Glad to see many responses so far, thanks to ME for converting this thread into a GD.
I think, first, we need to understand how we have managed to find ourselves in this situation. Every students mind oscillates between education,career,employment. The main reason for this is most of us have never had career guidance, we never had an aptitude test done, we never had our strengths as weaknesses assessed. There are countries where students take an year off (GAP year) just to decide what would suit them.I firmly beleive that this lack of guidance around the 12th standarad has made many of us face this quandry.
Secondly, just imagine that we conduct a survey among people in jobs and settled. Only one question to be asked - Why did you choose your study course?. The commonest answers would, My father wanted this, my family encouraged me to do so, this degree would lead to a Government job, My friends have taken this, it looked easy compared to the other courses, many people who have done this are well settled. To me, this is nothing but 'herd mentality'. Most of us including myself have taken a course not because we had the aptitude or we studied the Job market, it was just because someone felt it would suit us.
To choose either option or do it in parellel, the student and their family have to invest some valuable time and seek career guidance too. What is the family background in terms of level of education, financial stability, how soon does the student wants to be independent. What is his or her strongholds in terms of subjects and skill. What are the drawbacks,dreams and desires. Only then we would have a rough idea of the want, the desire and the best successful option.
For instance, a guy with an aptitude for numbers and computers cannot go on to become a doctor just because his/her father/mother/siblings have become a doctor. The same person in the current scenario also cannot go into completing his education fully (B.Tech, M.Tech,MCA and an MS) and then to become a software engineer because of the valuable time that would be lost in an already shrinking software profession.T his scenario gives an indication of the importance of talent, core strength and its relevance to the current job market. He should be smart enough to quickly complete the basic degree, be ready to move out and work anywhere, have some relevant computer language courses, get into an apprentice program, then a job and then pursue his PG education. The he would have age on his side and a basic job in hand. He can build on it.
So, there are many factors that would decide on what option to go for and what is applicable to A, may not be suited for B and what suits A & B may be totally irrelevant for C. Unfortunately, this is want we have been doing for quite sometime in India.