Is it better to write GRE and study in foreign or prepare for GATE and study in India?

Answer by Jamboree Education:

This is a question that has been asked of us thousands of times over the two decades that we’ve been in this field, and a lot of different kinds of people have asked it to us.
We would like this answer to benefit as many people as possible, so we will try to answer it from many different points of view, and give different cases that will, hopefully, cover every possible eventuality.

If you are very interested in a high-quality research career, you should prepare for GRE and go abroad
Research is one big area where the US is streets ahead of India: a graduate degree abroad will provide you access to higher funding, more diverse projects, more meaningful projects, better opportunities for networking, and high private sector participation in research – something which makes it more lucrative by definition.
This is not to say that research in India is dead, or that no one can do good research in India. However, it is definitely true that the US and Europe provide a research environment that multiplies the probability that you will be able to become a respected researcher in any field.

If you want to increase your potential pay package throughout your career, prepare hard for the GRE and go abroad
In the short term, there is a salary differential. The median salary of those taking up jobs after an MS abroad is usually 5 times (or more) than the median salary of those taking up jobs after an MTech in India. In the medium to long term, a foreign MS can open up gates to work in different foreign geographies or to grow quicker in a career; both of these will result in increased pay opportunities as compared to someone who has completed a graduate degree in India.
Again, these are valid when we are comparing apples to apples and are talking about the average student in either course. The probability of a higher salary if you have done your graduate degree abroad is higher.

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If you have family commitments or extreme financial constraints, it might make sense to give the GATE and stay in India
A graduate degree abroad is a big commitment, and will require you to spend substantial and sustained time and effort on it – both from the point of view of keeping up with your class, and from the perspective of adjusting to a brave new world. Because of both the expense and the time lost, frequent trips back home will probably not be a regular feature of your foreign MS. Therefore, if you need to satisfy certain commitments at home, or if the funding you are able to get is not sufficient, a foreign degree might be difficult.
However, it is not true that the cost is a hurdle for many who aspire to study abroad for their graduate education. The multiple funding opportunities available – teaching and research assistantships, in addition to university and institutional scholarships and on campus jobs – make it possible, in most cases, to complete all financial requirements.

If you want to fast track your career in an international setting, you should definitely go abroad
If you have always wanted to be a cross-continental professional, who is easily able to work in any cultural setting, a graduate degree abroad gives you many advantages. For example, you are easily able to work with diverse teams once you have spent a couple of years abroad, and practised how to do just that. In addition, many international companies have an international graduate degree as part of their CV screening criteria, so that gives you an edge if you have gone the GRE route.
Many Indian graduate degrees lead abroad, as well, but the path is less direct: most graduates have to complete a few years in an Indian office before moving abroad, and they will always be a few years behind, career wise.

If you want all-round development and a quantum leap up from your undergraduate experience, you should give the GRE and apply to graduate studies abroad
The graduate degree abroad confers many benefits over and above mastery of one field: it teaches perseverance, academic honesty, independence, resourcefulness, professional networking, and the ability to balance work and life. In many ways, it is like a finishing school, where students get the final coat of polish to become full-fledged, successful professionals.
If you have completed your undergraduate studies from India, you will inevitably see similarities between that experience and that in a postgraduate program in India. Of course, emphasis on academics and access to research facilities is higher, but the environment is not comparable to that abroad – where it is simultaneously fun and conducive to academic achievement of the highest kind.

If you are interested in a career with the Government of India in a technical role, either option is equivalent, with GATE having a slight edge
Some students have specific goals in terms of what they want to do post a graduate degree, and we will take one example here. We have talked to many who want to take up a quintessentially Indian job – for example, a career in DRDO – and they often have the misconception that an Indian graduate degree is the only way in. This is not true – many who have completed an MS abroad work for the Government in various capacities; their strong qualifications are often welcomed with open arms. On this parameter, there is very little to choose between the two options.

If you want to settle with a lower work input but lower reward option, you could choose the GATE and a domestic degree
It is definitely harder work to aspire for and achieve a graduate degree – from test taking to selection, the procedure demands greater dedication and greater time input. On the other hand, the expected benefit of a graduate degree is also much higher – from a career and transformational point of view. The choice is finally up to you – if you cannot currently spend the kind of time and resources necessary, you might want to look at the GATE. However, if you want to make it truly big and want to increase your probability of making that happen, we suggest that you do what it takes to make it abroad for your graduate studies.
Overall, most students who want an aspirational, high potential goal choose the route of a foreign MS or PhD degree, and give the GRE as a starting point. Whether or not you fall in one of the categories above, you should definitely talk to a few people who took either the GATE or the GRE route, and find out what their experience was.

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