Making a choice after Graduating — Academia Vs. Industry
Whether to do Higher Studies or go for a Job?
It has been quite a while since I have reached the last semester of my BSc. Engineering (Hons.) degree in Computer Science in Engineering. As the careers day is nearing, I was debating with myself about what I truly wanted to do; whether to sit in front of a computer and code while I get paid a decent salary and develop a good career, or reach out for academia where I can do higher studies and specialize in a field of my interest. As you would have expected, I did some reading and talked with people in the field. In this article, I would like to share a few points I learned when it comes to deciding what to do after graduating.
Who you are and what you want
Choosing between doing higher studies and doing a job is purely a personal choice. It primarily depends on where your actual interest lies, what you truly like to do and what you plan on doing in the future.
First of all you should identify what type of a person you are. You may be a person who loves to mess with code and enjoys developing software, or on the other hand, you may be a person who is not that much into coding but loves doing research and specialize in trending fields. So first of all, you should figure out what kind of a person you are; whether you are more of a code lover or more of a research lover; whether you want to join the industry and build a career or you want to do higher studies and engage in more research.
It is better to plan ahead rather than merely wait for things to happen in your life. You may have an innovative idea you want to market and you plan to have your own startup. You may want to develop a career, climb up the career ladder and be a top executive in the industry. On the other hand, you may want to devote your knowledge and expertise towards the development of the field while enhancing your own knowledge as well. You may love teaching while helping others enhance their knowledge and skills.
After spending nearly 4 years in university and 6 months as trainees in the industry, it is high time that you have figured out what your passion is and what your actual interest is. This is very important because, if you make the wrong decision, you will regret the rest of your life. This will be the turning point of your life where you will decide what you will be doing for the rest of your life. You can switch in between later, but you will regret the time you wasted doing what you were not passionate about.
Academia Vs. Industry
Academia — Master Researcher
Joining academia after graduating, will be the best option if you love to do research and feel that you need to pursue in a specialized field. You can become a research student and prepare your background for higher studies. You can spend one or two years to do research and learn about the new trends in the field of your interest. While doing research, you can get acquainted with reputed people from the field and get to know about their work. If you have financial issues, you may be even lucky enough to get a scholarship to do higher studies, depending on the quality of your research.
Even after joining a company, if you want to go for higher studies, you can talk to your company officials at any point. Some companies even pay for your study expenses. If you are truly passionate in doing postgraduate studies such as an MSc or PhD, I would advice to do it as soon as you graduate. It is difficult (but not impossible) to switch back to a student’s life once you get into the industry. However, still it is all about your choice.
Industry — Genius Coder
If you feel you have learned enough and you want to put your skills into action, then the industry is the best place for you. You will get to know how the actual industry looks like and learn about the best industry practices. It is good to get exposed to the industry and get the real life experience, as it will give you a competitive advantage if you plan to pursue higher studies after a few years. It will also give you a chance to see whether you like the career path you have chosen so far.
If you plan on having a startup, first you can get the exposure from the industry and then have your own startup. You will be more successful since you have experienced working in the industry and you know how things happen in the world of software engineering.
What is more appealing is that you will be making money! You can have a decent life as you have money to spend on your needs, without asking from your parents anymore. If you plan on doing higher studies later, you can work for a year or so and then go for higher studies, with your savings.
Follow your Passion
Do what you love, not what others tell you to do. Love what you do, or else you will get fed up with what you do. It is totally up to you to decide what you want to do for the rest of your life. Make sure that you take the right decision, so you can enjoy the rest of your life, without regretting your decisions.
Best wishes for an amazing career!
I hope I was able to shed some light for your decision, if you faced the same problem as I did. Hope you enjoyed and gained something out of my article.
Thank you for reading.