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As I entered the final year of my studies at Delhi School of Economics, I had to make a decision – where do I want to pursue my post-grad? I was really confused. I wanted to study international business. There is IIFT in Delhi itself, which offers specialized postgraduate programs in international business. But I also wanted international exposure, before I settled down into one job.

With all the confusion, I went to Mr. Bhatia. Mr. Bhatia runs a consulting firm for small businesses, with offices in New Delhi and Manchester. He is a family friend and himself a graduate of the London School of Economics. Initially, I thought that his opinion will be biased since he himself went for a post-grad outside India. On the contrary, he walked me through a very objective analysis for making the right decision.

I will be starting with my Masters in Financial Economics at Said Business School very soon. So I thought, the world deserves to know the right framework for making the right choice. If you are a student who is stuck between choosing an Indian post-grad versus a foreign post-grad, this step-by-step decision-making process will help you. This is the exact same framework that Mr. Bhatia helped me with:

Where do you want to be in 5 years?

The first time Mr. Bhatia asked me this question I was a bit taken aback. First of all – it’s a really clichéd question. But it’s a cliché for a reason, as I got to know later. Second – I did not have a clear idea about it. Here’s the thing – whatever you decide about your five-year plan, does not have to be written in concrete. All you have to decide is where do you want to be. The path to that destiny will change as situations come and go.

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Mr. Bhatia told me about the reasons that made him choose LSE a decade ago. After having decided on these reasons, I couldn’t have agreed more with his conclusions. Here are the reasons why you should consider a post-graduation outside India:

  1. You want a degree that is recognized globally.
  2. You want to build expertise in a niche area that might not be offered in India.
  3. The program you are targeting outside India provides better returns on investment.
  4. You want to have a global career.

I was very clear on the fact that I wanted a global career and an association with an educational brand of global repute. So, I decided to pursue a post-grad outside India.

Understand the cost of attendance, in both monetary and economic terms.

Honestly, after I was done with the first step, I didn’t even want to get into further analysis. But Mr. Bhatia insisted. He said that understanding the costs would give me a more complete picture. This step helped me understand what I was really paying in economic terms to get the global education I wanted.

Apart from the tuition and the living expenses, you will be incurring these costs when you go outside India for your masters:

  1. You will miss out on networking with your peers in India. There are quite a few Indian students in almost every post-grad program globally; but, you will have to come back and build a network from scratch if you want to work in India right after your program is over.I was sure I did not want to work in India in the short-run. So, I did not worry about this point.
  2. If all you want to do is start a business – you might have to think harder. Do you have a product/service, a business plan and a profitable market in mind? If you answered with a resounding ‘yes’ to each of these questions, it would make more sense for you to start a business instead of putting the same money in fees and expenses of a foreign post-grad program.I knew I wanted to start a business but I had no clue when, where or how. So, the money I could’ve used in starting a mediocre business went into making an excellent investment in my personal growth.
  3. If you are working in India, you will be foregoing the salary for the time you spend in the post-grad program. Since I was about to graduate, I did not have to worry about it.
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Have a look at the economic climate in your about to be home country.

After I got admitted into Oxford, my dad was concerned about Brexit and potential job opportunities after it. He said the entire banking system was moving out of London. I have been here for over a year and a half now, hardly a few thousand jobs have gone overseas.

People will always overestimate or underestimate the economic climate in a country. Mr. Bhatia connected me to one of his friends in England who helped me understand the ground reality. I would suggest you do the same.

If the program you are going for is delivered by a globally renowned university like Oxford University in England or Harvard in the USA or the University of Toronto in Canada – you will be able to get a job irrespective of the economic volatility. But just to get a clearer picture, go to a job portal like LinkedIn, Monster or Indeed and see the openings in the industry you’re targeting.

In Conclusion

If you are able to get yourself in a globally renowned university and can afford the monetary costs – I would strongly recommend you to go for it. My education outside of India has changed the way I think. A global perspective with a multi-cultural exposure will usually outweigh all the costs one might have to incur for it.

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