Salary – $6,000 Per Year or Per Month? You Decide

Hemant asksCurrently, I’m in my final semester of a BE program. I am also placed in a well-reputed MNC with a package of 3.25 Lacs pa recently. Before my placement, I was applying at U.S. universities.

My profile is decent enough. Now, I’m in a dilemma whether to go for MS in fall ‘10 or just get my work experience here for 2 years and then go for an MS.

Also, my TOEFL score is 101. If I opt to go after 2 years, I’ll have to retake the exam. Please help me out from this situation.

Money Part

Hemant, you are not the only person who is facing this dilemma – Higher Education in the US vs. a Job in India. Assuming you take the job and work for 2 years, how much money do you think can your earn or save?

You have to start all over again with the application process. The money you saved, in the maximum, will only pay for your application processing and a fraction of your first semester’s tuition fee at a U.S. college or university.

Quest for Knowledge

You work in an MNC or consulting companies in India and the types of projects you will get to work in largely depends on the assignment given to you by the company.

You will not get to choose the language, technology, nor the location. There will be so many variables that you have to deal with.

Let’s assume you love to write codes in Java. You start your job with high hopes and in 2 weeks’ time, the company gets a new COBOL project and you are asked to start working on that – your dreams just got shattered!

You will be left with no choice but to work in the project, or find another job somewhere else.

When you are ready to work for a IT consulting company in India, you work for company’s interest, not yours. Do you really want to work in such an environment?

On the other hand, if you decide to study in the US, after you have completed a master’s degree or a PhD or any other graduate program, you can apply for jobs that you want to have.

You can hand pick the jobs that you like and when you work on something you love to do, you will not feel like you are doing any work at all.


3.25 Lakhs per year is a very good salary in India, but you can earn 3.25 Lakhs per month after you had earned a graduate degree in the U.S. So, consider all possible options and make a wise decision.

Also, you have to consider your family’s situation and financial status. However, working in India for 2 years to save money for a master’s program is not the right thing to do.

The amount of money you can save by doing entry level jobs in India will only pay for peanuts and chips when you come to the U.S. That’s how low companies pay for entry level students in India.

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  1. I need help. I have been asked to work for the project of the UK product based company for 3 -4 months as contract basis. How much salary I can expect? I am working from India from home. I am very new to UK or US salaries..

  2. Id like to know what salary one could expect after 2 years of MS in the US in electrcial engineering(VLSI) after comin to India.Also,what would the figure be like with a another 2 years of tecperience in the US itself??how much can we expect after returning to India?

  3. hi every one my dreams have shattered
    i am a graduate frm a cheap
    i wanna study again
    is double in india,1 abroad) allowed in U.S
    or shuld i opt for MS
    or a iit seat
    plz help

  4. Why the hell are we all talking about U.S U.S and U.S .
    Can u people plz share me some details about pursuing
    M-tech in UK or Newzeland or Australia.
    About expences, job opportunities, approx salary and there demands after coming back to india.

  5. heyy am studying my 3rd Me,along with my younger brother..both of us want to do something for our future generation and the world which is the reason for our birth..for this we need to start a lab for doing some experiments. all this we are going to start in august of next year.for dat alll we need is an amount of 25 lakhs. our parents are not dat much affordable to give us the money. we want to earn these 25 lakhs by our own. please anyone suggest how to earn 20-25 lakhs in 7 months through our knowledge basing internet..please evry1 suggest..its very important for our life

  6. hi,

    I have 3 years of experiance in india and earning 9-10 lakhs p.a. Please advise if it would be fine for me to pursue MS at the cost of job in india. Also would be 3 yrs of experience count in US?

    1. Hi Sunil, Getting 9-10 lacs per annum in India is a pretty good salary for 3 yrs exp. And yes your 3 yrs exp will count in US. If you are considering to go to US for work, then its a good thing to go on Education visa(F1 visa) for MS, coz these days its difficult to find a H1 sponsoring company from India directly. But if you are going for only education and then want to come back then its not advisable to go for MS. There is another thing I would have done if I were you. Go for MBA (either in India or USA) from a reputed B-school. Because after 3 yrs of exp. its time you move on to higher positions in which case MBA will help you. MBA in US is expensive than MS.

  7. Hi ppl,

    I am currently 3 yrs experienced in a reputed multi national company. I am earning currently 9-10 lacks pa. Is it advisable for me to go for higher studies in US? My inner desire is to get knowledge but i have to consider the financial situation too. My savings are not that high, as i invested in some other property. I am really confused and not able to decide. Please advise.

  8. Hai friends,
    i have recently completed btech 3rd ece with 70%….nw im getting confusion about to do job or choose gate or gre by loan?what is difference between gate,gre??whichone is better in the point of high salary??? please reply me friends…..i don’t know what to do…….

  9. Aniket
    Hi m Aniket from India.I want to ask while taking admission in US for masters degree the US university see the BE degree or the just take into consideration the GRE score…..

  10. Hi im studying final got married and my husband started applying for green card.Hope to get next year.What r the chances of getting jobs in usa with degree?

    1. Ma'am,as far as I know if you have the requisite skills then u will definitely get a job.There are several programming jobs available in the US.You need to have a good hold on languages such as Java,PHP,Python and a sound understanding of Software Engineering principles.I know a friend who was in my batch,he is a citizen of the US but he completed BE from India and has now secured a good job in the US.He was SCJP certified.Certifications will also help your cause.Good Luck.

  11. One thing I would like to ask is:Suppose I go to the US for MS in CS after 2 yrs of exp in India.Now lets say I am one of those chaps who does not manage to find a job at the end of 2 yrs and so returns to India.Then I would have 2 yrs of exp and an MS degree.Will this be more attractive to an Indian company rather than 4 yrs of exp after BE if I didn't go for the MS altogether?

  12. Hey my name is sanket, i am really very confused and tensed with my career.

    I am in T.Y.B.Sc.IT., but the matter of fact is i know nothing about it…

    The financial situation at my palce isnt good thats why i am working in a call center from past 2.5yrs…i am withdrewing 3.60lacs p.a.

    But my dreams are very high i wanna get settled in USA or UK shortly with an awesome salary (1.5 lacs/mponth…approx)…

    I am ready to do anythning…

    I wanna give my parents a very lavish and luxirious life….

    Please suggest me what should i do, and how do i make my dreams come true…

    And how much time will it take???

    1. @Sanket,

      Your dreams are high, you want to earn money? Than think in a mature manner. Life is not so easy that it will come on a platter for you. What you think in USA, UK software engineers earn 1.5 Lacs per month. Dost, for them salary is 4000$ per month however, they have to spent in dollars, they can hardly save 900$ per month, Even with 4000$ people her are on Loans, cannot afford to buy new car, all drive second ot third hand cars. You have done T.YBsc IT, you expect after graduation direct a job of 1.5Lacs per month???? You have dreams, than work, do something creative that will match with your dreams. Even today, people with Masters degree in computer science are finding hard to get jobs. Don’t go behind media or agents who send people in USA. Try to adjust with your salary, work hard, so you can do MBA in good college in India. Once you are MBA, with 10 years of experience you can earn more than 1 Lakh per month. Do some research of salary, expenses of people in India, UK, USA and than compare who are more happy and satisfied. I am in US, doing masters, situation is so tight here. I did got a job offer, but immigration rules have become so tough that its hard to join a company. Its frustrating here going through the rules of OPT, CPT, F1, this that.

      You have done Bsc IT, think bit sensible if you earn in dollars you also spent in dollars so no way by living in US or UK you can earn 1.5lacs per month and live life by that standard. Grow up, do some research before foolishly landing in US or UK with heavy loans on your head.

  13. Hey my name is sanket, i am really very confused and tensed with my career.

    I am in T.Y.B.Sc.IT., but the matter of fact is i know nothing about it…

    The financial situation at my palce isnt good thats why i am working in a call center from past 2.5yrs…i am withdrewing 3.60lacs p.a.

    But my dreams are very high i wanna get settled in USA or UK shortly with an awesome salary (1.5 lacs/mponth…approx)…

    I am ready to do anythning…

    I wanna give my parents a very lavish and luxirious life….

    Please suggest me what should i do, and how do i make my dreams come true…

  14. Pls. don’t buy the rosy picture that media tries to sell you each day that the US economy is back and there’s lots of jobs. I have many friends who finished MS in 09 and never got even a single call. People from the 2010 are finding it even harder to find a job. The truth is that companies are not really hiring back the workers they let go during the recession. In my company, we have had to take a 5% pay-cut across the board. Many people are forced on furlough and work no more than 3 days a week. Consult your friends in US, they won’t tell you any different than this. And as for salaries, the pay here may look good when you convert it to inr, bet never forget that everything here is that much more expensive too. A person making 9-10 lac would enjoy the same lifestyle as someone making 50k here, which is what most grads start out at.

  15. Hi ,

    Iam purnima from india and i had an overall exp of 3 year ten months in mainframes tchnology.My dream is to work on a Us or UK for money.Can u guys please suggest me what's gonna be the process if u suggest it will be an very glad thing for me.Please guys please help me out how to procced.

    Thanks in Advance,


  16. My Self Adil Shaikh… i have successfully completed ma post graduation diploma in retail management with 75%…. and i got selected for FIFA company as a customer care associates ……
    but due to my final exams i am not able to join this company at present…
    i told them dat after completion of course i wil joint his company in the month of may….. so they told me dat they will discuss abt the salary in the month of may….. i dont know what to do… should i join rite now and take i week leave for ma exams ….. and the company is giving 12,000 starting and max 20,000 … i have to negotiate wid the company….
    what should i do…. and what to ask …. during negotiation???? plz help me out…

    1. haha 8.5 -9 lakh per annum. my friend pls wake up. you will not be offered that much. trust me you will get a lot of calls but no one is willing to offer 75K permonth right away. HSB pls advice!

  17. Hi,

    Like most of my peers have pointed out job situation in US is not like it was back in 2007. It is really bad. Although the economy is showing signs of improvement, jobs for F1 students are really tight. Me despite having 10 months of internship not able to find a job I wanted to do. Although I got a contract job as a programming but I am not interested to do it just because of the fact that I'd earn in USD. I've made up my mind to return to India and I am actively looking for a job in India. I feel with almost 3 years of experience plus a Masters degree I can command a salary of 8.5 to 9. I know when compared to USD it is lot lesser but for now I'd be happy to work back home than toil here by joining some consultancies. Also, having a Masters degree from US will always help to come back if I want to which is quite unlikely but still pointing out the possibility. So in your case, my advice would be; come here only if you are seeking education else stay there and work.

  18. this all articles rocks…n helps a lot to me…many of my doubts in mind r get cleared with this…u all guys rocks…keep helping ppl


  19. Hi,

    I am presently doing third sem at USA university. I am doing masters in CS. I always wanted to return India after graduation. But atleast with 8 months internship experience in USA. However, presently I have applied to many companies, given 7 phone interview, however tough luck as not a single call for internship. As presently many people apply for 1 position, specially international applicants. As, many companies have reduced their internship opportunity to local candidates. So, I strongly recommend stay in India (HOME)

    enjoy and work. Even here these days getting part time jobs in US universities is difficult. Forget about scholarship. for that you have to be very lucky and shiny. Instead of getting in debt in USA, as presently there is no guarantee of jobs. Just stay in India, gain experience. I am here daily dreaming to return India, as here for a student life is more difficult, have to starve for public transport, grocery, etc.,

    Anyway, I would like to know salary will be offered in India, after completion of Masters degree in Computer Science from USA.



      1. Hi Rohan & Ankur,

        Sorry for your diffident.Do you mind to tell me the details about which college and how much GPA you are scored presently pursuing ? by that it will be helpful for me to take a decision.

        Await for your reply.

    1. Hi All Fellow Indians,

      Im from IIT bombay, B. Tech. I fully understand Ankur sentiments. I have been to many countries onsite working (US, etc.). Its a sick life. I dont think its any use living there.

      India is always the best. No use taking huge loans and going to US, and put your parents into pain and tension. Or go to UK, that will be cheaper.

      After graduation I took up a job instead of MS. I gained experience, now my resume is such that company keeps sending me onsite but I dont want to go. I know many people who did engg and took up IT jobs and then went abroad, earned good and came back. Some choose to stay back there, but personally India is the best. Life is hard in the US if you dont have a car.

      Best is to work hard, earn money, go outside when by Gods grace you get chance. No use in spending parents hard earned money and donating it to stupid US univs. Indian standards of education is 100 times better.


      1. Hi Nikhil,

        I am B Tech CSE graduate from IIT Guwahati having approx. 7 yrs of IT exp.
        Could you please tell me what could be maximum and average Indian salary for me ?


  20. @ Hermant,
    Dude, if i were in the same situation, definitely my selection of option would be to work in India. Because, the current situation in USA is worse. Of course, it might not be so forever but, one should be ready to face the worst situations.. i.e., if you are able to manage even if you dont get job for a while, then it would be ok. What i heard from my friends in USA is, it's better to go USA after having a handful of experience in the relavent field. Also, it would be helpful if you negotiate about the situation with your seniors or relatives who are already in USA. And finally, it's your turn to make a wise decision. All the best for your bright future…..

  21. Hi,

    My advice is stay in india, do job, gain experience and come to usa after 3-4 yrs.

    It is really difficult to find job in usa post masters. situation is too bad. Yes, it is improving but not sure for people on F1 or H1B visa.

    Atleast when u have some money saved for your masters loan payment, you are little bit less worry.

    Your indian exp won't count when you join usa company. But whatever you have learned from your real exp is definately going to help you.

    I am not sure why HSB asked you to choose b/w two choice… his advice is always perfect except this time. He has failed to inform you real scenario in usa.

    1. Naiya – Thanks for your valuable comment. Any given day I would say study in US over Job in India. Money you save working for 2 years in India will be nothing. People make decisions based on current scenario, not based what future.
      Job Market in US is not good now, so don't go to study in US now, is not the right thing to do.
      Refer to this article on Recession and Education in United States –

      1. I am regular reader of HSB and don't miss a single article. I also agree with your point of US education. Here are some point which I would like to draw your attention –

        1. What you are saying is generic. US education is always a better option in long term for job, money, business, growth, social status etc.

        I am also MS graduated professional and understand the value of true education. But this is common understanding which doesn't match with recent scenarios

        2. Most of the students come on loan money. you know these numbers better than me. When a person graduated he has to find a job immediately to start OPT and later H1B sponsorship.

        You and I both know the difficulties of finding job as fresher in USA on OPT/H1B. BE REALISTIC…!!

        New rules are making it more and more difficult and it's reality of current time. It's gonna be more tougher and strict.

        My arugument:
        1. If a person has worked for 2 yrs in india, he atleast has some exposure of real life work culture.
        a. It helps in better understanding of subject
        b. You at least have some money in hand…It is small amount, but still you have that small amount to support for 2-3 months.

        2. Now come to usa and do masters here. Post master two options are available
        a. Search job on OPT as fresher and utilize your 2 yrs of work experience in finding more better job for yourself rather than complete new bee who doesn't know professional world at all.
        b. Go back to India – 2 yrs work exp + MS degree = More better job in India with nice salary package. [This is not at all bad option in current scenario]

        1. Finding Job – It's simple math. Student coming to US for Masters have 2 years to find a job ( i.e. entire duration of their masters). If someone is going to start looking for a job right after he gets the degree certificate in hand is out of luck. When consulting companies were around, they just have to join a consulting copmany and they have a job. Now that option is ruled out. Only way is full time or certain allowed ways described in the article.

          Job Search is an progressive approach. Traditional ways don't work. 2 years time is more than enough to establish a network to find a job. Its that simple. Students who are NOT finding job are those who
          * get into job search market very late
          * those who have no clue on how job search works
          * After 2 years of MS if their resuem looks like how they applied for MS
          * many more can be added

          Lets take your case – If you were to search for job now, you will try to find some referral through friends, .. and you know thats the best way to go.

          More than building network there are so many ways you can find a job ( creative to exhaustive). If a students cannot utilize 2 yrs just to find one job or an internship, he can very well stay in India nd find a job.

          Another fact – If someone decided to work for 2 years and plan to study, in the end very few have interest to go back to school. Person who is going to have enough interest to come to US after 2 years will definitely have enough skills to find a job even as a fresher. How many of you personally know who had to go back to India after completing Masters/entry level saying they couldn't find a job?

          I know you may not agree to my argument, but thats nature of opinions we have.

          1. HSB companies do not consider you if you mention anticipated date of graduation 1 yr or two yrs down the line.Networking with friends is good but there are other factors such as company hiring economy right place right time etc to get a job.Getting an internship and using CPT for 11 months and converting into full time is the best bet for all international students.

      2. I agree with Naiya.I have seen graduates from Arizona State university go back to India in 2009 due to economic recession and inability to get jobs.

      3. Seriuosly, what did you smoke tonight? You are recommending leaving a job over coming to study here where chances of scoring even and interview call are close to zilch? What a stupid advice. And starting out at 3.25 lac in your career is not bad, he can easily get to 5-6 in 3 years, plus move up the chain. How many years does it take to get a promotion in US, like 10. Why don;t you tell him that? You pov is quite biased and paints a very unrealistic picture that is is complete disconnect with the reality here in US. You have either never been here, or have been extremely lucky. But for the other 99% of us, coming here now on loan money and rejecting a job offer is simple insane. But oh well, to each his own!!

  22. Stay in India gain experience in India and go to USA ultimately u will need H1-b visa after graduate studies also makes sense to go USA on H1-b/L 1 visa rather than student visa through a reputed company.Nothing to loose I would say.

  23. Brother,

    I strongly recommend you to take up the job, have couple of years of experience before you start your Management course. Without prior experience you will not be able to compare your management funda with real life examples. Once you will have 2 – 3 years of industry experience you would learn to apply management theories in real life applications. With job experience you will also be able to identify the subjects / specialization for your MBA. Without any experience you will not be able to understand where you interest lies. You may want to become a sales guy and want to take up marketing as your major. Or may be finance as your major with your interest being into Financial markets. However it is impossible to understand your capabilities and interests without actually working in those respective industries. After doing sales for 2 years you may not find it challenging or interesting and then you may want to pursue a MIS or may be HR or Finance.

    Without any real experience you will not be able to understand the theories of any MBA specially the applications of those theories (where & when to apply those theories). You may learn 7 Cs of marketing during MBA but when and where to apply can only be learnt with real industry experience.

    Also it is easy to get scholarship if u have good experience. Easy to get assistance job on campus. And most important you will be eligible for Lateral placements during your Campus recruitment process and you should be able to draw real good Salary package with the help of your previous industry experience.

    In nutshell go out in the industry.. get some hands on experience and then enroll into MBA either India or USA.

  24. Hi, thats a really great advice. I completely agree with HSB. Also Hemanth, the companies though slightly have recovered from the recession, they are not completely cured. Though you are placed in a very good company, you might get the joining date really really late; because, they should have projects in hand when they take in freshers.

    Even I am placed in IBM for the same package. But you know,it doesn't make any difference to me. So what I suggest is to go ahead with your graduate studies plans. By the time you get your joining date, I think you would have finished one semester of your graduate studies. This has happened to my seniors!!

    But there is an option. If the company you are placed is your dream company and your job profile is the best for you, that is you are doing what you always wanted to do, then its worth the wait. Taking TOEFL is not a big deal later. But working just to save money and fund your graduate studies is not a very good idea.

  25. I have seen so many of my counterparts making the u-turn. They were deciding on applying to US before the placements began. And when they get placed here, they decide to stay here and work. When asked, they reason that they want to 'gain some work experience' and to save money for doing MS during the two years time. I always felt that the 'save money' part was unrealistic, because when u start working and earning money, there will be expenses too. If they dont even spend a penny from their salary for two years, they can save upto 5-6lacs, whereas for doing MS in US, we need around 20lacs. But what about the 'gain work xp' part? How much importance will be given to the work exp. during the admission.

    1. Well.. U have work exp at the end of two years. And you also have option to mention that in your application. But what i feel is, the people who evaluate there will not simply prioritize you because you have work exp.I think, the relevance of your work to your intended program matters a lot. ie. If you have worked in an IT company as a programmer( still a rare case) and applying for DSP in electrical Dept, I don't think you are benefited a lot. Moreover its very rare one getting into the core job here.

      This is just my opinion by the way.

  26. Hi

    This is a nice article, but please do take in to consideration, the fact that, the present job situation in US is not that great as it used to be before. That does not mean that, it is going to stay in the same bad situation but you just need to be lucky and hope for the best, if you are choosing to pursue your Masters Degree over the job offer in India. Ultimately it is just a gamble between the two choices.

    Thanks & Regards,


    1. @Abhilash

      look taking into account the job scenario of US,you really cannot go to USA just to get a decent job at the end of your study.If you really have the quest for it then only go there otherwise stay here in India.And talking about job scenario's don't you think in India also there again can be a period when you will again go through all the recession thing again,it can happen again can't it??So just follow your dream:-if you want to study more then only leave your country else stay.

      1. I beg to differ.In India you are flexible to work in any field.In US you cannot since you are international student

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