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Our developers here at Yocket have worked especially hard to come up with this feature. We use big data and artificial intelligence to help predict the chances of you getting an admit from a university for a particular course. You can use this feature along with our grad school finder or click on the course of your choice on the University’s review page!Read More
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While applying or considering to apply for MS/PhD in USA, one often wonders - Is NOW the RIGHT TIME?
Since you can enroll for MS directly after finishing college or after few years of work experience, you need to understand which one is better. Unfortunately, there is no standard answer. Here are the two important questions you need to ask yourself:
Let’s look at these in detail and how these may affect your timing for graduate school. You might fall into one of these two categories-
Many students wonder if they should wait and get some real world experience before joining MS. The questions that you need to ask yourself are:
Some reasons you might want to do MS before work experience:
Reasons to pursue Masters (MS) after work experience:
Lets look at some of these questions in detail -
First of all, good is subjective. What is a good or bad school depends on your ranking criteria and inclinations. Lets determine if work experience can help you get into higher ranked schools.
The answer is – surprisingly, not always. But mostly, yes. It means that work experience is like an added qualification and carries some weight just like your GPA, GRE score and application documents do. But this one is NOT mandatory (it will be little more important for Management based programs such as MIS, MEM etc than technical MS). So, a students without work experience is NOT at a disadvantage in MS applications. Again, let me bring to your notice that this is very different in case of MBA. But if someone has relevant work experience, then they can get some extra points and might be preferred over another applicant with similar profile otherwise but no work experience. The keyword here is – relevant.
Not all kind of work experience will enhance your profile. I am calling the one that will as relevant work experience. It is the experience accumulated in the same field in which you are applying. So if you are applying for Mechanical Engineering, your experience in mechanical industry (engineering role in auto firms etc) will help but your experience as a radio jockey probably won’t. Another thing to consider might be the length of experience – too short a work experience can only do so much while 1-2 years are a good period to be considered.
This completely depends on your profile. Here’s how I look at it. You can obviously get better quality and higher paying jobs after finishing MS from a good university. So, why delay that and waste time on comparatively lower kind of work experience before MS? As we discussed earlier, work experience can help you get into better ranked universities. So, if your profile right upon finishing college is not able to get you into good-best schools, you might consider getting some good work experience and apply in a year or two – again, note that only good and relevant work experience will help you. So, make sure your work profile aligns with your graduation goals. But if your profile is already good enough to get you into Top 50 schools, why wait?
Is it your dream job? Then, no, you don’t need to pursue higher studies (which is like introspecting what is it that you want in life). But most likely, you don’t get dream job right away after finishing college. Then, contemplate whether this is a job role which will inch you closer to your dream and enhance your profile more than what an MS would do. For e.g. if you are an IITian with great offer from Big 3 consulting firm or Facebook, yeah working there can make more sense because even if you want to pursue Grad School later on, this work experience can enhance your candidacy much much more. Now, if you are choosing between Facebook and MIT – I would say you are already a rockstar, so whatever you do will be right! :)
While it’s ok to have 1-3 years of work experience, more work experience doesn’t help you incrementally into getting into a better program. So, decide as early as you can after graduating whether MS is something you want to do or not. This is very different from MBA where work experience is much more helpful and important.
For more insights into work experience for MS, look at http://scholarstrategy.com/importance-of-work-experience-in-ms-applications/
Sagar Virmani: Hi Nistha, great article and very informative.
I do have a question, feel free to share your feedback on this one.
I had to postpone my MS plans due to some financial reasons and this year was delayed by Covid19. Next year, I would have completed 7 years since graduation in 2014 out of which I have 4.5 years of experience as I in my family business for a while after my graduation and this year I lost my job due to Covid19.
My question is how much do you think it's going to matter to the admission team?
How negatively can it affect my profile?
Scholar Strategy is the first ONLINE student mentoring service in India specializing in application guidance for MS/MIS and MBA services.
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