If you’ve landed here, I’m sure Master studies are on your mind. You might be very sure, or even be in dilemma of whether to go for work or to further studies.
Once I was traveling to Delhi (At the time I was pursuing my bachelors), I met a gentleman who was traveling to India from Jamaica to meet his friends and family. It was a 4 hour long journey and he talked to me about his children, business and gave me a lot of career advice, one major advice was to go for master’s, that’s when I became curious towards it. Although it took me 4 years to effectuate that idea, but once I got my acceptance, he was one of the first persons I thanked.
Unlike me, people have different times and ways of realising that they want to go for master’s, some are attracted to Master’s either while they’re in their bachelor’s while some people after working for sometime realise that their current career is not headed towards their goal. Both situations have their own pros and cons.
Master’s right after Bachelor’s
If you’ve figured out what subject you would wish to pursue for Master’s and are sure about it. Going for in continuation is probably the best career decision. The best part of it is, you’ve all concepts afresh, and won’t have to spend hours studying the basics that were already taught in bachelor’s. And on top of that, you’re not used to a monthly salary and the luxuries and habits that come with it, believe me it’s not easy to go from being employed to a student, salary account starts looking like an hourglass.
So if you wish to have a Master’s degree, go for it now and by the time you turn 25 you’ll have the degree in your hand.
Master’s after work experience
It’s a way of providing yourself a bigger opportunity and setting higher and clearer goals. There is a thing about landing into wrong jobs, they give you even a clearer idea of what you really want to do, and especially in India, the campus placement culture pushes a large bunch of people into IT jobs that they end up working where wouldn’t have initially aimed to. And once you’re there for 3-4 years, there is no turning back.
So if you’re in a job, and you feel you don’t belong there, get out of there before it’s too late, master’s education is definitely one of the best tools to change your career track. Even I was working in IT Sector, and it was definitely not something I imagined doing for the rest of my life.
Having work experience has its own advantages, you’ll not be someone who needs to be spoon fed, you’ll have a wider and abstract view towards things which comes with experience, you’ll have better problem solving and management skills and of course good personal skills. If you had a good paying job, you might be even able to finance your studies. Though I’ll advice you to brush up your basics before you join the university.
What else comes with a foreign Master’s degree
- Expanding your Horizons: When you go abroad for master’s, you don’t go just to study, you go to get educated. Coming to a new country means going thousands of miles away to an unfamiliar environment, doing all your chores, adapting to a new culture, meeting people from different cultures and in many cases learning new language, this perhaps ends up moulding you into a better and mature version of yourself. It adds value to your life.
- It makes you more marketable: I recently read an article about “degree inflation”, the tough market conditions are pushing employers to go for candidates with master’s degree, so yeah, this degree will increase your employability.
- Your CV becomes international: On top of a foreign degree, if you are in a Erasmus-Mundus, EIT or Nordsec program then you’ll be studying in a different country each year of your master’s program so obviously an additional international dimension is added to your CV.
- You learn to focus on learning than on grades: Studying abroad puts you into a totally different environment, you’ll feel a different way of interaction with professors, you might realise that there could be courses that don’t even have exams and all you’re supposed to do is to learn, implement and demonstrate to pass them (cool right?).
- A new education system: A new education system doesn’t just mean the way the lectures are delivered, it’s about a lot of things, can you call a lecturer by their first name? are the lectures interactive? How is the study environment at the campus? Can you stay there all night? How is the industry collaboration? Do you get to work on research and market projects? Can you convert your project into a startup company? You get all these answers once you get into a grad school.
- You get to see the world: Here comes the fun part, you get a chance to explore a lot of places, the places you’ve just seen in movies or pictures yet. So yeah, it is exciting, I’ve been in Sweden for less than 4 months and I’ve been to 5 countries already and plan to explore two more in next two weeks. You might do that while you’re working as well, but exploring places with friends is a totally different story.
What should not drive you to go for Master’s !!
- Don’t do it just because your best friend is doing it: You never know what anyone aims to do in their life. There is a reason people are different from each other, don’t emulate career paths.
- Don’t do because your parents want you to do it: Typical Indian Scenario, this is definitely not the age to live someone else’s dream, live your own dreams. Chase your own goals.
- Don’t do because you don’t like what you are currently doing: The worst way of making a decision is to cross off the options you don’t like and then pick whatever is left. Do something that you are passionate about, life will be far more easier.
I guess this might have helped to clear up some doubts and qualms about master’s abroad.