Dear Mentor:

Would it be beneficial to get an MS or MBA?

I already have a Masters degree in Computer Applications (MCA) from India. I am interested in knowing if it is worth doing an MS or MBA in US. If yes, then in what way is it beneficial?

Defining Beneficial, Lawrenceville, New Jersey, US

Dear Defining Beneficial:

The word "beneficial" lacks the context of a purpose. Whether something is beneficial depends on what you wish to do with it. The benefits of an MS or an MBA depend on your ambitions, goals, and interests. Let us propose two dimensions for assessment: personal enrichment through knowledge, and career development.

Your MCA education is not equivalent to a Master's degree in the US. You probably did a 3-year Bachelor's degree in India. Since the Bachelor's degree in the US is of 4-year duration after high school, you need at least the first year of a Master's degree program in India to have education that is equivalent to a Bachelor's degree in the US.

The education in the US offers cutting edge knowledge and hands-on experience with state-of-the-art equipment and facilities. Things that you did not even know about, or at best learned about through textbooks, would be readily accessible to you in the US. We are not saying this to devalue the education of India, but we are being realistic in articulating the reality. Moreover, the MCA degree from India, the equivalent of which does not exist in the US, is of a fairly narrow scope.

The system of education is different in the US from that in India. The flexibility allows the student to custom-design the program to some extent, affording the opportunity to explore and pursue personal interests. The professor-student interaction, inside and outside the classroom, is much healthier. The diversity of students - being from different countries and cultures, and speaking different languages - is another part of the learning process. No question that you would learn a lot from a Master's in the US, thereby enriching yourself as a person.

If you intend to stay in the US and seek employment, a degree from the US would be valued more highly than one in India, unless your education in the past is from such prestigious institutions as the Indian Institutes of Technology (IIT) or Indian Institutes of Management (IIMs).

A Master's in Computer Science is perhaps the only degree you can pursue in the US, besides an MBA. An MS in CS can open the doors to lucrative careers in programming, system design, and analysis. An MBA degree would offer the knowledge and skills in management. Should you wish to pursue a management career, an MBA would stand you in good stead.

Whether an MS or an MBA in the US, or any further education from anywhere for that matter, is beneficial to you is your judgment. The decision is yours, and yours alone.

Dear Mentor: Mainpage More Questions and Answers


   Search Help

Tell a friend about this webpage!