‘Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,
And sorry I could not travel both’
After those four years, you’re again at a junction. Two roads are diverging into the woods and you have to make a choice between the two. Every engineer who chooses to do Masters finds themselves at this juncture. And those two roads are ‘Mtech in India’ and ‘MS abroad’.
MS vs Mtech: Difference between MS and Mtech?
Engineering has become one of the most common professions in India. With too much competition, many engineers look for something more than a BTech degree to give themselves an edge over their competitors. Most of them who are still in love with machines opt for masters. And then, they’ve to make a choice between MS and Mtech.
Here, we are going to look at a few things that can help you make this choice.
Mtech in India
Let’s say you’ve made the decision to do masters. If you don’t want to empty your pockets, Mtech is your glass of wine. In India, it’s the road that everyone takes. With increasing competition in the job market, many Btech graduates end up enrolling themselves for Mtech.
It is a two-year postgraduate course that allows engineering students to do specialization under a particular branch of engineering. This course allows you to go deeper into the subject and gain more industrial knowledge.
Let’s say you want to do your Masters abroad. The postgraduate program for engineering graduates is commonly called MS in most reputed foreign universities. Though MS is also offered by few IITs and IISc, it’s not very common in India. Moreover, MS is all about research in India. Usually, there are two types of MS programs. MS by course work and MS by research.
MS Abroad: by coursework
If you are looking for something that prepares you for industrial roles, MS by coursework can help. Just like MTech, you will get to specialize in your preferred field during this program. It’s course oriented. But this doesn’t mean you don’t have to do research at all. What else do you expect when you’re specializing in something?
MS Abroad: by research
If you are someone who is more into research, MS by research is what you’re looking for.
This is more research-oriented. Here, you read theoretical papers, analyze them, come up with unique ideas for your own research and publish your papers in reputed journals. Unlike MTech or MS by course work, you don’t have to gobble the entire course. Just the subjects required for your paper will do.
A small piece of advice. Unless you’re going to take up a job in a research organization or apply to a reputed university for Ph.D., no one really cares if it’s MS by course work or MS by research. You’ve got an MS degree in hand. That’s the only thing that matters.
MS vs Mtech: Where to do it?
Mtech in India
Being in India, you know how much the reputation of your institution matters. If the two years you spend on MTech is to pay off well, you need to get admission in the best institutions.
Most engineering colleges that function under AICTE offer Mtech courses. But the quality of many of those institutions is questionable. In India, IITs provide the best quality of education. In fact, 7 IITs come under the top 500 institutions for technical education in the world.
Even a few private and state universities such as Anna University, Jadavpur University and Birla Institute of Technology are known for the quality of education they provide. Top NITs such as NIT Tiruchirappalli and NIT Surathkal are among the 20 institutes for engineering in the country.
We often discuss MS in the context of foreign education. With many of the world’s best institutes for technical education including MIT and Stanford University, USA is the global leader in technical education. UK comes next, followed by Australia, Germany, and Canada.
MS vs Mtech: How to get in?
Mtech in India
If you are to get into the IITs or NITs, you should clear GATE. Even a few of the best private universities consider GATE scores for admission.
GATE is a national level examination jointly conducted by the 7 IITs and IISc.
But if you couldn’t clear GATE and is still adamant about taking up MTech, a few reputed state and central universities can give you the chance. Aligarh Muslim University and Hyderabad University are few among such universities that provide admission to MTech courses without considering GATE scores. Most of them conduct separate entrance examinations for admission.
A valid GRE score is an admission requirement for many reputed universities in the USA and Canada. GRE is a standardized test that analyses critical thinking, analytical writing, verbal reasoning, and quantitative reasoning skills.
Other than this, you are expected to clear English language tests specified by different countries to secure an admission. Cracking IELTS or TOEFL is necessary to get into universities in US, Canada, UK, Australia, and New Zealand. Though countries like Germany don’t give much importance to English language tests, you need to learn the local language to get into most of their universities.
MS vs MTech: Competition, GATE vs GRE
Hope you still remember how competitive the job market was after Btech. With 100 others competing for the same job, it oozed out all your energy and ambitions. Then, keep this number in mind. 818850. That’s the number of candidates who appeared for GATE exams this year. It’s scary considering the fact that there are only around 13674 seats for when all IITs are combined. This makes GATE the most competitive examination in the world for higher education. And you need to mug up the syllabus of all 4 years of engineering. So, if you are planning to secure a seat in the IITs or the top NITs, you need to get in the top 1000 of All India Rankings.
When it comes to GRE, roughly 5 lakh candidates appear for GRE every year. But almost all the Universities in the USA, Europe, Australia, Canada, Singapore, etc consider GRE scores for admissions. Look at the ratio. Your probability to get in is much higher. It doesn’t mean you can easily get into the top 500 universities. That’s going to be quite hard. Maybe harder than cracking GATE.
But you should consider something else here. Even the lower-ranked universities in the US are a better choice than Indian Institutes that rank anywhere below the top 100 colleges.
And I would say the exam itself is much easier when compared to GATE. If you’re good enough, 3 months of preparation will get you through the GRE, while it can take years to crack GATE and get into the IITs.
Also, you can take the GRE test at any time. As it’s a computer-based test, you can register yourself online, select a center and take the available slot.
On the other hand, when a good rank in GATE will get you admission, a valid GRE score alone doesn’t guarantee anything. It’s just one of the parameters. In countries like the US, UK, Australia, and Canada, you need to clear English language proficiency tests like TOEFL or IELTS.
Clearing this hurdle will allow you to apply for those universities and that’s it. To get admitted, you still need to impress the admission committee with your academic records, SOP and recommendation letters. Trust me, that’s not easy.
MS vs Mtech: Affordability
It’s no secret that you will pay much less if you get into government institutions. The cost of education in IITs and NITs are very cheap. On average, IITs will charge you less than one lakh per year for Mtech. This includes your course fee, food, and accommodation. It’s about the same in most central and state universities. Even reputed private institutions like Birla Institute of Technology charges less than 2 lakhs per year for Mtech. Moreover, you’re eligible for a scholarship amount of Rs 12400 per month. This cancels out the course fee you pay. Also, your food and living expenses are mostly very less as you will be staying in the campus itself.
Now, let’s talk about MS abroad. It’s going to rob your pockets!!! You know this was coming, right? The applications, flight tickets and Visa alone will cost you around 2 lakhs in countries like the US. Then, the tuition fee for a year will be more than 10 lakhs in most European countries and in the US. That’s not it. The living expenses are very high when compared to Indian standards in most of the above-mentioned countries. So, be prepared to spend at least 20 lakhs. Even with a scholarship, MS in the US or Europe will cost you at least 10 lakhs.
So, what you spend in India for Mtech is just peanuts when compared to the expenses when you do MS in the best foreign universities.
MS vs Mtech: Scope
You can’t compare one of the low-ranked universities in India to a university in the US when it comes to scope. So, let’s compare the best there vs the best here. The future of someone from one of the IITs and someone from one of the top 500 universities abroad.
If you’re talking about India, the opportunities will be almost the same. You’ll be the best in the country. That’s not bad considering the population of this country, right?
But globally, the name tag of an IITan won’t help you much. You need back up. Some scholarly research work and recommendations might help you to get a job or join Ph.D. abroad. You can’t expect people to give you opportunities in countries other than India just because you’ve done your MTech from IIT.
But in India, you’re the king. An Mtech degree from IIT will open your doors to all major research projects as well as jobs. But in a global context, an MS degree from a decent US University will have more value. All the major research options and jobs around the world will be open to you after successful completion of an MS from a US University. And if you’re going for doctoral programs, you’ll get direct financial assistance and the best available facilities for research and development.
MS vs Mtech: Salary
Most students look for jobs after Mtech. If your Masters is from one of the IITs or the top 25 institutions in the country, your starting salary will range from 10 lakhs to 80 lakhs per year. If it’s from one of the low-ranked colleges, you won’t find many decorating jobs. Your salaries will fall in the range of 5-8 Lakhs.
For an MS from the US, the job market is pretty impressive. Major companies in the US offer $80000 on an average for MS graduates. Moreover, teaching is a respected profession in most developed countries and you get paid higher than their corporate counterparts.
So, here are the facts. You’ve to make the choice. Both choices have their own merits and demerits. So many personal factors like your financial status and career choices can influence this choice. Make sure that you invest time and thought before making your life-changing decisions. I hope the illustrated analysis have powered up your insights and have widened your perspectives about Mtech and MS.