Shiksha Opinion: The better choice for engineering students - MBA or MS abroad?

4 mins read1.0L Views 281 Comments
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jun 7, 2021 16:29 IST
MBA or MS abroad?

It’s a coincidence that I am a study abroad specialist at Shiksha and have a social circle where most are considering or already are studying abroad. This means that I get to interact more with people who are looking at broader education avenues than what is available in India. Interacting with friends and experts has added depth to my understanding of the psyche of a typical student.

While the JEE season is on, I thought it would be the perfect timing to understand the ambitions of engineering students. IITs being the premier institutes in India, still do not find a place in the top engineering colleges in the world. Yet the demand for engineers of Indian origin remains high, as far as employment opportunities in foreign countries are concerned. To get a grasp of what motivates a student to study or work abroad, we first need to understand the typical career path of an engineer.

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Amit Jain, director, Scholars Abroad Consulting says, “In my opinion, MS courses or MBA courses abroad adopt a practical approach towards studies that helps a student to look out for real-life solutions rather than theoretical ones”. He further adds, “Through a recognized international degree a student can gain access to job opportunities in other countries that would otherwise not have been possible through a degree in his/her home country.”

Typically, a student after finishing his B.Tech from a premier college has two options to consider; either to continue his education or to enter the job arena. Of course, the ultimate goal of every student is to get employed, but the course of that journey is different for everyone. The options open to students after finishing B.Tech are:

  1. Go for MS immediately
  2. Work for some years and then apply for MS
  3. Opt for MBA from India (with or without work experience)
  4. Work for some years and then consider MBA abroad (or without work experience)

Those who are willing to wait a few years, try and get placed after B.Tech, and work for three to four years to ultimately apply at some premier international B-school. They manage to get the crucial work experience, plus the savings from the job help in self-funding their further studies. Some schools even offer MBA without work experience. Read: Top Countries to Study MBA without Work Experience

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Work experience isn’t necessary for pursuing MS. One doesn’t need to wait after B.Tech and can apply immediately to any premier college. That is the popular trend among students, but there are some who choose to work for one or two years before continuing with education. The reasons are again primarily financial, as students want to have a safety net in place.

Further reading

A close friend once mentioned that there is no right or wrong choice between MS and MBA. It’s all about the personal inclination of a student. Those who want to specialise in a particular field will go for an MS. Those who are looking for faster career advancement go for an MBA. In the corporate world, it is really difficult to get hold of a managerial position without an MBA degree. This is the reason why many people take a sabbatical from their high paying jobs; to get higher paying jobs.

A colleague of mine had a different take on this. In her circle, most have opted for an MS as it’s more affordable and the scholarships are easily obtainable. The same can’t be said for MBA which is one of the most expensive courses in all the countries, and the scholarships are highly competitive. I agree with this thought process where students are more focused on input and investments. An MS would be a better option in such a case. Saying this, I also know a few people who focus more on the output; a better paying job and increased career mobility. MBA is the course of choice for this school of thought.

Another way of comparing these two degrees is that a student holding MS degree may still require an MBA if he’s looking to hold a managerial post, whereas, a student with an MBA may not necessarily need an MS.

The more we delve into the topic, the clearer the realization we have that the better choice is the one which is in sync with the career map of the student. For someone with academic inclinations, MS is the best option; and if the aim is to quickly climb the corporate ladder, then MBA is the best option.

Additional Readings:

Life in a US campus: What is it like to do an MS or Ph.D.?

Study in the US: Best Alternatives to an MBA Degree

12 Most Affordable MS colleges in the US

About the Author
Rahul Singha
Study Abroad Expert

With over 8 years of experience in overseas education, Rahul Singha has been previously associated with prominent education houses. He is also responsible for keeping a sharp eye on education policies of major study... Read Full Bio



I had completed my bachelor's in E&TC engg. and I have more than 8 years of experience. which degree I can persue MBA or MS in Tech management or MIS? I was looking for bussiness insite without loosing my core tech knowledge.

Reply to Indrayani Yadav


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Indrayani. Choosing a course involves many factors such as interests, future plans and past academic records. Hence, you should discuss this with a career counsellor. you can visit our website to know about the popular universities to pursue courses abroad.

Hi,am completed my b tech in ece course which country is better to do ms regarding less cost of living and less tution fee without any entrance exams please suggest me

Reply to Thiru Narahari


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Thiru. You can check out our article on the most affordable countries to study abroad here:


Ganesh Kale


Hi, I am last year student of B.E.(IT) and planning to persue MS abroad. So should i go immediately after graduation or get some experience here in IT industry and then go. What should i do ? Please guide me.

Reply to Ganesh Kale


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Ganesh. This would entirely depend on your preferred university. If they require you to have work experience for your preferred course, you should go ahead and get yourself that work experience before applying. If work experience is not mandatory, go ahead with the course.

Hi, I did my Btech in mechanical engineering but I am working in IT companies for last 4 years now and planning to persue MBA. What should be the next step for me?..Can you please guide me.

Reply to Adarsh Tiwari


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Adarsh. In a nutshell. You could look up some of the top universities offering MBA programmes. You can look at the university profile, ranking, course structure, fee structure, scholarships. then you could go ahead and check out the stay back period as part of your ROI. and then go ahead an...Hello Adarsh. In a nutshell. You could look up some of the top universities offering MBA programmes. You can look at the university profile, ranking, course structure, fee structure, scholarships. then you could go ahead and check out the stay back period as part of your ROI. and then go ahead and follow the university application process. You can also get in touch with our counsellors for more information on the university application process. Check out Popular MBA universities abroad here: Get in touch with our counsellors here:

Hi, I have completed my BTech (CS) with 73%. I have 1.4 years of experience working in the IT sector. I want to pursue MS from abroad. Which country is suitable for me? Also, how much do I need to score in GRE/ GMAT to get a scholarship?

Reply to Prikanksha Maheshwari


Rahul SinghaStudy Abroad Expert


Hello Prikanksha. You can check out top MS Universities abroad in the links provided below. Prikanksha. You can check out top MS Universities abroad in the links provided below.
About GRE/GMAT requirements. this is subjective to every university/scholarship requirement. You can check scholarships for studying abroad here:

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