Students often reach a crucial crossroad where they have to decide between placements or their studies like pursuing MBA, MS, or taking up a job. This is an extremely important decision where students end up getting confused, which eventually leads to time and resource wastage.
Let us break the dilemma by asking the most fundamental question- “What do I wish to pursue? Whether I have made up my mind to pursue higher studies or I am confused between placement and higher studies?”
1. Higher Studies
If you are sure about pursuing higher studies then start your GRE preparation right away. Aim to wrap up your college shortlisting and aim to appear for GRE/TOEFL at the end of the third year. Make sure you are ready to give the exam by the end of the third year so that you can devote your final year to college interviews and university shortlisting.
Appearing for higher academic exams in the third year itself will always keep you on the safer side. You may either reappear in the fourth year or focus on placement preparation if you wish to pursue a career in programming.
Learn data structures thoroughly and be good at problem-solving in general. Be good at writing error-free and readable code. Focus on Important Core subjects like Operating Systems, Database Management and Computer Networks. Detailed knowledge of Web or Mobile development and brief knowledge of at least one cutting-edge technology: Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Blockchain, Augmented Reality, Virtual Reality, etc works like icing on the cake.
3. Unsure about job or higher studies
Start your journey a little early so that you have enough time to explore other options. Keep preparing for both GRE and Placement. Visit the official websites and check the syllabus content of GRE. For CAT keep practising aptitude, read the newspaper regularly, and be thorough with the techniques of comprehension reading. Aim to give your GRE exam at the end of the third year so it doesn’t bother you and in the final year focus entirely on placements. Once you are done with your higher studies exam, focus entirely on placement preparation.
If you are more aligned towards running a startup of your own by the end of the fourth year, refer to this detailed blog which addresses the key requirements to sustain through the journey of entrepreneurship
In case you aren’t interested in either of the mentioned options and wish to become a freelancer then:
- Decide your domain carefully by analysing its future prospects and your expertise in the field.
- Manage your finances and make sure you have enough resources to sustain till you get your first project.
- Choose your platform. Upwork and Fiverr are highly recommended because of the easy-to-use built-in features that help you get started attracting potential clients immediately.
- It is important to identify how much time every week you can devote to freelance work. Some clients will have quick timelines while others will be looking for long-term developers.
- Once you start getting responses to your pitches, initiate a call with the potential client to discuss the project in detail and share the timeline on how you plan to work with them.
4. Tips that will help you accelerate the deal:
- Design your cover letter that clearly states your qualifications, your previous work experience/projects and how you can help the client achieve his goal.
- Be extremely attentive to the client’s needs and keep sharing your inputs.
- Restate their business goals and clearly identify how you are going to help them succeed in reaching them.
- Start with a lower rate to gain some initial new clients quicker. Later, with each client, raise your rate gradually.
- Create your own website or portfolio to show off your work. This will give clients a reference point for why they should hire you.
5. Handling placements and masters simultaneously
- Learn a language and become comfortable with the syntax. Java/C++ is highly recommended because of Oops support.
- Learn Data structure and algorithms: Refer to this link for more details.
- Learn core subjects like OS, DBMS, CN.
- Create at least two deployed projects maybe a website, a mobile app on playstore or a machine learning model.
- Once you are placement ready, head to CodeStudio and practice company-specific questions.
- Refer to the official syllabus of the exam you are willing to appear for.
- Download the official guide, in the case of GRE you can refer to this.
- Keep practising regularly and appear for mock tests in order to excel at time management.
In your final year, drop your masters preparation completely and focus only on securing a job so that in dire circumstances you will always have a backup.
5. Default path if one is not sure about doing masters
If you’re sure about not pursuing masters then keep working for interviews. Your default option should always be securing a good job. This will eventually help you in understanding your interests in a better way. It will make you more mature and technically sound. You will observe people around you doing the kind of job you will potentially do as an MBA graduate or jobs on advanced technology if you wish to pursue masters in science. It will bring clarity to you whether you want to be the person working on that particular technology in a particular domain.
Once you secured a job. Start your preparation again. Experience counts and it will help you make the right decision.
Frequently Asked Questions
In either case, devote at least one year completely for placement preparation so that if things don’t work your way, you will at least have a job as a backup. Keep practicing data structures and look up opportunities to apply for. You can refer to this blog for more details about the off campus recruitment process.
GRE mainly comprises Verbal Reasoning, Quantitative Reasoning and Analytical Writing measure. Visit the official ETS preparation guide at ets.org.
For GMAT/ other business school exams, you need to ace the following sub-domains:
1. Analytical Writing Assessment
2. Integrated Reasoning
You may also refer to the official GMAT resources and download the free E-book. For TOEFL/ IELTS, you can find resources on the official ETS website. Apart from these, you can also refer to NoteFull’s tips which are very helpful. For practising mock tests, head to the “Learn Toefl With Daniel” YouTube channel.
Start preparing along with your job and appear for the exam once you feel confident. Spare time before/after work hours and on weekends to appear for mock tests.
In any case, securing a good-paying job in the field of your interest should be your prime focus. Prepare for GRE/CAT either before a final year or after getting a job. In the final year focus solely on data structures and algorithms, practice regularly on CodeStudio, and study the core subjects of your domain.
For further queries, head to Coding Ninjas where you can have a chat with our counselor and get proper guidance.
By Jyotsna Tiwary