So your applications were on their way, you were going to hear from admissions soon. You had started collecting documents and all that was left was an admit letter from your dream University. While everything may seem uncertain now, a lot is still happening the world over. If you have paused your study abroad journey and are looking for more information before making a decision — look no more! On your behalf, we spoke to a few Indian STEM students to get their perspective on the current situation.
Through our conversation with them, they spoke extensively on what they foresee happening in the coming year. Their key message, however, was that students should not put their study abroad plans on hold just yet. They highly recommend following through with loans as your funding option. Which is why all of us at Leap Finance are working tirelessly to ensure your study plans are on track, no matter what.
Siddharth Srivastava is an alum from the University of Florida, having graduated with an MS in Computer Science. He is presently working as a Software Development Engineer at Amazon Web Services in Seattle. On the other hand, Keerthi Suresh is presently in his second semester of his MS in Computer Science at the University of Florida.
How has the current global health crisis affected you?
Siddharth Srivastava: I am fortunate to be working for a big software company so it has not affected me much. In my opinion, most Software companies and, in general, roles where work from home is a possibility are capable of pushing through without any layoffs. There is still hiring going on (I can speak for the larger companies, who contact me or my friends on LinkedIn) so I see that as a silver lining.
Keerthi Suresh: I am a Fall 2019 student and will be graduating next year. I was lucky to secure an internship with Amazon’s Seattle office. Till this point of time, I am still scheduled to continue with my internship. There is a chance that I might join remotely as Amazon (and other top companies) are actively encouraging remote working at this stage. Large companies are still recruiting as most of their recruitment process is fully online. Physical events such as career fairs have been canceled. Irrespective students needed to still apply for a job on the online portal and the whole recruitment journey is online.
What is the job market like right now and what do you see happening in the next 12–24 months?
Siddharth Srivastava: Since there are rumours of a recession following the pandemic, it would be interesting to see how the job market looks after 1 or 2 years from now. There are speculations about the steps and actions that startups such as Uber, Lime, Airbnb are going to take to sustain their business and support employees. Though stocks of all companies have been falling, I am yet to see anything too bad. I believe that everything will fall back into place soon.
Keerthi Suresh: The good news is that the big companies are still hiring; they’re still on the looking for newer and fresher talent and staying strong through this crisis. Yes, smaller businesses are suffering slightly and have put hiring on hold for now. While I am not an expert myself, seeing the trend and looking at the news, I think the job market will be stable in the next 12–14 months.
Is Fall 2020 a good time to attend Masters in the US?
Siddharth Srivastava: I am inclined to say yes, though I don’t have an expert opinion, it’s just my feeling.
Keerthi Suresh: If students are looking to study abroad this Fall 2020 and if things are looking better by the month-end, then they should go ahead with their initial plans. There is no “right time” to do your Masters.
Is it a safe bet to invest in MS in the US with a loan in the current situation?
Siddharth Srivastava: Speaking from software engineering point of view, definitely yes!
Keerthi Suresh: Yes!
Any advice for students looking to attend Fall 2020?
Siddharth Srivastava: The key is to stay positive and keep doing what you are. After all, this too shall pass.
Keerthi Suresh: I think now is the time to scale up your research and really get into the nitty gritties of your course. Just be prepared.
Admissions are still underway. Hirings are on track. Companies are recruiting interns and full-time employees. Yes, the manner in which the market takes shape in the next few months is destined to change but an upswing is expected.