS may help you with the H1B visa application to get you in the US masters quota and for a green card if you wish to work in the US. But, always, think about your goals and then take time and talk to your seniors, professors, friends, and family and then decide either for MS or MBA in the US. Also, you may take time off and then come to the US later or drop the plan totally if you think it is not for you. Make a wise choice using your discretion!

Image credits: http://www.flickr.com/photos/opopododo/2571337302/in/photostream


Other Articles


  1. Im a cse graduate with 66%. I want to work for a year to find out if i can really survive in the technical field and then plan my masters ( i.e cse or mis) . My problem is that should i do MIS in usa or MBA in IT field. Which will be better for my career . Please suggest . I wish you have any perosnal career guidance platform. If so, pls share .
    Thanks in advance

  2. If i will complete ms in cs in Usa .
    By using this (ms)degree may i become professor of any private college of India ? if i will come back India. It is valid for to become professor in India

  3. Hello sir,

    I’m a B.E Electronics & Instrumentation graduate with CGPA 7.2.(College-Thangavelu Engineering College,Chennai) My HSC percentage was 83 & my 10th was 84.
    I wish to pursue Masters abroad in my field. But many tell me I won’t get a job if I do MS in instrumentation, & that I should go for Computer Science or Engineering Management.
    My problem is that I don’t have much CS knowledge. My HSC group was also biology-maths. Fine, if I give heart & soul & get a good GRE score, can I get into a decent college? Moreover can I get a job after that? I’m from a middle class family so I need a job immediately after studies to pay for loans.
    I’ve heard US VISA rules are very strict & they’ll demand a good reason if I go for other fields. Please help me. I need someone to guide me if I’m talking the right step.
    Your help will be much appreciated.
    Please mail me your suggestions. Thank you very much for your help.


  4. Hi

    (Plz read in continuation to my previous comment)
    I read this article as well as the one MS vs. MBA. M not sure which would be better for me (like many others). May b because until I do both (like u) I would never be sure which course is better choice for me and what I gained. Still, (in my opinion) Education the most secure investment even when one is not sure which one to pick.
    Anyways point I am trying to make is my objection is to gain additional knowdelge. I worked in Consulting, it had its good side and bad. M not sure which kinda job I wanna be after further study, consulting, or join industry or professor. Obviously I wanna work to be financially independent as well as to attain higher position and responsibility and recognition.
    As per me I feel MS is better for me coz its adds to my knowledge base, gives me a work visa and preference in H1B plus saves my money (as m not employed as of now). Though the only negative I feel is intensive research work. I m not sure how well will I perform in that.

  5. hello sir,
    I have completed my bachelor’s in CSE and i want to know about the importance of MS and MIS in USA for CSE?Which is the best option to select one out of these?pls rly me.

  6. i finished my b.e in electronic and communication ..am 2012 passed out..i need to work in US,,the only way to enter US is to clear gre and getting admission in universities for MS and mine is middle class family,,
    my question is will i get job as soon as i finish my MS????????????
    please help me

    • hey did u get answer to ur question?? “,the only way to enter US is to clear gre and getting admission in universities for MS and mine is middle class family,,
      my question is will i get job as soon as i finish my MS????????????”

      plss say i also hav same doubt

  7. Hi,
    I have done my BE from ECE pasout 2012.Currently working as server admin in HP.As my branh is ECE, Please suggest me in which specialization,i should do MS.
    what would be bettr for my carrer.

    Please notify me through mail.

  8. Hi sir,
    First of all i want to thank you for all your kind information. I’m B.E 2013 passed out & willing to do MS in US. I have given GRE & TOEFL tests .
    I request you to help me in this issue.

    please give your email id and contact no i ll reach you.

    Once again thanks a lot.

    • If you have money everything is possible. There is a college in Bangalore called PESIT (Near Electronic City). They have tie up with a US college called Indiana University of Pennsylvania (IUP). So they have a MBA program called PES-IUP. Basically you have to study 1 year at the Bangalore campus and next one year you will be studying at the US Campus. After studying at the US campus, the IUP will give you details of fake consultancies and which give fake experiences and will get you job and apply H1 B by faking all the necessary documents and fooling the US government. And this college will not fail anyone in the MBA program as the students would have spent lakhs of rupees for their education. So technically, no exam, just enjoy going to US, don;t worry about scoring good marks.. They will give all the fake documents necessary to get job in US so that you can recover your money..
      And to enter this PES-IUP program, you don’t have to be extraordinary at academics, nor you have to take up any GMAT or TOEFL.. Just money.. No qualification criteria.. Money is the only qualification criteria..

    • Your poor English will be a hindrance. The biggest hurdle for you will be getting GRE scores, and even if you manage to get an admission, you’ll struggle with classes where your English has to be at a decent level. So rambabu, join an Indian MNC and come to the US through them so that the US can get to know a unique person like you.

  9. hello… I have passed my BE this year. Got loads of doubts. Can you please contact me on my email or send me your email ID?
    ydk_ferrari at yahoo dot com

  10. hello sir.thanks for your suggestions.i just completed my 12th standard & was in search of further studies.in that way i found your article.it was really help full to the people like me. now i am just 12th.but i had thought of doing ms in us.till now i don’t have any clarity why i am willing to do ms.but after reading your article i questioned my self.i didn’t get any right answer.but i know one thing that i decided to do ms only for the reason that everyone is doing ms after engineering so i too wanted do the same.but now i understand how to do & what to do. thank u very much sir.i hope u will help me for my further studies.

  11. hi,

    I heard a lot many people say : first decide what your passion is and what work you would want to do in your coming years. I gave a thought and i found that i m interested in planning and execution . Also I am interested in product development. I realize these are two different areas of interest, yet I want to know how can i best learn in above areas doing MS. Simple words: which MS specialization will help me to achieve job in above areas of work.


  12. Hi,
    This is dattatraya. I did B. Tech. mechanical from College of engineering pune, 2008 passed out and working in ashok leyland since then. I had 2 years of experience in manufacturing and 8 months in Strategic sourcing department. I neither like core technical lot nor I am good at managing people but what seperates me from others is my devotion to work. I always throw myself completely into whatever I do. I love to do work whose output mostly depends upon my own efforts. This inclindes me to pursue MS but it restricts my job oportunities to some specific field. I would like to work in india only and if possible in pune for whole of my life. In addition I need to make more money too. This shows a way towards MBA. I need more money due to some reason for sure.

    Kindly advise me.
    It would be nice if you could reply on mail ID too.


  13. hi,

    I am doing my final year engineering in electronics & telecomm. Well i have done pretty badly in my engg. I have had two drops so far & my aggregate is also very low averaging around 50%. I have done very good in my 10th & 12th scoring a distinction and first class respectively.

    I just want to know whether i will be eligible to do my MBA from a good university in US considering my poor engg academics. I never want to try doing an MS because i know thats not my cup of tea as i have always be

  14. Hi,
    For 10 months I am working as anaylst in SCM (Logistics)in hcl bpo, i completed btech computer science in 2007 , i have a break of 1year, i have a knowlege in solaris system admin,am i eligble to do higher studies in US. I am very much interest to go USA. suggest me which is good option to do ms or mba and also without doing ms do i get job by apply h1b visa .. If I am eligible when should i write gre anf tofle?? plz suggest me, waiting for your preciuos reply

    • I can answer the question on H1. Yes, you are eligible to apply for H1 (through an employer), as you have 4 years of college degree. You need to find an employer willing to file H1 for you, and once approved/stamped, you can come to US to work for the employer.

  15. Hi,

    Thanks for your quick response. Honestly, I don’t really know if I’m good or bad at managing people because I never tried to do so & also because I’ve always been a student of Computer Science [from class 10 – BE].

    So the entire managing thing doesn’t really interest me.

    I like to work in a team as a member & like to be managed by people rather than to manage a group of people. The responsibility of an MBA is bigger than an engineer. Because as far as I know, an engineer is he who knows where to find a problem & how to solve it. But an MBA is he who knows where & how to find this engineer, which is a tougher job compared to the job of an engineer.

    Moreover, MBA degree will be of any value only when I graduate from a well-known University, which could be quite hard & competitive to get in because thousands of International Students go for MBA

    So I can’t really rely on MBA as I have no interest in this field.

    I understand that IT jobs are not doing good right now, but then again, this will not be the situation for ever, will this? I’m right now doing BE [1st year] & it will take 3 more years to complete. Then, if I get admission to a US university for MS, it will take me two more years to graduate. So in total, it will take me 5 more years to become a professional engineer. Don’t you think the situation may change by the time I graduate?

    You’ve said that there are jobs, but not as great as they once used to be before & that VISA rules have become stricter, is this going to last forever? Even if the situation of job-market changes, is this strictness of VISA going to last for ever?

    Could you give any information on how strict the VISA policy has become?

    BTW, if you don’t mind, would you please tell me what made you choose MBA instead of MS? Is it the market situation that made you change your career path or is the “job-opportunity” thing that made you do so??

    • Arjit, I am very glad to see you are so much interested about your career in B.tech 1st year. Things will change and will get better. Do not worry too much. Well, for now the recession is slowly easing and opportunities are getting better. Visa rules may change, we do not know yet. I am doing MBA because I wanted to change career from IT to leadership roles or Business area. It has nothing to do with Jobs or Money.

  16. Hi,

    I plan to do MS in US & work as a Software Engineer. My aim is to do specialization in my field & get a job [salary doesn’t matter] as soon as I graduate.

    I don’t want to earn a lot of money at first, all I want to do is gain experience by doing having a temporary job. And after gaining 3 – 4 years of experience, I might try to look for a permanent job.

    However, I saw what you wrote about your mistake. So I just need your advice here. I’m going to do MS & MS only. Because frankly, I am not good at managing a group of people.

    So my goals are fixed [do MS & get any good job].

    But since you said you made a mistake by choosing to do an MS instead of MBA, I’d like to know if it will be a same mistake for me if I choose do MS instead of MBA.

    Aren’t there enough jobs related to IT field? Isn’t there enough demand for international Software Engineers?

    • Arijit, based on what you say, Here is my suggestion, you think ” You are not good at managing a group of pepople”…You have to think ” do you like to manage a group of people ?”. MBA is to help you to learn how to manage a group of people with business knowledge. So, think about what you like rather than what you are good or not good at. You can learn and get good, take more classes and become better. Also, take this Jung Personality test to help you understand yourself to decide MBA or MS . There are jobs, but not as great as before and now the visa rules are much tight and companies are not as willing or open as before.


Leave a Comment