Is it worth doing an MS from US?

I found an interesting question on Quora and thought of writing a blog on it as this is one question which pops up in every young IT professional’s mind.

Is it worth going to US for Masters when I have a decent job in an IT company in India?

Now, the answer depends on 2 very important points-

  1. Financial returns in short term and long term.
  2. Non-financial aspects like knowledge, experience and significant plans in life like if you want or not want to stay in US after your masters.

Let’s discuss both these points in detail-

  1. Financially, frankly speaking in the short term, there is very little possibility to match your expenses the way you do with your IT job salary in India. So, first you need to decide whether you’ll be able to afford your Masters from US. Usually, many students who go to US end up finding a job in the first semester itself which makes things easy gradually. Also, USA has a very good policy of part time jobs for students; you can get one in the University itself which will help you manage your finances. Take a note that if you are able to get into a reputed college in US, there can be scholarships which will cover a portion of your tuition fees. Living expenses may vary from one city to the other so overall expenses largely depend on your lifestyle too. So, in the 2-5 year range, staying in your current job would make sense financially.

But, things will change beyond the horizon of 2-5 years.

  1. Non-Financial:If you look at MS as an investment not an expense, your motivation would be different. An often overlooked fact is that doing Masters in US is a life changing event, and it cannot be looked from a narrow prism of financial worth. Pretty much anyone who has done higher education in US will talk about how it changed them and their view towards the world. It is about seeing and assimilating from different cultures. You will see India and Indians in a different light. Note that this choice does not really come for people well into their careers and families; it really is an easier choice to make in your twenties.

Why MS is important irrespective of money?

  • You are getting higher education and information that is invaluable.
  • You are investing in yourself. You are investing to grow yourself mentally.
  • You are getting to know how things work internally in your field of interest.
  • You are studying in a new environment and learning new things.
  • You are constantly challenged to balance school and work.

While doing Masters, specialize in a super interesting field. There are lots of interesting things happening in computing today. Artificial intelligence is one such thing. Big Data and Cyber security will grow big time with the huge explosion of the web based tools and everything going online. Social, Cloud, Analytics & Mobile are other areas with significant demand.

One thing is for sure, no one can tell you or promise or guarantee you what is the right thing to do, and I am also sure you are smart enough to know and have considered, what each of these decisions entails.
The only way is to write down the pros and cons of both and see for yourself. Assess your situation and choose what is correct for you.

If you think you can or can’t do it, you are right in both the cases.
As frustrating as decision making can be, the way to go forward is to select one and be at peace with it.
And once you go with a decision. Stick with it. Believe in yourself. Good luck.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *