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Its that time again - Decisions!

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    Its that time again - Decisions!

    Hey all,
    well some of you might have gotten used to me by now asking for advice and opinions but hey thats what this forum is for haina!...

    NEWays, its helpful to have someone else's input.

    Ok here's the deal...
    within the upcoming thre months or lets say by the end of this year, I have to make MAJOR decisions about the next 4-5 years of my life. I have mor choices than I had three months before and more the choices, more the confusion and hence me asking for opinions.

    A lil background... I'm graduating with a B.Sc. in Software Engineering and Mathematics and have quite a bit of work-experience in internet consulting. Also this summer, I've had the opportunity to represent Canada as the NSF Scholar and developed tools in Speech Technologies.

    On the outset, I have to choose between:
    a) Going for my Ph.D. : I currntly have two offers namly Hopkins and MIT and this is only bcuz I've worked closely with academia at those Univ. this summer.
    If I do apply, inshaAllah I will have more.

    (This is a 4-5 year undertaking or so)

    b) going for an MS and an MBA.
    (a 3 - 4 year undertaking)

    The dilemma is three-fold:

    1) Its Academia vs. Corporate
    2) Its Respect vs. Money
    3) Its intellectually stimulating resarch oriented environment vs. _____ (I dunno).

    My objective is to go to grad-skule right after my B.S. ... work on the side like I've worked throughout my undergrad studies. Perhaps, the company that I work for would help me support my grad studies etc.

    The offers that I have right now are for scientific research in Spech and Language Engineering and I have to decide about my acceptance within two months to let them know.

    So, help me out here... surely there are more points to consider before I make any choices. I'd appreciate all the advice I can get.
    For reason, ruling alone, is a force confining - and passion, unattended, is a flame that burns to its own destruction - Khalil Gibran


    In my opinion, if u have a BSc (hons) or BS I dont know what do u call it in USA, thats more than enough. When u work in a large organisation they dont really care about any educational skill over a degree (BSc). I myself started Ph.D and worked for nearly a year and then dropped the idea of completing it because I realized that once I would put myself in it then I would be the prisoner of labs and there will be no market value for me. People will called me old school (term used in UK for people with great or too much knowledge) but no one will bother to give me a job apart from Universities where I would be able to get a job as lecturer.

    I would suggest that u get some verstyle education e.g if u have BSc in Engineering then I would suggest MBA with some Engineering component. It will be advantageous if u come in Pre-sales or post-sales consulting business but again in practical life education doesnt matter much its the personal skill set that matters.

    Anyway, decision is yours.


      Alright, i've only just graduated from highschool so wasn't going to say anything, but seeing as no one's said much, here goes.....

      Hmmm Umar u say this decision is gonna affect the next 4-5 years of life, but its going to affect more than that right? Your decision is going to affect the rest of your life, cause one decision is going to take you one way, and the other decision will take you somewhere else, so in that way it will affect you for the rest of your life, because it will influence everything that comes afterwards.

      At my graduation, our valedictorian made a speech and i'm gonna quote from it, she said,Robert Frost once said, “Two roads diverged in a yellow wood,/And sorry I could not travel both/And be one traveler, long I stood.” It’s important to remember that you are only one, but you are still one. You cannot do everything, but you can still do something. And because you cannot do everything you must not refuse the something you can do. ”Two roads diverged in a wood, and I-/I took the one less traveled by,/And that has made all the difference. So I ask you, say ‘I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path; for I will leave a trail.’

      Umar, i think you've got to choose the path, you've got to make the decision that is going to make a difference to you. I mean we all have our wants and we all have our needs. And they are a part of us afterall so you can't ignore them, you have to see them and see what each decision will do for them, right? I think my favourite part of the speech was where she said, 'and because you cannot do everything, you must not refuse to do the something it is you can do.', because it says so much, about the way we are all so minute but then at the same time how whatever we choose to do, we'll still be needed, perhaps in the face of our insignificance in the whole scheme of things.

      Yikes!!! I just read your post over again and you were asking for practical advice *sheepish smile* and i like yapified all this ideological stuff. Heheheh..well i'm not gonna delete it u can suffer through it regardless


        Umar you are comparing apples to oranges here because an MBA vs a PhD will take you in different directions.

        It really depends on what you like to do, and what you see yourself doing. I maintain that in US to get ahead advanced degree is very important because people will give you examples of those that got up high with just a BS or Bsc etc, but for each of that example their are hundreds of those with advanced degrees.

        Top consulting companies like Bain and BCG hire PhD's as well as MBA's but for different reasons, although I know of PhD's that went into cosulting at these places rather than reasearch.

        My suggestion would be leave the PhD at MIT open ended and continue with a career until you are sure of your career direction and what you want to do and what would be the best vehicle for you to get there. On the other hand if you are planning to get hitched in the next few years your decision is more critical because it is fairly hard to be a familyman and be a fulltime student at the same time mostly due to finances, not that its impossible.

        career direction at this point is not set in stone and you will more than likely make changes along the way, but you need to have an understanding of what you want to do, and then figure out what would be the best way to get there, in the meantime if your career goals change you can always adjust your approach.
        The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that... he is gone.


          Malanga.. take a year off and explore the world. Go live in Lahore for a couple of months, take it easy for a while. You have a life ahead of you.