Search Job or go to US for MS ? Will experience in India count for higher salary in US after MS ?

In Study in USA by KumarUpdated : 18 Comments

I was asked by one of our readers,

“hi, i read all ur posts in ur website..u doing great job..keep it up.. i am fresher.. i completed my B.E (ECE).. i wanted to come to us this fall 2010..But seeing ur posts it seems this is not the right time to come…here in India job market for fresher’s is not yet increased.. Every one r expecting more opportunities in coming Feb. and march… i got placed in Siemens but they have not yet called 🙁  and it seems they will not call early also…  so searching job in other companies..Coming to us is my childhood dream.. I just wanted to ask u one thing “if i work here for 1.5 year in a company and then apply for ms for fall 2011…will it be a wise decision? And when i complete my ms and apply for job there, will my experience count and get a higher package in the beginning itself.. ?  please suggest me… Knowing my present status, if u want to advise me then please do advice…I am confused what to do…”

US education

Some of you might be in a similar situation. I do not know if the reader has admission or not for Fall 2010. But, irrespective of it, the analysis does not change. Firstly, before I answer, the goal of the reader is to come to US, that is his dream. This analysis is based on his personal goal. Here is my perception of things and what I would do. Let us break down the questions into three parts what can happen?

  1. Job Market in India after Feb improves and You get Job before July/ August.
  2. Job Search in India after Feb does NOT improve and you do NOT get a job.
  3. You have an option to take loan. Loan Cost vs Benefit of graduating before
  4. Will my experience in India Count for Higher salary ?

Job Market in India after Feb improves and You get Job before July/ August.

This is an ideal situation, there is no financial  or time risk involved here. You look for job and you get the job. You work in India for one year and save some money to come to US for doing MS in Fall 2011.  Hopefully, the situation in US improves in coming one year or so and there is higher funding to state Universities which in turn increases funding chances in State schools.

Job Search in India after Feb does NOT improve and you do NOT get a job.

This is a worst case scenario, you tried hard but things did not work out. You have looked for job for 5-6 months and nothing is going your way. You have one more year ahead of you. I assume the person has graduated and looking for job.  Imagine the worst case that can happen, your valuable time of 6 months has been wasted and you do not know the future. There is lot of uncertainty involved.  One of the most important things in life is time, and it never comes back. You have to value your time as life and money.  Your goal should be that ‘your time is not wasted in the next one year’. One thing is, you can come to US by taking loan, despite the bad situation for funding, you can always study with your money. If it is hard, do not hesitate to look for a job that may not be right fit for you.  People think, I am an engineer and I have to do only Programming. In reality, that is not true. It how we perceive jobs. In America, the college students work philosophy is different, Most of the college student works in Restaurants, malls, etc for paying fees. They tend to continue doing part time work until they find job. May be you can look in areas like Call center jobs or something similar. It is an option if you do not have any financial support as loans and you do not want to waste time. Also, you can go for another degree in Universities in India. If education is not your passion, then this is not an option.

You have an option to take loan and you did not find job. Loan Cost vs Benefit of graduating before

Lets say you have an option to take Loan and come to US for MS. Then the answer would be, Yes you should come to US for fall 2010 because you could not find a job and your valuable time is getting wasted. Lets look financially, you take loan of 10 Lakhs and with interest it adds up to may be 11 lakhs by the time you graduate. Depending on the job you get, you can clear your loan in US anywhere from one to 2 years. But, the good thing is , all the time is counted as work experience and there is progression to your career. Remember, money can be earned, but time cannot be. You can make money ! Also, if you study immediately and then work, you are entering the market with higher qualification and knowledge, it may help you go up the ladder and imagine that 2 years helps you become a manager 2 years ahead of time, you make more money in long run. Getting a masters will not necessarily make you a manager, just your perception of things and knowledge can make you smarter.

Will my experience in India Count for Higher salary ?

This is a YES and a NO. It depends on the company. But most of the times, if you have work experience in India, you can put in on your resume and interview for a one level higher than entry level position with one or two years. It does help you start off in a better position.  It depends on the kind of work too.  If you have an internship from US, that helps you better.  Students typically get hired based on their performance in Internships.  Bottom-line, it does count depending on company, may be not all times and it is tricky based on your MS degree and kind of work you did, and job you are looking for.

Anyways, what I am trying to tell is, “You can make money anytime, but your time of two years and education progression will be good if you can afford loan.” Also, you will have to consider couple of things, the rules for H1B are getting stricter day by day, you can read the latest H1B news, we do not know the future about work visas in 2 years. But, there is Optional practical training (OPT) , that you can use for 12 to 29 months. OPT can help you at least pay out your loans( worst case scenario), though you may not make money, but at least you will be break-even if times get worse and work situation in US turns bad for H1B workers.  I have given you all the options giving the best and worst options. Your decisions should be based on your how much financial and time  risk you can handle. Also, your perception of things. Take a wise decision !

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Comments ( 18 )

  1. Utkarsh

    Hi, I just wanted your advice regarding something. I am in a dilemma whether i should work for a year in a good networking company like Cisco and then go for MS or i should directly apply for MS in Computer Science as my GRE score is good.
    Thanks a lot 🙂

  2. Tina

    I like your blog..I have 6+ yrs of experience.I have worked in MNC’s like GE,JP Morgan, EMC2 .Currently working as SSE in Linux platform.And now i want to do masters in USA.So after my masters my experience will be counted? what abt pay scale ? Thanks in Adv

    1. Jain

      Hi Tina ,

      I am in the same boat as you. Worked for RBS , HP , DNB-Norway for 6+ years , dont know whether it’s right now to take this crazy leap of faith ! 😀

      Best wishes

  3. saurabh pargal

    I recently cleared my btech and currently working in a reputed multi-national core company.Before getting placed in this company, i had plans for MS in US. I am quite happy with my company but i have plans for MS in coming 2 years. But talking to some of my friends they say “in coming years competition gonna be more intense ” i have an average btech perc of 74 in mechanical engineering, and some relevant project and going to have some relevant experience in respective field. I need to ask is this enough?? Also apart from getting in good university, having relevant work experience in respective field in india, will i have any upper hand on freshers their in getting a job?? Is working in india for 2 years worth enough to get easy job in US after doing MS or its just a waste of time.
    Please reply

  4. Gnanesh

    hi ,I am studying mechanical engineering I need to do choose ms as my higher studies where should I do India or USA or Europe countries?

    if I do ms in abroad do I get job in India?

    what about the scholarship we get studying much scholarship may we get.

  5. Ashu

    I just thought I’d throw in my $0.02.

    I completed my engineering from one of the premier institutes in India and joined Cisco as a software engineer in Bangalore. That year itself I was sent to our main office in San Jose. A few months later, I quit, switched to F1 and joined one of the ivy-leagues for my MS in computer science and let me tell you this: that decision was the best I’ve ever made. I interned at some of the best labs in the world and I’m currently working with an internet company in their R&D division, making a six figure salary. Money aside, the work is amazing and it’s only with the skills I gained during my masters that I could even think of applying here. Engineering is essentially problem solving, and right now I’m able to see problems in completely different ways than I did after my undergrad days.

    At the end of the day, work vs higher-studies – it’s a judgment call. What is your ulterior motive? Just to live in the US? Then you can join Infosys or TCS or some other desi software company and get onsite, hoping that the client will want you to stick around. If you wish to learn further, to experience the US educational system, to work at a higher level, to appreciate engineering and your respective fields at a completely different level, then an MS (or even a PhD) is for you.

    Good luck to you all 🙂

  6. Aish

    I am a 3rd year student studying computer science and engineering in a reputed government college. Our college has very good placement, especially in the CS department with all the big IT companies coming in and giving high packages. But i want to go for an MS in the US and may be also do an mba eventually. I was wondering if i should take up the job, work for a year or two and then apply for an MS. Or should i continue my education and start work once i am done with my masters. Also one gets to hear that all the IT jobs have now come to India. So is it a wise decision to go to the US and spend 2 years and a good amount of money doing an MS.

  7. Farhatullah Mohammed

    I don’t recommend higher studies if you are a techie., either software or hardware. Being a Techie is treated as high skilled it self. No doubt if you want to seek entry in US, it is the best option. But no company will pay you more if you have MS. It is recommended if you are doing MBA after B.Eng or B.Tech. B.Eng/B.Tech + MBA is currently a good combination. I have done Master’s in International Business after B.Tech in ECE and I am an Entrepreneur now in Electronics and Computer Networking. If just focus on your primary Education i.e…. Bachelors. If you are doing you masters in telecom or network field look for the job in Electronics. For example…. I have done BTech in ECE, had done job in Hardware designing, testing, Algorithm coding for routers. Just you need to focus on your final year project that will bridge the gap between the student life and in Corporate Environment. As per the present Economic conditions of India., it is one of the best place to work in. Many of my friends who are American Citizens and Green Card holders are turning around towards India to work because there isn’t much difference between India and US.

    1. administrator

      I agree with your comments for a techie. Unless you want to study MS out of your passion, there may not be much added value to your career . Yes, India is probably the best place to work, there are tons of opportunities for techies.

      1. Name

        Agree 🙂
        I’m commenting here after 19 months( September 3, 2010 at 6:35 am).
        I dropped MS as the loan was too much for me. Besides a higher salary was the only reason for doing MS in my case. I changed my job in July2011 with a 100% pay increase, and 5 months later I got another hike(my existing loans are all clear now). I can even move into core hardware job in my company with some good effort.
        Thanks for the inputs.

        Onsite on my mind now.

    2. vijay Bhaskar

      Hi Mohammed,
      This is vijayBhaskar. I had 2 years experience in IT field. Now i am planning to go US.
      One of my cousion brother is Green card holder in US. How can i take help from him to settle theire? or get Working VISA.Could you please help me ASAP.

  8. Sourav

    Hi ,
    Reading your post worth !! I have a plan to get green card in usa. I have tried many option sunch as working from in Indian big compnaies and get onsite . I have worked like companies wipro, Tcs . As of now I have 7 years of experiance , my current desigation is Snr .software engg. Since none of the option worked out for me finally i decide to do MS in usa. My gre score is 1040 . academica % are all arround 50%-55%. It seems i wont get into a very raputed institute to do MS.
    My quaition is how easy it would for me to get a job in usa with a decent salary after doing MS from a low rank school and having 7 years of exp? Thanks in advance !!

  9. chandrasekhar

    I’m currently working in a software company (we work on Java Technologies). I thought of going for MS in Aug,2010 but due to financial problem couldn’t go for MS. Now I planning to go for MS in Aug,2012. By that time I’ll be having 2 years of job experience in a MNC. So my questions are:
    1) Does my experience help me out to get financial aid??( Graduate Assistantship or Research Assistantship)
    2)In these 2 years what can I do so that my profile sounds good to get Financial aid??
    3) Does my job experience helps for getting a better job after MS??
    4)My profile is as follows
    10th -88.88%
    B.Tech- 81%
    GRE score -1200 ( planning to take the exam again for a better score)
    5) Coming to Letters of Recommendation, should I get them from my prof. from my university or Managing director of my current company or combination of both??

    Pls pls pls help me in this regard.
    Thanks & Regards

  10. Name

    Dear Kumar,

    Excellent topics in your blogs… they do help us a lot, Thank you.
    I have been working as verification/testing engineer in an optical networking/Telecom company for the last 2 years.Im planning to apply for MS in Fall 2011.My priority is getting a job that pays well, but im also interested in Electronics subjects.So if i do not go for Networking or Telecom courses, will my 2yrs experience go waste?If i go for these branches,will the chances of getting high paying job increase[because of my experience] when compared with that of electronics field?Please suggest.

    PS: Is it worth taking loan to study in the USA?

    1. administrator

      I do not think your experience will go waste. It will help you in MS in one or other ways. It is very hard to say that you will get high paying job just because of your degree or experience. Honestly, if you are just looking for a job after MS, why dont you ask your company to send on site or find some company that sends you on-site, you can look for a job herein US after you come on site.
      About loan to study in US, it can be tricky, if everything goes you way you are fine…if not, you might be at risk…it is a tricky decision and need to consider all your circumstances.

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