Blog Entry 1

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I am a 4th year engineering student in India. I have a job offer from TCS. I really want to pursue masters in Electrical Engineering. Should I pursue my masters immediately or should I work for a few years before pursuing higher studies ?

One word: coherency

Most students want to get into a good university. And, most students want to get a well paying job upon graduation. One of the components of getting into a good university, apart from having a good GRE score, is to have a well crafted (and mature) Statement of Purpose (SOP)/Essay.  And one of the components of finding a job upon graduation is having a good domain expertise in the area in which you are seeking a job.

Having “relevant” work experience will help you to write a well crafted essay and the experience you gain during those 1-2 years at work will  help you understand what you want to get our of your Masters experience.

Let’s assume you want to pursue Masters in Signals Processing/Image Processing and you have an offer from TCS. Working in TCS as an Analyst, or as a Software Tester will not be considered as a “relevant” work experience and those years spent at TCS will not help you get into a good university to pursue your Image/Signal Processing Masters. And, your TCS work experience will not help you to get a Signal/Image Processing job upon graduation.

On the other hand if you did a lot of coding, and you want to pursue Masters in CS, the experience you gain will definitely help you to write an impressive SOP.

It’s all about coherency between what you did before (your work experience before masters), what you want to do in the future (the kid of job you want to do upon masters graduation).

So in summary:

(a) If your current undergraduate experience is not good enough for you to get into a good masters program, you can seek work experience (that is “relevant” to your masters domain) that’ll enhance your application and increase your odds of getting into a good university

(b) If you need to save some money, you have no other choice but to work for a few years before you save some money and you feel safe enough to take the risk

(c) Don’t expect that you’ll find a job soon after graduation just because you’ve had some work experience in the past. It’s not just about any work experience. It’s about “relevant work experience”

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