Higher Education Abroad Vs Work Experience In India: Which Is Better And Why?

If you are confused whether to opt for higher education abroad or take that on campus job offer in India then this article will help you make your decision. You can find all the relevant information and benefits of higher education abroad. Similarly, this article also provides crucial information regarding work experience and how it might help your career. Read this article for in depth details.

In today's competitive world, it is essential that you have a Master's degree from a reputed institute in India or abroad. Be it MTech, MS, MBA or any other higher education degree in India or abroad, you must have it to boost your career. But getting lucrative job offers from campus placements is also difficult to turn down. The essential question is whether to opt for higher education immediately after bachelor's degree or to get a job and work for a couple of years and then go for a Master's degree? I have tried to provide all important factors in the following paragraphs which will help you take a decision most suitable for your career planning.

Benefits of work experience in India after Bachelors degree

Getting a job after completing your Bachelor's degree is a difficult task indeed. But letting that job offer go to pursue higher education is an even difficult decision to take. So, if you have a decent placement through you on-campus placements, here are some of the important benefits which will help you take that offer and work for at least 2 years before going for a higher education.

1. On campus placement job offer – Take it or leave it?

Getting an on campus job during your education is not simple. According to a national survey, approximately only 47% of the Engineering students across various Engineering colleges in India are eligible for on campus placements and only a meagre 9% finally get job offers from reputed companies in India. So getting through such stiff competition and finally getting an offer letter from a respected multinational company in India is in itself a big achievement. Nevertheless, one does get into a dilemma of going for higher education or accepting that job offer. But for many students, getting a job offer is final aim and even with a bachelor's degree, one can climb the corporate ladder with sheer performance and work experience. If you are one of those very hard working individuals, take up that job offer and work hard. Success will inevitably be yours.

2. Work experience helps admission for MBA in a reputed B-school in India or abroad

If you are planning for an MBA and are not going to pursue technical education in future, do not let this opportunity go away. Whatever job offer you have, grab it with both hands. A work experience from any respected multinational company, be it in any field, will shine out in your resume if you are planning to take up a career in management. This work experience will boost your chances of getting admission in the top B-schools in India as well as abroad. Work experience is in fact essential for many Business Schools MBA programs abroad and even for IIMs and other B-schools in India, work experience is mandatory. So, if you are planning to do an MBA, work for at least a couple of years and then plan your higher education.

3. Work experience gives invaluable industry exposure

Working for a couple of years before higher education can be extremely beneficial in terms of exposure to industry. Working with employees, peers and completing a target within the deadline gives you invaluable experience in the overall functioning of a company. Working under your manager, you learn a lot of important elements of corporate hierarchy. Moreover, one becomes a professional and earns a lot of respect in the society as well in the company. One feels valuable and an asset to the company. Interaction with the clients and your subordinates makes you confident and a strong individual. Work experience provides the perfect grooming and industry experience which is highly essential for your career development if you are planning to go for higher education. Work experience after Bachelor's degree acts as a perfect bridging of the gap between a student and a professional and you become a professional after working for a couple of years in any large organization.

4. Work experience helps build important contacts

One of the most important and less known benefits of working in a company after education is the network of friends you make during your tenure. When you are working for a company you will inevitably come into contact with top management people, high profile clients, subordinates, peers and even your competitor companies' employees. Such is the huge network of people involved in corporate life that you are bound to make a lot of contacts. These contacts become very useful for any help required in your career. You can always seek help and guidance from all these people with whom you worked once. Building a corporate network of contacts is extremely important and work experience helps you build such a network during your tenure as an employee.

Benefits of higher education abroad immediately after Bachelors degree

Many students reject the campus placement and opt for higher education abroad. Some people might feel that this decision is rather spontaneous and stupid. But in the longer run, this decision is very important if one is planning for a career in technical field or research. The reason for this is that work experience doesn't have that much impact on your career if you are choosing a research field as your future. So, it is sensible to opt for higher education immediately after Bachelor's degree. Here are a few reasons why you should opt for higher education.

1. Higher education is very important if you want to pursue a career in Research

If you are very serious about a career in research, do not take up any job after your Bachelor's degree. Start planning for higher education abroad during the final year of your Bachelor's degree. You must remember that for research field, excellence is important and not work experience. You have to be up to date about the latest technological advancements and must be familiar with current trends. There is no use of a work experience if you are eventually going to pursue a research career unless the job is focussed on research. So, do not get into the trap of campus placement just because you are placed. You will earn much higher once you excel and enter research field.

2. Your education will continue uninterrupted if you take up higher studies immediately after Bachelor's degree

Many people complain that because there is a gap in studies because of work or job, it becomes very difficult to cope up with the studies as one is no longer in the habit of studying. So, if you take up higher studies immediately after Bachelor's degree, you will complete your education without any break and with the flow. Since you are already in the habit of studying, you will just have to continue what you did during your Bachelor's degree completion. Also, since you are fresh and eager to learn, you will not face any problems getting acclimatized with the Master's degree course. So, if you are eager to learn, do not worry about job – just go for higher studies.

3. Industries prefer fresh students after Master's degree

Most of the new companies, start-ups and also large companies prefer students having no prior work experience for jobs that require specific industry training. Most of the companies deliver training essential to the working of that company itself to the new recruits. So, it is much better to hire fresh students who can work for lower pay scale and are completely raw so that they can be groomed according to the company requirements. So, do not worry about job prospects after Master's degree if you are not having any previous work experience. Just follow your heart and go for higher education. Also, since you are fresh, you can also take up teaching after completing Master's degree. Since you start teaching at the age of about 24, you get a lot of valuable teaching experience by the time you are 30. So, there are a lot of options after completing higher education immediately after doing Bachelor's degree.

4. Higher education for the purpose of PhD is extremely important

If you are considering pursuing PhD (Doctor of Philosophy), you have to have a Master's degree. For the completion of thesis and essential PhD formalities, it requires a minimum of 3 years. Hence, there is no point going for a job after Bachelor's degree and then coming back to pursue a PhD. Alternatively, you can complete your entire degrees one after the other in the flow. Since you will eventually work for research fields, it is advisable that you continue further research in the same institute where you completed your PhD and take up a part time teaching or Professorship in that institute. A PhD is a doctorate degree and will give you immense respect in your field. So, a phD is definitely a great career goal.

Details of higher education in India

Honestly speaking, apart from Indian Institutes of Technology, BITS and a few NITs, there is no scope for higher education in the technical field in India. Similarly, apart from the IIMs and a few handfuls of reputed B-schools in India, there is really no value for an MBA degree in India. Moreover, the required quality of education is also not delivered in these institutes. Another major problem of higher education in India is the immense competition and unfairness involved in the admissions in these institutes. The entrance exams for higher education in India are extremely competitive and a definite edge is obtained by coaching centers for these exams across India. Overall, higher education in India has become a business like field instead of quality education. Hence, if you are planning for higher studies, go for only the top institutes mentioned or else go for education in US, UK, Australia or Europe where you get value for your degree as well as quality education.

Higher education and job prospects after an engineering degree

According to official figures of AICTE(All India Council for Technical Education), there are approximately 2500 engineering colleges in India (2009 reports). You can imagine the number of engineering students passing out every year. But luckily there are a lot of career options for engineers in India. For full details visit How to plan your career after Engineering.


Both the options: Work experience in India as well as higher education abroad have their own advantages and disadvantages as discussed above. But it is mostly dependent upon the career choice of the individual and specific to the desired future of the student which decides which option is most suitable for planning one's career. Overall, I would suggest go for work experience if you are planning for a management career and go for higher education if you planning for a career in research and technical field.

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