This is easily the biggest dilemma for people thinking of doing M Tech from IITs. I am frequently bombarded with questions which go: "I am a B. Tech CS graduate who has an offer of n Lakhs per annum from XYZ company, should I go it or should I go for M. Tech". However frequently this question might be asked, unfortunately it has no simple answer. The answer to it is extremely subjective and too personal for me to even make any suggestion. However in this post, I will discuss things that can help one make a decision one way or the other. Most of the points would perhaps be a repetition of what I have said in my previous posts, but anyways, I will reiterate them here.
Note: Please take the views expressed in this post with a grain of salt. These are my views and you may or may not agree with them.
M. Tech is not that badAs I have tried to explain in my previous posts, M. Tech from IIT doesn't mean that you will end up doing teaching in some college. Placements for M. Tech CS can be very good, it all depends on how much you take it seriously. So if you are worried that doing mtech will mean you will have to sacrifice on your career, that is not correct. Refer the placements section of my post on Computer Application, IIT Delhi
M. Tech is very demandingDont forget that M. Tech is not easy, at least if you plan to do it well. You have to put in a lot of hard work and you have to study a lot. Make sure you are prepared for such a commitment for a period of two years. If not, perhaps its better you take a break from academics and go for a job for a few years and then come back again with a fresh mind set.
Set you prioritiesWhat is your principal aim for going for M. Tech? If it is just that you want a higher salary, then I think there is something wrong. You should NOT be going for mtech. I am not saying you will not get a good salary after M. Tech, but that is not the correct way to approach it. Your primary aim should be research or interest in academics or working for a core CS company like Google/Amazon/MS/Adobe etc. If you are only concerned about salary, then you can get that by working hard for two years in an IT company or going for an MBA (which, lets face it, has a lot of demand in IT sector).
Remember, IITs are a research institute, and you are joining a research institute at masters level, so it wont make much sense if you are not interested in research.
Mtech vs 2 years work-exA lot of people ask me whether its worth sacrificing two years of work experience for doing mtech. If you think about it, 2 Yrs of work-ex is a "cost" you are paying for doing mtech. It is the cost you pay for getting opportunity to appear for placements at IITs, for getting opportunities to study under some of the best professors in the country and for getting better opportunities for Phd later on. Also you get an additional degree which you dont get after doing job for two years. What you need to decide is whether you are getting enough in return for the "cost" that you are paying. If you have done reasonably well in mtech, you shouldn't be at least lagging behind people who went for job for two years, and if you have done really well, you could be way ahead.
Are you in a position to take risksIf you have a job in hand, and you plan to go for M. Tech, all said and done, you are taking a risk. You are risking your two years of job security for better prospects in future. What you need to decide is whether you are in a position to take such a risk. Your financial obligations and commitments to yourself and to your family come into picture here.
Take your timeWho says you have to decide whether you want to do M. Tech or not as soon as you step out of engineering college. If you have a job offer and are not sure if higher studies is good for you, take your time. Take the job. Work for a year or two. See if you are satisfied with the job. After a couple of years service, you would be in a better position to decide between job and mtech. People say that once you get into a job, its hard to quite and go for higher studies. I dont agree completely. If you are really made for research, you will one day definitely get bored with the monotonous work given by IT companies.
Hope the discussion helps. The whole point of writing this blog is to help people make an informed decision about going for M. Tech.
For more information about M. Tech, refer my post Is it worth doing M. Tech at IIT