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How to decide between Masters in India or Abroad

Updated: Apr 10, 2021

When it comes to deciding whether you should do your masters in India or abroad, many students face a dilemma. The video here provides unbiased opinions by Neha Agrawal, who is an alumnus of NTU Singapore and completed her higher education abroad. She believes there are many factors to consider while making the decision.

1. Cost of Education:

For most of us, our parents usually take care of the expenses of our undergraduate tuition fees. To ask them for funding our higher education is a luxury not all of us can afford. Therefore, considering the cost of education becomes a concern. If you wish to do your MTech in India, it will cost you only around ₹ 2lakhs and that too from top IITs. While, if you want to pursue your MS abroad it can cost you around ₹ 15 lakhs and can go up to ₹ 30 lakhs. This figure is without considering the cost of living. With cost of living included, it will easily add ₹ 4-5 lakhs more to your expenditure. But one thing that can help you from spending so much money is scholarships. If you get scholarship for your education abroad, your fees can reduce considerably. In fact, some students get to study for free with the help of scholarships in countries like Germany. So, choose wisely considering the cost of education between India and abroad.

2. Job Opportunities:

One of the major reasons for studying abroad is good job opportunities and high salary. But is it always guaranteed that studying abroad will get us a good job opportunity? Not really. Studying abroad is a high-risk high return game and there are a lot of factors that play a role. Let us understand with some examples, Students who belonged to the IT sector pursuing MS in computer science from top universities like Purdue, Columbia or Georgia Tech easily got jobs in companies like Microsoft or Amazon. But on the other hand, students who belonged to core engineering fields and graduating from mediocre universities struggled to get jobs in a country like US. So, where did they go wrong? What they did not know is that sometimes good opportunities are only available to students graduating from top universities. Another thing to note is that there is limited scope of some fields in different countries. US is known for its Silicon Valley so definitely there are ample number of opportunities in tech sectors. However, when it comes to core engineering fields, the same number of opportunities might not be available. While on the other hand, Germany has good job opportunities for core engineering fields like automobile engineering, mechanical engineering and even chemical engineering domains.. Thus, doing a thorough research about which country provides opportunities for which sectors will help in making a more informed decision and reducing the risk.

On the other hand, studying in India is a low-risk game. You do not have to invest much money and considering the campus placements you can easily get a job somewhere or the other. And if you have done your masters from top IITs then you can also get jobs in some of the top companies and kick start your career without having to go abroad.

3. Education Standard:

On various occasions we argue that it is not for the job opportunity; we want to study abroad because of its quality of education. However, that can be a misconception in some cases. If you are going for a coursework program, basically program where you only have to attend classes without any thesis or research component, the education quality is at par with what is offered from some of the top institutes in India. In fact, even after studying from the premier institutes of the world you still have to study on your own. But the research sector is where it makes the difference. Research facilities abroad are top notch. Most of the abroad universities have a lot of funding for top quality research, and some of the professors are the best in the world in their fields and studying under their guidance is an experience one cannot miss out. So, if you study in India you are not missing much as far as classes are concerned. And if you want international exposure, you can always apply for internships abroad or enroll yourself for courses from the top universities of the world to make up for it.

4. Work Culture:

Work-life balance is much better abroad than in India. There are fixed timings for work and you are not expected to work more than 45-50hrs a week. And even if you have to work overtime, they really appreciate it and there is also an overtime pay which is almost 1.5-2 times of your salary/hour. While in India, if you are given a high salary, they will make sure you work really hard for long hours and earn each penny. However, working abroad has its disadvantages. Sometimes for promotion you might face a bias towards other nationalities as compared to yours. Also, sometimes there are some visa issues even if you have a job and there is this constant fear you have to reside with. So, working abroad or in India both have their own pros and cons and you have to live with it.

5. Life after Masters:

Sometimes we have this query: what if we complete our masters abroad and then come back to India immediately after completion. Will we get a higher salary?

The answer is no. Unless you completed your masters from top universities of the world like Stanford, Harvard or MIT, your degree will be considered at par with what you have in India and thus, your salary will be the same as theirs.

The second question is: If we do our masters from abroad and work there for 1-2 years and then come back to India. Will we get a higher salary now?

The answer unfortunately is still a no. What Indian companies do is that they will compare your position at the foreign company you were working for and provide you the same role or a position one level higher than your past role. Based on the position you receive in the Indian company, your salary will also be defined accordingly. Let us tell you a real life story:

Mr. X completed his undergrad from India, went to the US for his Masters. He worked there for 2 years and then came back to India. He was offered 1/4th of the salary that he was earning in the US and the same job position as that of the US with no promotion.

So, will you say that doing masters abroad was a foolish decision? Well, it is up to you to decide. Considering Mr. X's example, he has a postgraduate degree and even though he might earn less back in India, his savings working for 2 years abroad is comparable to what he would have saved working for 5 years in India. So you see?

Well, if all this has confused you even further, let us make it simple.

You should settle abroad and not in India if:

  1. You want a high standard of living

  2. You want to earn in international currency

  3. You want to visit lot o f foreign countries

  4. You are ready to compromise on Indian food

  5. You love to do household chores by yourself

If you're content with the above points, you should definitely do your masters abroad. It will change your life completely.

You should settle in India and not abroad if:

  1. You are grounded to your roots

  2. You love being around family

  3. You love Indian food/ festivals

  4. You are facing a Financial burden

  5. You are uncertain about jobs abroad

You can still have a good life while in India and you don't have to succumb to all the peer pressure :)

We hope the above information must have cleared some of your doubts deciding between a Masters in India or abroad.

For any questions, you can get in touch with on Instagram at @wiseup_communications. Wish you all the very best for your career ahead :)

Article written by: Mansi Yadav

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