All the past 6-7 years, I had only one thing in my mind. To get admitted in a good engineering institute and to secure a handsome job from there. The first feat has been achieved and in fair chance, the second will so be after 2 years. What next? This is the big question which has been intriguing me for quite sometime.
Before joining IIIT, I had never thought of doing anything else apart from getting a fancy job and earning a buck. Its probably the first thing which generally comes to anyone’s mind before going for undergraduation. Earning money is the primary objective behind getting educated in good colleges and universities. Same was the case with me.
But after coming here, I began to feel that doing a job straightaway after graduation might not be the best option for my career. People say that working in the technical stream can’t take one beyond a certain limit. So high one may get, one will still have to work under some managers. In the best possibility, one might be promoted to a manager’s post after a period of around 10 years. So, if a management position is what I will get after working for those many years, then getting into the management field directly seems a better alternative. Doing an MBA from IIMs, XLRI, FMS, etc. is surely gonna earn you a mind-boggling pay package and a chance to thrive and compete amongst the best in the corporate world. In the 2nd semester, I gave the option of doing an MBA after passing out from IIIT, a serious thought. It also happened to the placement season in the B-Schools at that time. Every second day, there was news of MBA grads raking in pay-packages upwards of 10-15 lakhs. The foreign offers were even higher and better. The lure of earning a big buck fascinated me. To add to the tale, 7 4th years of my institute got through the IIMs. All these factors were lucrative enough. Although I felt that I might not fit in the management stream, I believed that I can always mould myself according to the need of the time.
The 2nd semester was gone and so was the fascination of doing an MBA directly after graduation. During the 3rd semester, I had decided that I would opting for a job after graduating from IIIT. In the case of being unsatisfied afer spending a couple of years there, I would consider going for an MBA. This seemed quite justified as they say that it is better to have some work experience before doing an MBA.
Pursuing an MS programme was never on my mind. But comes the 4th semester, and my mind began searching into the possiblility of doing an MS abroad in any good university abroad. A interesting curriculum and good professors revived my interest in studies for the first time after coming here. I’ve really become interested in algorithms, database systems and theory of computation. This interest has begun transalating into the wish of pursuing research in any of these areas. To do research, there is nothing better than joining an MS programme in a good university abroad. Doing a job hardly gives the freedom to pursure your interests. But the biggest problem with thinking on these lines is that getting admission in any of the top 20 universities in the US is immensely tough. I was reading some blogs and I came to know that only one among six 9 pointers of the passout batch who had given GRE got calls from the top 20 univerisities. And this sole person had a strong recomendation of a Dartmouth College professor (who happens to be a visiting faculty member at IIIT) to strengthen his case and a GPA upwards of 9.5. Struggling around 9 does not put me in a very favourable position. It is also said that having a couple of publications in your name is almost a must to get through.
Basicalli I am left with four alternatives:
1) Get a job. Get going!!!
2) Supplement B.Tech with an honours program. Do some good projects. Prepare for GRE. Try to get admitted into MS directly after B.Tech.
3) Pretty much the same as 2nd. The difference being going for a job first and then applying for admission in the universities.
4) Get a job. Go for an MBA after working for an year or two.
After some introspection, I came to the conclusion that somhow I won’t fit into the management field. The technical stream is what suites me the most. Therefore, the fourth alternative is completely ruled out. All my life I’ve been thinking of what all I could do once I have self-earned money. But as far as going with first option is concerned, it might not lead to satisfaction somtime down the lane. Going for an MS directy would put my earning intentions on a 2 years hold. Wouldn’t that be tough? The 3rd option would give me a chance to have a bank balance before going for any future ventures. 🙂 But going back to studies after starting to earn would be yet another tough decision to make. 😐 The lure of money might prove to be stronger than the yearn to do research. Morover getting admission into a good US university is definitely an uphill task. This leaves me in a severe dilemma over which path to choose.