I completed my Bachelor’s degree in 2011. After the course, I did not take up any job. Also, I did not take GRE yet. Now, I want to pursue my Master’s degree. Will the one-year gap affect my prospects of securing seat in a good institute?

Sai Vishal

The one-year gap will not affect your prospects, provided you have utilised it appropriately. Whether you apply to universities abroad for MS or to Indian universities for M.Tech, the question about what you did during this one year will definitely arise. The gap will not disqualify you for admission but surely will act as a decisive factor. So, you better be prepared with a convincing answer when you go for the interview.

To be able to answer the questions, take stock of what you did during this one year. Were you trying for a job? Were you preparing for GRE? Did you pursue any short-term course? Or did you just dawdle, not able to decide on what to do next?

List all the constructive activities you did during this one year. Remember, no admission panel would appreciate students wasting their time. So, make sure you impress on them that you spent the time on activities that were helpful to your development to attain your goals. Also, be prepared to face further questions based on your response. For instance, if you say that you did a short-term course, the panel may ask you how that course would help you with your goals. In this case, you might even have to submit your transcript as evidence. If you say you explored your options, you might have to explain how and what you learnt from this exercise. So, be honest when you answer this question. Instead of spinning yarn around ideal activities you never did, respond by highlighting constructive activities you actually did.

I completed my B.Tech in CSE. I am interested in doing M.Tech from an IIT. Is it a good choice to opt for M.Tech and to do it from IIT? Should I do M.Tech or go for a job?

An M.Tech degree helps you to study in-depth a specialised area under your branch of engineering. The curriculum covers topics from various areas under the specialisation you choose. This will give you the benefit of having ‘options’ when you are applying for jobs. The focus of the programme is course work and the project, which is a part of your curriculum to provide exposure to the real world work environment. Pursuing M.Tech will definitely improve your prospects of getting a good job. IITs are premier institutes in India offering Science and Technology studies. They are among the most respected institutes in India and abroad. In India, students from these institutes are preferred compared to students from other institutes when it comes to hiring professionals, be it entry-level jobs or senior positions. So, do not worry about your choice of institutes; you are on the right track.Now coming to whether you should go for a job or pursue M.Tech, the choice depends solely on your interests and aspirations. Do you have a fair idea about the options you have in the job market? Are you clear on what kind of job you want to take up? Do you have the skills required to assume and succeed in the role you choose? Are you sure on the specialisation to opt for at M.Tech level?If you want to complete your formal education before taking up a job or feel that you require specialised knowledge and skills to assume the job role of your dreams, go for M.Tech now. Else, take up a job in your field and explore the options available to you. Devise a career path, set professional goals and take up M.Tech at an appropriate stage.

Note that you can pursue M.Tech after gaining some work experience. At that stage, you will have a better idea about where you want to take your career and how to go about achieving your goals. Also, you can pursue M.Tech in part-time mode if you cannot take a break from your job to study. Some organisations even sponsor their employees’ education. They have tie-ups with good institutions and they encourage their talented employees to enhance their skills by sponsoring their further education. So, decide your course of action keeping the above points in mind.

TMI e2E Academy

(Queries for this column can be sent to collegian@thehindu.co.in)

Keywords: M.TechGREcareer advice