This is Why I Decide to Study in USA After Working in India for 2 years

Karthik Dandavathi Career 74 Comments

This blog post is written by Karthik Dandavathi.

I wanted to share my why I decided to pursue higher education in US instead of working in India (MNC). To tell this I need to go back to some 3 years back in Time capsule when I was a final year BTech student.

why study in usa

First, I was looking for clear thinking and clear view about Higher Education.

I was always a confused guy as to what to do with my future and how should be my career progression.

I was like I was someone who would think twice either to eat bread or Dosa for break fast. Such was my mental balance then. B

One fine day one of my seniors guided me and told me all good things about studying in U.S. (No !! he wasn’t speaking about education,  but things better than that), then I was really fascinated by U.S. lifestyle, kind of living there, driving those good-looking cars and last but not the least getting some real quality education.

With those intentions I made up my mind and thought that US is the place to be.

When things were just  going my way then this sudden thing of campus placement came and fortunately/unfortunately I got a job in MNC.

Now with my typical middle class background and kind of package they are offering… My relatives and closed ones were like praising me like I won a world cup or something. They had a small kind of appreciation party for me at my colony back then (yes it did happen !!)

Now that left in two minds again .. Should I go to US or should I take up my job..

I didn’t even dare to say my family members that I have a desire to study in USA seeing the kind of reception I got after getting my offer. I was sure then that they would not appreciate my decision.

Frankly speaking I was also getting more and more inclined towards taking up a job as it offered lucrative package (that was only on paper though.. I realized it late). And so many perks.

I would be having lot of money in a month .  I was very excited and made myself a false promise that I would enjoy for 1 year and then  leave my job for Higher Education.  I didn’t realize its going to be tough.

After this inner turmoil ended . I was working for an MNC in Chennai for about 6 months.

Initially, I was kind of happy but slowly I started realizing the Salary package was just on Paper and I was getting considerably very less than what was offered.

With no offense to the company I got it wrong. Slowly work pressure was taking charge of me and every time I think of taking GRE there was some XX thing that would intervene..

Two years went like a rocket at work and I never had a chance to follow my desire.

Self realization incubated itself in different stages. It was like one day I bluntly  decided that I would take GRE and apply for a MS program.

Again there is a problem here,. My mother and people around me were saying

Why do you want to waste 2 years again in studying, if you work for 2 more years you may as well get H1B sponsored from your company.

This time I decided to educate them. I took a paper and showed them the followingchecklist

  • I’m paid 25,000 rupees.
  • Savings = NIL

If I work for 2 more years I may get paid 50K rupees per month  savings may be == 10,000 rupees.

If I spend 2 years for MS in USA, I will get paid about $5,000 per month.

I can save some one lakh rupees back here.

And I also said that higher education is not always about money and having a degree from good university in US will definitely help me at some point of time in my life.

I finally got them convinced.

The whole point of this long boring essay was to tell the readers how some person might have to overcome emotional difficulties he may get in his middle class family when he says he will quit job and study.

And moreover they are all my people .. my relatives who were there with my family every good and bad time sand I cannot simply ignore them and go according to my will.

Some people may have an easy road to the MS. Some may have a little bit difficult road like me.

If you have the strong desire for Masters Degree then this can be very much possible.

Finally, I’, preparing for Fall 2013. Scored 306 ( 150 Verbal + 156 Quantitative ) in GRE.

PS: Readers please excuse me for writing a mini book on the pretext of writing a post.

This is my maiden post and do let me know your thoughts about it.

Over To You

What about you? How did you convince your parents about studying in USA?

Do you have a job offer and contemplating about studying abroad?


  1. My story is no different from yours except spending one more yr working ass off at so called MNC (reward-less filthy parsimonious), is the gap between study(now) and admission(reaching US) gonna affect the the profile, i am guessing you from computers since you worked at MNC, so what you’re targeting? and how you gonna prepare for SOP and LOR seeking someone’s help?

    1. Go through the samples in google and other MS groups in social networking sites. There is a post in HSB regarding SOP guide, you can take a look at it which can give u proper insight in writing SOP.

    2. OMG! Currently going through the same thing!!! I know i have to take those exams… but at the same time u think about the work experience. HEEEELLLPPP!!!!

  2. i am a final year student . i have a job offer from MNC.and can’t decide what to choose studying in usa or go for job .
    i guess this post will make me think about the decision 🙂

      1. I m also placed in MNC but not joined yet and would like to do M.S. in C.S in US. The joining is in december 2012. I am also in same dilemma whether to go for MS or job.

        So, I decided to give GRE in november and after 2 years of job experience, I would do MS as GRE score is valid for 5 years.
        This is my plan.
        Is it right? means should I make any changes to my plan because this is the only time when I am having a choice(later on I may not be possible to choose).
        Please help!

  3. its good to hear from karthik about ur exprnce for tking good decsin abt stydng abroad…..i hve dream to stdy in US…lets c wht hapns….till thn all d best and do well

  4. My situation is terrible here. My dad owns a small scale industry and yes he wants me to take over gradually. I’ve a desire to study in the US but I can’t convince my dad in this regard. Now I’m having 3 years of work experience. Now is it a right option to try convincing my dad and apply for 2013 intake or I should drop my idea and look after the company? I’m in a cross road

    1. Say to your dad that you will get good exposure and run the business in better way after doing MS. Exposure from US will help you take your company to next level.

  5. the story of the narrator is almost same and marks also.i have years of experience and now applying for fall 2013 🙂

    1. HI FRIEND

  6. I have 4.5 years of work experience from a very good MNC and had above average package. Still I decided to persue my MS and now I am doing it (joined in Fall 2012) 🙂
    The only things which matter are your desire to study and support from your family!

  7. I also faced same situation and took wrong train like you, now after an yr ,2 months i am realizing the mistake i did, your post inspired me to go ahead with my dream leaving my job.

    Thanks HSB and Karthik

  8. Dear friend, Thanks for sharing your thoughts and experience in detail. At this point I would say that your GRE score is low,especially quant. you should have atleast 160 to apply in good college. I am saying this based on my experience. My gre score is 295 (quant 154 and verb 141) and I am having a work experiene of more than 4 years in Wireless communication MNC (Alcatel-Lucent) a american french company. I had applied in Univ of Illinois at Chicago,Illinois Institute of Tech Chicago and Univ of Texas at Dallas. I got rejection from UIC and UTD. UIC rejected me based on low quant score. I have not received the reason of rejection from UTD. I did my BE from Government colg gujarat wid 69% and no backlog.

  9. Im waiting for result from IIT..Lets c wat i would suggest you to take GRE again.

  10. Hi HSB,


    1. hiii friend
      u r gre score is not bad u can apply for universities .u r TOEFL SCORE IS BETTER SO U R

  11. Hello sir,

    I’m Prateek Gurjar from Indore. I also want to pursue my M.S from a reputed US university but my engineering domain is E.C but from many friends of me in US told me that there are better job opportunities in the IT sector. So I’m planning to go for a work-ex in an MNC of around two years and then I’ll be going to US or Canada or Australia for M.S in IT.

    In the meantime I’ll try to improve my profile by doing some certifications. Also I don’t have to worry about taking GRE because I gave my GRE in may 2011 and hence my score will be valid till May 2016 which permits me to apply for the fall 16 session.Though I’ll have to take the TOEFL test.

    I would find myself lucky to be at your place because now you have a work-ex which will definitely will be an positive attrition to your profile. So please don’t think that you’ve wasted your two years.

    Wishing you all the best!! 🙂

  12. Spot on brother!. This is exactly the dilemma within freshly graduate students. And one more thing I would like to elaborate which you mentioned, that is leaving the job. Its not easy as it looks. The surroundings,family,frnd’s opinions leave a huge impact on your mental ability to decide for yourself. I’m doing job at a big MNC, which has no relevance with my graduate studies. After months of struggling to take the hard decision, I’ve finally told everyone(yes my boss as well) I would not like to continue with the job and would like to study/research in my domain of interest.
    It is hard, but nonetheless, you HAVE to take the decision and stand by it. Once you are confident and focused on your aim, might be short or long term, nothing gets in your way, trust me. Best of luck!

  13. I thank Raghu for posting this wonderful content on your Blog.. And I see myself as the person in the article 2 years before… It was actually last August that i decided to plan for MS. But Campus placements lured me so much that i just shelved my dreams of higher educations and scenario of students from south indian colleges would be some thing like ‘i’m done for the life’ once he/she completes Btech and so was I. There was less motivation and there was superficial interest.. And One year hence i am still waiting for my joining in that MNC, which now says ‘market is low’ and we need to wait.. I regret my decision that i took earlier..But nothing can stop u once u get self -realization.So, I appeared for GRE just 2 day back and scored good.Soon i will apply for Univ’s and lead a life which actually i want to’. Thanks alot once again for this post because no one in this world can understand our thoughts, except those who think or ‘feel like us’.

    1. Your comments gave an idea for another blog post. different reasons to why fresh graduates opt out of goign abroad for higher education.

  14. Hey Karthik,

    You need not regret for writing such a big comment but sometimes words ,do take more space while explaining the situation.
    I am also in same situation as yours and even I am preparing for 2013 MS program in Germany.
    I too come from a middle class background for whom , taking loan and going to abroad is like a dream and according to them , it involves lot of risk which should not be invited .And being a girl, in middle class background at the age of 23, quitting the job for higher studies is abandoned and she should get married and leave house instead of leaving the country to pursue higher studies.

    Like you , even I had desire of doing MS but fear of financial aid and no proper information led to take up the job and provide support to my parents. And once I started working 2 years just passed on and my desire was just a desire but one day ., came out of confusion and made my path crystal clear and started working on it.
    But however, I tried convincing my parents like you., saying- being in India ,in these MNC jobs will help us come no where. But pursuing MS will help in clearing back the loan soon and also make me earn more money and fund my marriage without burdening them. But, here money is least important infront of time, that will be spent in studying and earning. I am trying to persuade them saying , this is the age where I can study and later it will be highly impossible and please allow me to pursue my interest.So, I am still struggling very hard every day convincing my parents and they are in turn blackmailing me that they will not give collateral for my studies so that, I might drop this plan.As you said some have easy roads and some have difficult ones like you but, ppl like me have never ending barriers . I pray that my parents get convinced to some extent and let me pursue my dream.
    I am taking IELTS next month and applied for available scholarship programs. I am making savings but it can contribute only half the amount needed. Also I have given most of money to my parents as a support to the family.I hope, I will get collateral for my loan 🙁
    PS: Readers please excuse me for writing a big boring story on the pretext of writing a post.

    This is my post and please do let me know your thoughts about it

      1. Raghu- 🙂 Even that wont help if parents are not open up to understand and just wanna remain in thier thoughts and views. 🙁

        1. com’on Arpitha ‘You need not regret for writing such a big comment but sometimes words ,do take more space while explaining the situation’ 😛

          1. Hi Raghu/Arpitha,
            Am also in the same situation but am able to convince my parents somehow. Now am preparing for GRE. Planning to write it by November end and will apply for Fall 2013. Am very much confident that the scores will be good.
            Am thinking of MS in Computer Science in US. I just want to learn more and work independently.
            But the problem is our Financial condition. In two years of working, i don’t have any personal savings even after getting a good package. Have supported my family a bit, thats it. I can’t ask it with my parents back. Now can i get the entire expenses for two years as loan?? How i should apply for that, means what documents are needed, whether i should show any min bank balance?? Whether its very late to get the financial aid??
            Please let me know clearly with Yes or No. If yes, how can i get it.

          2. You might consider taking loan by keeping your house/property’s documents in bank (that is what I did — could get a loan up to Rs. 20 lakh). If no chance for loan, then apply for assistance-ships (that offer fee waiver) at the university along with admission. There are some decent universities where most of the MS students get assistance-ship. I didn’t actually try for assistance-ship along with admission, but, rather tried for the best university I could get into. Later, in my second semester, I somehow got an assistance-ship (it was difficult to get). If not assistance-ships, there will be at least many on-campus part-time jobs that pay you more than your salary in India — these are easy to get, especially since you are in Computer Science — there will be many openings like computer technician, web programmer etc.

    1. There is no age-limit for studies. Some students are married; and some are even in their 50’s and 60’s 🙂

  15. AM RAVI

  16. hey karthik , good you convinced your parents and following your dream, but i am in the same situation right now, i am a last year computer engg student placed at an MNC and has made a good offer with no bonds, also i am keen on appearing fr GRE in feb2013 whch is ma last sem, bt i am cnfusd tat wether i shld go fr US immediatley aftr graduation or aftr 1 yr of job.U seem to b pretty clear n going fr US, bt hw abt wrkng 1 yr and makng sum money and experience bfre leavng fr US

    1. If the MNC is among the category of ‘In, Ta, Co, Wi, Cap’ just ignore that u r placed and start planning for Masters.If the MNC yu r placed is better than that i mentioned, think logically and take a wise decision..Gd luck!

  17. hi karthik …………..nw i’m really out of the ambiguity that was in……..and nw will be making my dreamz true

  18. Dear Friend, Congratulations on your decision but this story is not new to you it was the same with me and many Indian Students who have not completed 2 but 7 years of work experience. I am happy I did take the decision and come here since I am pursuing my Masters in MIS.

    All the best,


    1. its good to hear that you took the right step but i have a little question how are you financing your studies? is it easy to pursue your study’s on your own by doing a part time?

  19. Good article , the best thing you did was to write GRE.
    Even I worked for an MNC for 2 years , forget the salary part, even the quality of work was hopeless.
    I have just started my MS in computer science , its just been a month and I am getting to learn so many things .

    Anyways , choose universities carefully and apply, also
    prepare well for your visa interview.

    Good luck

  20. i failed to understand why you didn’t manage to save anything even after earning so much in india? if one lives in own ( ie parents’ ) house, he can happily spend 5k ( 2k for foods + 3k for misc like newspaper, gas, electricity, public transport, dth, tel / mob, medicine, etc ). it seems that you are a poor manager of your finances.

  21. Hey Guys…

    Please suggest me can I do MS without having any Exp. My prob. is that I don my B.Tech. in 2007 and after that I didn’t work anywhere. So can I start my career again with MS??


    1. Yes, of-course! Which year you did your B Tech is not at all important. I too didn’t have any work experience when I joined for MS (but having a work experience is slightly preferred over not having any) — you can mention your B Tech projects, workshops/activities achievements etc. in your resume. Neither the universities, nor the companies in US will bother about your age (there are even students of the age of 50’s). They only want to know whether you have the ability to excel at studies/job. Good luck!

  22. That was a courageous decision you’ve taken for Postgrad in US. May God help you in the rest of the journey ahead.

  23. Hi Karthik, I think you have taken wise decision to do job in MNC for 2 years and after that pursuing your MS. Good luck for your future, hope all your dreams will be achieved!!!!!!!!!!!

  24. I completely understand your situation.
    Also, life in US is also not that honky dory as it is made out to me. So come prepared with that mindset.
    All the big buildings, cars, glamour that is portrayed is not something that you will get that easily.

  25. hi guys m a june 2012 passout.though i am preaparing for gre since a month still i have doubts whether my parents wud send to US or not.This halts my preparation from tym to tym.but still m preparing hoping to get a good score and planning to pursue few years later,as the score remains valid ,rite nw m not doing any job so is my decision rite to get a score card nw?frndz reply

    1. Have faith in you that’s vital as of now.. Do take the test and later you can convince your parents if u have good score. All the best. Even I’m 2012 passout..:)

  26. Thanks all 🙂 looking forward to hear from you in the next posts as well

  27. dude im really impressed by the way you overcame your emotional difficulties,
    May i know the Universities u applied & the Admits u received & the Course in which u applied??

  28. Same situation I am facing nowand not ableto getout of this,can u plz guide me?

  29. @ Vivek: Still in the process to apply to universities .. will let u know once i am done

  30. @ Snehal .. What do you mean by same situation.. Is that that you are not able to convince your parents or not able to deciede what to do .. Anyways i will definately help within my domicile.. Do ping me at [email protected]

  31. All the very best. Had to sail on the save boat to convince my family to opt for studies in US. The only difference is I was passed out in June 2012. Had to struggle for their permission to spend the 10000 bugs. Finally the second attempt on GRE was 301, Verbal 149 and Quants 152. Applied to few Univ’s. and waiting for their approval. I wud have taken up my Gre in my 2 nd year of Engg but it had almost taken 3 years to convince the whole family. Waiting for a gud univ. Lets see 🙂

  32. I worked for two years in MNC. But I saved some money over those two years. 6 months after I was into job, after a series of downward and upward spirals, I understood that that’s not for me. I started preparing for GRE while travelling to office cuz my work hours completely dominated my life. My dream of going for higher studies took 1 1/2 years to materialize and there were totally hopeless times; But after 2 years experience in MNC, and another 2 1/2 months later, I am here doing my PG studies, with scholarship. But I’m glad I worked for two years cuz it was a paradigm shift and I came to know what I really wanted out of life and the best part – the savings allowed me to take first step towards everything and I’m proud that my education didn’t burden my family financially!

  33. hello!
    a humble request!everybody who wants to get to USA or anyother country and live there and if they kick you out!
    never ever think to get back here!there is something called loayality!if you have any thing like that in you get back here and do something for you people and Change the things that you dont like!! if not stay there and live your creepy wretched life and never think of your motherland and never ever tell your children about it!

    Thank you!

  34. This is what i was looking for..:). I am planning for Fall 2014. I dont have much idea about preparation. Should i join any coaching classes or prepare by myself?

  35. Hey buddy….

    MNC in india is no greater than studying MS in USA…..there will be problems in the first few months of arrival…..but its worth your life……go for MS

  36. how does the 2 yrs work experience in the mnc help us in M.S. course??? what would be the benefits of the job experience??

  37. Hey guys, I am in my 4th year of my engineering in India. I am planning to pursue MS in engineering management from US but it generally requires 1-2 years of work experience.. If I get admission based on my gre score should I take it or work for 2 years and then go for it

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