As an international student, when you plan to pursue higher education like MS or MBA in the US, you need to first think of why you would like to do MS in the US and then think of those goals for making progress in those areas. Also, if your plan is to return back to your home country, which is India in this article’s context, you also need to also consider your job prospects in your home country after you get your degree.
I have worked in both countries and will share my thoughts in this article based on how the system works and what they look for based on my personal experiences and conversations with my friends in the recruiting industry in India.
How do people perceive your MS or MBA degree from the US in India?
I did my MS ( Master of Science) and MBA( Master of Business Administration) from reasonably decent state schools in the US…But, when I returned to India after my MS and MBA, I was under the impression that my degrees would be valued decently. I was NOT expecting that people value my degrees on par with IITs or IIMs.
I was wrong. Your typical Master’s degree from the US is not perceived as of decent value, unless you have a degree from an Ivy League School or from the top 10 schools like Harvard or Stanford Many treat an MS or MBA as just equal to yet another M.Tech or M.Sc from an average or good school or any university India. So, if you are going to be under impression that your MS in the US is of great value and will get me a job here without any hassle, time to change that perception!
What are the Job opportunities in India after MS from the US?
If you are a freshly minted MS or an MBA graduate from a normal US university looking for a job in India without any prior experience, you are out of luck. Unfortunately, you will be considered as a fresher with M.Tech or M.Sc Degree holder in India. Your job opportunities as a fresh MS degree holder from the USA are just like any other M.Tech or MCA degree holder who could not get a job in on-Campus selections and struggling to get a job off campus.
Also, most of the top tier companies, select freshers by on-campus recruitment and you will not have the option to get picked by top tier companies, because you did not go to school in India. Another bad part is that you may not have any network of friends, who are freshers in India, who can help you with walk-ins and other information on job search…you are on your own. You need to just rely on online job applications and personal references.
In a nutshell, your job opportunities in India after MS in the USA, without any experience as a fresher, are very limited and you are up against a large crowd. It is not the best idea to compete against such a large pool of Masters’s degree holders in India. Also, if you are under the impression that I worked on-campus, here is another thing to consider…most of the time, your on-campus employment is not really considered real work experience by many companies in India as you were studying full time.
When my cousin included his Research Assitant/ Graduate Assistantship experience in the US as work experience in his resume, the company just took that 1.5 years out of the overall experience and told him that you were studying full time and we cannot include this experience. It is ironic, but that’s the fact.
Some small companies may consider it, but many do not take it, just be cautious… In any case, as a fresh MS degree holder from America, you are just like another fresher here… So, what do you need to do?
What do they look for in India for a Job? Experience?
In India, getting a job is all about work experience…to be more specific, it is relevant work experience in that field that you are applying to work! Recruiters just look at the number of years of work experience in a particular field. For instance, if you are applying for an IT job as a Developer or Tester, the recruiter would look at your experience as a developer more specifically developer of that technology like Java, C++, Android, etc…
How to prepare yourself to get a job in India after MS or MBA in the US?
aDuring MS or MBA, you would have Curricular Practical Training(CPT), consider working on full-time CPT in the Summer and part-time during school as well, it will add up as experience ( of course, you may need to convince them during the interview), but what else can you do ?
After MS in the US, you would get either one year OPT or an additional 24 months ( 2+24 months), if you are from STEM Degree. You need to utilize that time and work in the US for that 1 year or 36 months to get relevant experience that you can put in your resume. It is best if you can work for 36 months because you will be out of the danger zone in India.
Most of the fraud resumes in India are of students who have under 2 years of experience. Also, you should get certifications done in your field. For example, in IT industry there are many certifications offered by Microsoft, Oracle, Google, AWS, Cisco, etc. Pick the one relevant to your field and complete it, you can possibly use that in your job search. Also, if you can do any courses in your area of experience, it will help as well.
Many small companies or startups are interested in hiring trained candidates with one or two years of experience, you can easily crack the interview and get a job in such cases….
Also, it is no different for anyone who has completed B.S or any bachelor’s degree from the US and trying to return to India to get a job, they will be considered as freshers and will need to crack interviews off campus, which can be hard…so it is good to get some experience in the US and then return to your home country.
Do not be under the impression that having a degree like MS from a US University will fetch you a job easily in India. You need relevant experience in your field of job to get a job in India, otherwise, you are competing with everyone, who is a fresh graduate in India. Try to utilize CPT, OPT and STEM OPT to get some work experience before you move back to India.
What has been your experience? Did you come back to India after MS as fresher? Did you come back after bachelor’s from the US? How was it?