Many students wonder whether they should do a job before applying for an MS programme abroad. They do not know how important it is to have a work experience to get an MS admit and even if they do, they do not know what would be the outcome of their choice.
The decision to take up a job before applying for an MS abroad is quite subjective.
If you have an outstanding academic profile, which will undoubtedly lead you to your dream institution, then work experience cannot be a major deciding factor for your MS admissions abroad. However, if your work experience correlates with the programme of your choice that you wish to pursue abroad, then that is an added advantage. For example, if you did a job that is related to a major or a project in your MS programme abroad, then you are lucky!
Coming back to the question, 'Does a work experience really matter...?'
There are three ways of looking at the answer –
- First, if you are sure that you can get better-paying jobs after completing an MS, then you may not be interested in wasting time doing a low-paying job before an MS.
- Second, if you are thinking you may gain more skills through a job before pursuing an MS, which would make you smarter, then you might prefer working.
- Third, if the employer under whom you want to work is known worldwide and has good contacts to give you a good recommendation for your abroad studies, then your decision of working is not literally wrong.
For example, work experience at giant companies like Google or Microsoft will definitely count unless you divert your field of study, say if you are working at Microsoft but suddenly decide to shift your career path to Humanities, then that work experience will turn out to be futile.
What actually matters for your MS admissions?
- The CGPA/GPA in your undergraduate
- Outstanding LOR/SOP – try to create an incisive LOR/SOP; it matters a lot.
- GRE score – focus on your GRE preparation.
- The project that you undertake during your bachelors (if any).
- Recommendation from your prior institution or employer.
Let us see how a work experience may or may not help you.
This is how –
- Academic record/profile – Needless to say, work experience = smart you = enhanced academic profile. If you do not have good scores in your undergraduate, then your work experience might count giving you the right push in your career.
- Better jobs – With previous work experience, you might turn out to be a pro and get into high-paying jobs at MNCs after completing your MS.
- A team player – If you work seriously, your skills will be a contributing factor when you communicate with someone. Try to include your achievements in your resume so that when employers notice your profile, they should be able to identify what type of performer you are.
- Clear goals – You have to put across your goals when you apply for an MS abroad. Let the admission committee know why you wanted to work earlier and what made you think of studying an MS now.
- Attitude – Work experience of less than 1 year is a bad idea. Minimum 2 years of work experience is ideal in any profession. If you think you can work somewhere for 6 months and make use of that while applying for an MS abroad, you will waste your time.
To summarise, a work experience is not the only deciding factor for your MS admissions, unlike for MBA admissions, because what matters most are not brand names where you worked at but what you skills you acquired.
Still you should be aware of all pros and cons no matter what. Even if you have 5 or 10 years of work experience, it is not a bad idea to pursue an MS. In fact it is laudable that you would want to be in touch with academics still.
Our advisors have dealt with many candidates who had prior work experiences and wanted to pursue MS or MBA abroad. They know how to help people like you get through the admission process. Talk to the people around you (who had similar experiences) and find out if whatever this article says is right or not – there is no harm in cross-verifying words! Let us know your doubts since our advisors are here to do what is right for you.