No Financial Aid: Quit Masters Degree and Go Back to India?

Raghuram Sukumar Study in USA 38 Comments

Subu posted the following comment in the blog yesterday. He certainly need lots of encouragement.

Hi friends,

Currently I m pursuing MS in North Carolina State University. I m afraid as the university has less funding and keeps increases the fee every semester , now its 10000 $ per semester

I also feel the subjects like OS to be tough and thought that I can take in the 2nd semester. Now, hows the job scenario in US.. I heard like many(nearly 50% of ppl) will be working in contract positions after completing MS. Is this true?

Moreover, I m afraid of the expenses and the fear of getting a job.. I’m even thinking of discontinuing so that I can save the fee amount and get a job back in India..

Please let me know how will be the job scene in India in both cases , i complete MS as well as I discontinue now to get a job there in India. I have 3 yrs of experience in IBM, India..

Let me know the kind of salary that I shall get placed in.. Is it so that I can’t get a job if I don’t study subjects like OS ?

Wat do the companies target here in US?  Please provide some suggestions. why is that “very few univs are giving aid in US now”.  Suggestions please

It’s tough to get funding in NCSU and other universities, unless you know how to get funding. Also, NCSU is located in Research Triangle Park area and its easy to find  internship and job around RTP. You can work as Full Time or Part Time intern for couple of semesters, which would give your money and experience.

It doesn’t matter which university you attend, courses will be tough. I have always said, don’t apply to schools that are above your skill level. It’s tough to survive in a school that is way above your potential. Everyone wants to study in top ranked university, but they don’t realize that it will be very tough to get through, when you don’t have problem solving and analytical skills to match with your peers.

You were admitted to NCSU and that implies you have sufficient background. Looks likes you have lost a bit of your mojo to continue to study in US. If I get it right, you came to US for Fall 2010 and I’m not sure how you got negative perspective within 2 months.

Get Tough – Mentally

Don’t whine about Operating System course being tough. It’s not just for you, every student have to face similar courses and overcome that. So, suck it up and study hard. Do you expect courses and education to be as easy as in India? I assume, you must have completed engineering and with 3 years of work experience, you can’t complain courses are tough.

You don’t grow in life and improve your knowledge by doing the same things again. You grow by solving problems that are bigger every time.

Salary or Knowledge

If you came to study MS just to get higher salary, then you will be constantly thinking and trying to take short-cuts to complete MS. I have seen similar instances with students who come to study MS after working for few years in India.

First comes education, then comes the job. If you have negative thinking written all over you, no one can help you. Take a break and work towards changing your mindset. Solve one problem at a time.

  1. You have come to study Masters in US. Try to get that done first.
  2. Start building your network.
  3. Good network helps with your intern/job search.
  4. If NCSU is expensive, get transfer to cheap schools.
  5. Start applying for Internship from second semester.
  6. Fear  is not going to get you far in your life.

Your Comments

HSB Fans, I would like to see your thoughts and comments.

Comments

  1. Hey Subbu,
    Am joinin NCSU this fall 2012 . Similar thoughts like yours are going over in my mind .
    I like to talk to you about your experiences .
    Regards,
    Another Subbu 🙂

  2. Hi,

    I got 1180 in GRE(verb-420,quants-760). Can anyone help me to get into a good university with funding for communication branches.My GPA-8.6.Please get me out of this confusion

  3. Plz dont give up….even michael jordan was dropped from his high school basketball team…do u think he would become a legend if he gave up…..Plz continue your studies ..u dont know how lucky you are getting a chance to study at NCSU.Laugh at the face of adversity…and success will be yours..

    My wishes are with you..

  4. i got score of 1200 what kind of universities shud i go for ??
    what colleges shud i apply for, in order to get funding??
    what is average cost for pursuing MS- ECE or Computers??

  5. Hey Dude Subu,
    Come on man,be a man.
    People dream to go to US.Only 1% achieve that dream.At the position you are in people would be ready to pay 10000$ to be similarily situated.Stop worrying about courses that drains out more energy.
    Come on dude,life is afterall a game.
    Even if you floop and go crap I am sure there would be tons of indian companies ready to suck you in.Lower your expectations if you cannot cope up.Keep fighting however.Never give up.

  6. hii

    i am try to get to US for my PHD nxt yr fall

    i am from ece,vlsi and am presently doing mtech at NIT raurkela and am looking to get a phd in analog design.

    i am also in similar situation…no funding etc but what i wanna know is completely different.say i get admitted to a PhD course in US what is the average time u can get ur Phd in us???

    NE idea on that.

    plz reply…

    i would be very thankful

  7. I think some of the people on this board are being wildly hopeful. Yes, positive thinking is good, but one has to be realistic. The funding situation is very murky and it is very difficult to say what the job scene will be like, particularly for foreigners, 2 years from now. Placing all your bets on the United States is not such a smart idea any more. The US, particularly, under Obama, is descending slowly and surely into insanity. There is a very good chance you will get screwed Mr. Subu. Going back to India, where you can be free, is not such a terrible idea.

  8. hello frnds..i have completed my b;pharmacy this year in sept,1st week..as the intake for spring is less im planning to join for the fall of 2011..im writing my GRE on november 9th..and TOEFL abt a week later..i actually want to help myself with the processing..can anyone tell me how to go about doing that??
    thanks
    jayanth

  9. Dear Subu,

    First, you are so lucky in getting seat in NCSU.

    Second, i thought of you have good job experiece in your hands i.e. three years in India.

    Third, with your Bachelor Degree in India place you in the job in good Company with good position with good pay packages.

    Fourth, with your Masters in NCSU, definitely place you in good Companies in USA with good position with good pay package, in this regard your previous experie helps you a lot, don't worry man.

    Fifth, try to put efforts in getting the following ones like RA, TA, GA, Tution Fee Waive-off, Scholarships, Fellowships etc.,

    Six, try to get good GPA in your first semister i.e 3.5 to 4.0 out of 4.0 on 4.0 scale, majority of proffesors having soft corner on top students in giving RA's.

    Seven, try to spend time in research regarding to your department Professors and their research topic (Current going) and prepare regarding those topics and take appointment to meet and express your interest in those research areas.

    Eight, Professors are always in search of good students having interest & knowledge in their research areas and shows willingness to contribute their time to complete Professor's research with in the alloted time. Your previous experience will helps a lot in getting RA.

    Nine, CPT / Internships during semester breaks avilable in so many companies in USA (In USA, so many companies are encouraging students by providing Internships / CPT'S during their semester breaks, During the period they also pay like monthly salaries), so try to grab those by applying in advance to the number of companies, there is a lot of competetion for those. Minimum six months pre-planning is required. (First, list out the companies, then forward resume, then there would be telephonic interview (after initial scrutinization on all applications), then personal interview (for selected ones after second scrutinization) then finalize students for CPT Program). your previous experience will helps a lot in getting these.

    Ten, Generally in USA, Short-Time projects are doing in Companies, Long-Term Projects are doing in Universities that is the reason Research Assistantship positions are available for Master & PhD students under Professors (those who are participating in research).

    Eleven, nobody (Either Professors Or Companies) wants to lost previous job experienced students, so try to took the appointments with professors and show & express your interest towards the research topics going in your University. Start doing first …. Don't waste your time …….

    ALL THE BEST FOR YOUR RESEACH ASSISTANTSHIP (RA)

    Cheers,
    [ Signature Removed – Admin]

  10. Buck up man!At your age please DO NOT let this LINE OF THOUGHT take over.It will then get imbibed in u for ever.Just get over it!talk to friends,family-they r the best source of strength in such times.For most of people life is a struggle thru out.Think of Pareto Law 80:20.U may not be the 20% Lucky One's but SURELY u r amongst 20% who r Lucky to have reached here.Both of your probs r NOT INSURMOUNTABLE – u just need to mentally get over them by having FAITH IN YOURSELF.God Bless U

  11. Hi ,

    Absolutely NOT the right idea, Mr.Subramanium. Escaping any situation is always a bad idea. You got to fight the problems and get past it.

    Let me tell you my story, if that can be of any inspiration for you.

    I came to Stevens Institute of Technology in NJ for my Masters. Its a private school in NJ.The fees are like, $10000 per semester (shit expensive). I tried my heart out to get an on campus job in Fall 2008( thats when i came here), but i failed. i almost thought the same way what you thought. Because, its an expensive place to live near NYC and that too without any job. But, after trying my best to find an internship, i cracked an Internship in May 2009 when, getting an internship was damn difficult. I worked for 7 months and i could support myself at least for my expenses for over an year and also my last semester fees. After that, the job search time . Really annoying, but some how found out a small term contract job. Just to keep my self engaged.It was just a 2 months project. Now, i am going to be working for a long term contract job which is gonna last for atleast an year, for a bigger company.

    Now, people might think, after Masters, why get in to a contract job ? It actually depends, few of my friends were lucky enough and got a direct full time job. But for me, its gonna be a step by step process and trust me , if you dont have any other options contract job is never a bad thing to do.

    Eventually with the experience you gain in contract jobs you will surely end up with a full time job. Looking at the worst case scenario, you can make use of the 12+17 months of OPT and work here in US and then go back to India with a solid 2.5 years of US work experience.

    I have even seen many people who do only contract kind of consulting jobs. They prefer this because after you gain experience, you can demand what salary you want on an hourly basis and you will get it. Its more money than a Full Time job too coz in a full time job its gonna a be fixed yearly package initially.

    So never think that, the doors are closed for you when you finish your Masters here. If you try hard, and if you are open for any job knocking at your door, contract or Full Time job, you should be fine.

    My advice for you would be that, Just GO FOR IT. Finish it off in flying colors. Meanwhile, try your heart out to find an internship while you are doing your Masters and then see how things change your way.

    I am yet to enter a phase when i have a Visa Sponsored and a Full Time Job and all that, but i have just started my OPT. I am being optimistic that in 29 months time, i will find something. After all, everyone will not get in to the Job they desired directly or effortlessly. In my case, it looks like i have to go through a step by step career, i am UP for it. 🙂

    Good Luck,

    Regards,

    Abhilash

  12. NCSU is a great school, don't think about leaving the school at any cost. Focus on getting good grades at school and if you are Career Center, approach them for help on internship search. I started in MS Fall 07 and graduated in Dec 09 with MS ECE. I tried for every job option possible starting from Aug 08 to May 09, when i finally found a job with L3 communications. You just have to keep on trying and hope it will succeed.

    Leaving to India and work back in IT industry is probably not a good option. You have an option to work product related development here, why do you want to go to India and work ? If you are really motivated to work in India, start working in US with Microsoft or Qualcomm or Intel and then transfer to their Indian operations after 2 or 3 years.

    I guess you have written this email at the heat of the moment. When people are under pressure, we fail to think through this. So think about it properly and then decide.

    Good luck

    – Jack

  13. U know wat…………i m planning for studies in US just because the standard to struggle in india is not dat good…..I am aspiring a challenging life….Mr.subramanium neeeds to change his attitude…otherwise its sure gonna be a tough time for him even if he comes back to india….its lyke this " problems….i m going to give u an even competition"

  14. @Subramaniyan:

    Hello,

    First let me say,NEVER EVER DO WHAT YOU ARE THINKING. You'l be kicking yourself in the near future if you discontinue MS and come back to India. Many Many people dream to study in the United States but many of them do not get the chance. You have got admission into the NCSU and how can you even think of wasting this kind of opportunity? Please push yourself and you will make your way out. Never ever give up because if you do so you will really miss many things in life. . So my kind advise is to continue and be mentally tough. Tuf times will obviously dis-hearten and trouble us but that isn't permanent. The fruit you will bare after surviving the situation is priceless. . . Time to get the nitros on and go ZOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOM . . . . I wish you all success.

    Thanks

    Rajkamal

  15. go for it..fight for what is your dream actually. everything will be fine. God definitely help u. try to be honest in your work. The result will automatically reach at destination.
    regards
    arnab ganguly

  16. buddy….feathers you achieve on ur cap after a big struggle stays close to ur heart forever .nothin comes for free.im cmg to us nxt year with te same scenario of urs…no aid frm parents…all on my head,but i wanna pursue at ny hardships or toughness ..here comes os tats my fav subject…..
    nvr say i quit…quitters r not winners

  17. Compare the scenario- after your completing MS and after leaving it at this stage. Prepare a table of two columns for each scenario. Note down points. It will help you to get a more clear picture easily and help you decide what to do.

    Life is not a simple race. It is hurdles race. You are presently at one such hurdle stage. Cross it and go ahead.

    It happens to all of us at various stages of life. Nothing new to you.

    Compare the scenarios. Your completing it will make big difference in your life besides life of all around you.

    Decide to review after completion of the current semester.

  18. The thinking of Mr.Subrahmanyam is not correct.In US some universities fee structure is very high.My daughter is pursuing MS in NJIT New- jersey and fee structure is $11000/ per Semester.But she tried her best for securing part time job and secured in Departmental store and earning $2000/-P.M . she is supporting me by paying the fees up to some extent and rest i .She is working 12 hours on week days and in holidays .In spite of and secured 3.90 /4.00 CGPA in 1st and 2nd semester .Initially she also thought as Mr.Subrahmanayam, but with great struggle she has secured private job.Hence one should have courage to overcome the problem.I appeal to Mr.Subrahmanyam to search for part time job and earn by working overtime so that he can support his study with out any problem.I wish that he will do that.

  19. "Why do i always feel that HSB Comments are like GRE Arguments…..lol"

    Coming to the point , HSB has given a reasonable and most optimistic answer one can look up to.

    Subramanium should have known about the tuition fees, if he couldnt afford that much then he should have taken admission in a different college with less tuition fees.But i dont know why people with tight budget go to colleges where they wont be able to afford tuition fees.Anyways, get rasnfer to another college and grow your network. Try to make friends who are America and who can help you. Dont get dis-hearted its hard but you have to do it.

  20. hi man,

    i worked in ibm-gbs for 12 months and quit due to uninteresting work…..

    i planning to come for MS for spring precisely to embark on a career that is non indian IT like…..

    i had a friend at NCSU who is working in bloomberg now….he told me all grads of dec 2009 got jobs by may 2010…some atleast in india(mind u in good companies..not tcs/wipro/infy:))….and he was even telling me once u land up a full time offer..the money spent on MS at NCSU can easily be recovered…also CS guys have a clear edge in job hunting…ask urself do u want to work in indian IT setup(u know how it is) ur entire life?…dont u want peers to look upto at ur work place?…also he told me 10 guys from ncsu got into Cisco CA few months back..

    but if ur looking for a cheaper option…u might want to shift to some other decent college….

    but returing to india now itself is a bad idea….dont u think?

    1. i dont think,50% guys working in contract positions is true..atleast not for ncsu guys..my frined did tell me that ncsu has a location disadvantage though..

      btw if u manage a co-op/intern u can recovery quite some money before your MS.

      aid for MS is available only in few colleges….my freinds are doing ms in villonava and temple university(low tuition and aid) and despite thier univs not so great…they got co-ops(in small companies,year long i think,earning good money) which will help them greatly in finding post MS jobs…you might want to look at such colleges..

      also u can post ur query in edulix.com where there are people working(post MS),will guide you better…

      1. NCSU doesn't have locatin disadvantage.In fact its easy to find job in Raleigh (RTP) area. Did you know IBM's and SAS world headquaters in located in Raleigh area?

        1. Well actually IBM has a policy to look for people with unconditional work authorization. IBM is of not much help when you are searching for work with sponsorship.

  21. Hi, apparently all the other people who have commented are students. I am the father of a student who just completed her graduation in US and also got a job there. Initially it is tough and you cannot throw in the towel within 2 months. You are yet to face the bleak winter. Pl toughen yourself; after all " when the going gets tough, the tough gets going". My daughter also used to mention about OS and how tough it was to get through the subject. But with your work experience, you should find it relatively easier compared to a fresher. Perhaps you are already exhausted with the initial efforts in settling down in Raleigh. But pl remember that if you survive these 4 semesters, your future is assured. Having alraedy spent a packet in coming to US, pl don't throw away the opportunity. NCSU is a good school and pl continue. Also think about the hardships your family would suffer if you discontinue and come back to India. I only pray the Lord to give you sufficient mental strength to withstand the first semester; the subsequent semesters will be easier since you would be used to the US way of life by then. All the best and our prayers are with you.

  22. @Subramaniam: Just think about the work you did to reach NCSU. I know its not easy to get into NCSU and I also know the quality of IBM employees. You sure do have potential. It might just be that you are experiencing tough times and you lost your zeal. Try not to think about the difficulties but instead take pleasure in everything you do. Just remember tough times never last, but tough people do. And these testing times bring the best in people. Take a break – go to a place which gives you peace, and retrospect. You will find out the tough times you faced in the past do not seem tough anymore.

    And about OS – maybe its not for you. After all Steve Jobs or Bill Gates might not have attended an OS course. But thats the beauty of American Education. They give you the freedom to customize your degree and let you work on those which appeal to you. Find out what other courses you can do instead of OS. But my personal experience OS is a very logical course. Its shell might be hard but once you reach the insides its SWEET.

    And please reach out to people for any help whether financial or anything else. It does not show your weakness but instead shows your strength to help yourself and improve yourself. You might seem to reach a dead end at times but keep pushing yourself. Its not about how you complete but its about how you tried. Whether you gave your best even during your toughest times. I fail in many things each day but its the small things I win that keep me going towards the jackpot. And also I recently realized thanks to a personal experience – that although we keep on brooding about the things we dont have we can actually achieve much more by fully utilizing whatever we have access to.

    Its time to ignite your passion and BLASTOFF!!!

  23. I think you have not done thorough groundwork search before landing in US.. didnt u know about tution fees , course syllabus , funding provided , job scenario , internships/residencies , scope after completing the course , before going and studying there?? these are initial homeworks every student does and must do before he finally decide to study in US… there r no derths of career counsellors available in India as well as US to show you the right path… HSB is right , as always , you need to change your mindset and attitude and if you follow those 6 advices given by HSB sincerely , you will be fine… all the best

  24. Hey brother, you have to be positive on everything you do in life.

    Take a step at a time and be focused.

    Have a Paradigm shift, and always count yourself extremely lucky to have been a an MS student in the first place – it is indeed a rare opportunity.

    There is always a way out in every problem of life.

    All you need to do is to "think" and put your God's given talents into action.

    Most importantly……… pray, and pray hard!

    All the best.

  25. Going back? Why did you come here first of all? And giving up so easily in just 2 months? Have patience man – please don't give up. You never know what you can do. Just ponder over the points which HSB has mentioned here. How true they are! Remember the saying : Many of life's failures are people who did not know how close they were to success when they gave up. Also, perseverance is what is required in such a situation. Just read in the internet about Abraham Lincoln's perseverance. I am sure you will get motivated and continue here for whatever you came for.

  26. I would suggest choosing a university which is bit higher than your profile and try to keep your confidence level high to ful fill the course expectation.

    — Do what you can and try what you can't.

  27. I totally agree to the facts HSB stated, we are there for education and research first then job and increasing of fees and lack of cushioning your expenditures will show only your imbelicity, in this case your misinterpretation of your stance and ability.

    Thanks HSB to notify us about the existence of such situations!

  28. the coincidence is such that one of my friend is in the same university and doin her m.s in computer science,as a matter of fact she also mentioned about this subject being tough. but she says she is been puttin effort day in day out. and she is able to do it. i dont see why u cant do it. just concentrate more and try focussing on the learning aspect rather than the salary expect.and there are lots of part time job available there in and around ncsu.

  29. Well, I can understand the financial and job market. But I have many friends, Computer and Non-Computer field, getting the jobs in IT through consultants. Yeh! I agree that they chew you out with the salary but, at the end of the day, at least you have a job.

    School part, look for some schools which provide you the financial aid+in-state waiver. There are plenty of them available. Look into the universities in Texas (Arlington, Clear lake, Corpus Christi, Kingsville). The fee structure is very fair and the fee you paid for a semester at North Carolina is enough in these universities for entire Master's Program.

    Ultimately, the decision is individuals. So do put your thoughts, all the advices from your friends, and take the ultimate decision.

    Good Luck,

    SJ

  30. Hi,

    As HSB says of course the subjects are tough and not anything like in india and one cannot expect it to be like that. I am also a fall 2010 student and i too find it tough to cope wit the subjects. But there is a great advantage here. Profs and TAs go to all ends to make sure they can help the students out. You just need to ask. Also i think when you have decided to do your MS and have come all the way from India to here it has to be more than just to pass or complete your course. One i think must try to learn something out of it cuz ultimately whether one gets an internship or a job in the US or a job in India its the the knowledge which matters. So as I said I agree with HSB. The author of the mail needs a lot of enthu fed into him. He just needs to remember a positive thing: if someone else can do it so can you. All the best to the author.

  31. One should not think about just passin subjects..you din go there to jus pass and get a job…the main aim should be research..dont just study to get a job have genuine interest an learn how to use the knowledge..on completing ms yu ll definitely get a higher payin job in india..so don worry abt money..am assumin yu might ve funds considerin ur 3 yrs work experience..so keep cool and enjoy the country an learn their culture..all the best

  32. Nothing is Easy in life man! It seems you are looking out for an easy way out. But I will advise you to man up and face it head on. You have the quality to be in that school and I believe you can equally compete with any other student on that campus.

    And also thanks to you HSB for all the invaluable help and info you've been providing.

    1. hey subramaniam, common dude. I am dying here to get into a good school in USA. Don't ever think of quitting. WINNERS DON'T QUIT. Cheers up and start working. VICTORY IS YOURS.

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