Fresh Graduates’ Dilemma: What after graduation – PG, MBA or Job?

I have been frequently asked this question from students. In fact, this is the question in everyone’s mind. I also faced the same dilemma during the final year of graduation. In this article I have tried to explain how to tackle this dilemma by asking a few counter questions to ourselves.

You should only be confused when you have more than two options in your hand

Let me begin with what all of us want. We want a good career. At the beginning placement/job offer and initial salary is the biggest criteria to decide on a good career. This is the only thing we look after any formal education. When we don’t get this we look for higher study. Here we should be a little bit cautious. All higher education is not a job guarantor. It may end up in spending huge money, 2 yrs of time and no outcome.

Students generally share the following dilemma and not able to decide on what they should choose.

What should I choose after graduation – MBA or PG??
This would be a very wide question. I will answer it in two parts
1.       Area of interest: If you are interested in making a career in food tech, then you should go for PG. If you are interested in a management role – marketing, finance, supply chain etc. then go for MBA. But, here don’t confuse with good future v/s interest. I am entirely talking about interest.

2.       Which institute you are going to? The brand of the institute matters a lot. It’s not a degree, it is the brand of the institute which helps one to get the first job. You might have noticed, I am using word PG not MSc or M. Tech. Because it does not matter, what degree you are taking, what matters is from where you are taking a degree. Remember IIM doesn’t give masters degree rather gives a diploma. If you do either PG or MBA from not so good colleges, this would be of no use. There are dozens of colleges providing PG in food tech and thousands are for MBA. We cannot compare any MBA with any PG. For e.g., we cannot compare MBA from IIMs, XLIRI or other top 10 colleges with PG of lower end PG colleges. Similarly, you cannot compare career paths with PG in CFTRI, UDCT, NIFTEM and other top PG colleges with an MBA from any low-end MBA colleges.Many time students ask which college is better for PG? Unfortunately, there are no such ratings of Food Technology College as you would get for MBA and engineering colleges. But, as I mentioned earlier, to be very frank prime aim of any higher education is to have a better career. So, one of the criteria for selection of a college should be how is job placement there and/or how easily

What should we go for – PG or Job
This dilemma should only come when you have both the options in your hand. Confusion is only when there are more than one option. Many times students have approached me saying they are confused – “what should I do – job or PG?”. When I ask detail of both the options, I come to know that they don’t have anything in hand. So, you should not get confused with hypothetical options.

Here the approach would be different and many times very personal also. First thing you should remove from your mind – you are not doing PG to enhance your knowledge (if you are already graduate in food). After PG also you are going to search for job. Now to answer the question – PG or Job, I would like to give the following scenario
1.       You want to do PhD in future then YES you should go for PG
2.       You have done UG from not so known college and don’t have any job in hand, you can go for PG
3.       You have done UG from not so known college and have a job offer in hand and also a PG seat in a college. In this case, you should try to follow the following decision matrix.

Nature of Job offer (in terms of company, salary, profile)Type of Institute
(In terms of job placement, infrastructure, faculty etc)
Financial condition (to afford PG)Your decision
Not so goodGoodGoodPG
Not so goodNot so goodNot so goodJob
GoodNot so goodGood/Not so goodJob
GoodGoodGoodDiscuss with friends/ family and seniors
GoodGoodNot so goodDiscuss with friends/ family and seniors
** The views expressed above are entirely based on my experience and should not be taken as universal rule 

Which sector/department of food the industry is good for a career?

Don’t be choosy in your first job. Get whatever you are getting

This question always strikes the mind of every fresher which sector of the food industry would ensure a better career. They always ask me whether to go to the beverage industry or the confectionery industry or bakery industry to have a better career. They also get confused about which department in the food industry is a good choice – R&D, Production or Quality.              

My only answer to this is “Don’t be choosy in your first job. Get whatever you are getting”. The biggest achievement after completion of degree is to get a job. You can further change your profile, department, and sector as per your capabilities and interest.