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Final year of engineering fast approaching ? It is the time to start wondering about what you want to do after graduation. Although some people try starting up but the most polarizing options to consider are job and higher studies. Most of the students get into engineering programs without clearly knowing what they want to do in future. This is perfectly normal. But, at the start of final year a decision has to be made. If you have used the college experience to explore your interests so far, it may be already decided for you. However, if you are still in the limbo here are few points to consider which may help you in the decision process.
1. Interest in Core field
If you are truly interested in your respective major then considering higher studies (specifically a PhD) is a good way to go. If you would like to pursue a PhD in your future, then doing it directly after bachelors makes a lot of sense. But, keep in mind that getting direct PhD admits is tough and you need to build your research profile properly for that. Don't wory, we shall post more articles about PhD admission processes soon. But, if you are considering moving to non-core then getting a non-core job from campus placements is the best deal, although you can potentially do an MBA to improve your future prospects. Let me make one thing clear inthis regard: Doing an M.Tech for the sake of a PG degree is of no use. In fact, for those who are opting for an IT career, it is not required. Even after M.Tech, you would be doing the same job that you could do after B.Tech.
2. Exciting Job Offer ?
This mainly applies to people who are interning in some good company and the projects are cutting edge and exciting. But,this is very rare and happens for top companies like google, microsoft etc. Although a degree might give you more opportunities in future, you might consider such immediate prospects to be more lucrative. But, if you don't have a PPO or not going for a company internship, it is not a good idea to try both placement and graduate applications together because the later is longer and more complicated process and both require completely different kind of preparation.
3. Want to Enjoy Life
This one is tricky. It depends on your perspective of enjoying life. If you want to be free of responsibilities, do research work and live a student life for few more years on limited but enough stipend then a funded PhD abroad is the best option for you. On the other hand if your definition for enjoying life is money and all the nice things it brings with it then probably a high paying job is the best thing for you. However, a highpaying job alsocomes with responsibilities and pressure of delivery. So, keep that in mind. I shall not keep studying/working hard as a criteria here because assuming you want to keep prospering it is a must do in either case.
4. Financial Responsibilities
Many of us have financial responsibilities to our family. If that is the case for you then going for any unfunded program (Masters/PhD) abroad is a complete no no! It will cost you 40s and 50s of thousands of dollars or even more. Also, there is not much value of an MS degree in countries like India. So, you have to start working abroad and come back only after getting a good amount of experience if youwant to get any value out of it in your home country. If you do not have strong bank balance you will end up taking huge loans. A direct impact of this will be you will have to take up a job after masters. Possibility of starting up or joining a PhD program is closed. So, sit down with your family, have aopen discussion about your desires, make sure you all are on the same page and make a decision. The mental support from family is a great boost to your psychological strength.
5. Want to Immigrate or Just want to Travel the World ?
Although a lot of reasons are there for not leaving your home country permanently, but still, if you are interested in settling abroad then you should not waste time doing a Job in you home country. Go for higher studies in abroad and work hard so that you can get a job there. Keep in mind, in countries like US and Germany it takes a very long time. So, you might consider moving to a more welcoming country like Canada.
6. Dream of Having Your Own Company ?
If your dream is to have a company in your name it might be a good idea to join a job and do an MBA later. Doing a job will give you the experience of the corporate dynamics. If you are aware enough and willing to explore there will surely be many opportunities to take. Plus, knowledge of the current state of industry will also help you form a viable start up idea.
To conclude, it is a matter your subjective choice and enthusiasm to experiment with your future. We would like to mention one last thing though - many people say they will do a PhD or Masters later after doing a Job for 1 or 2 years. But, it is very difficult practically to push oneself leave consistent monthly income and go back to student life. Also, in those one two years of job you will become personal and social responsibilities which may be very difficult to leave behind.
We will be posting more articles regarding how to plan and go through the process of graduate applications. So, stay tuned. Let us know your thoughts in the comments.