Why should I sit for GATE instead of other career options?
Conventionally GATE has been the most preferred option for majority of the engineering students. But nowadays some other career options are soaring high alongside. Many students are choosing MBA and GRE and many others are opting for taking a decent job through campus recruitment.
However, it does not reflect the fact that the prospects of qualifying the examination are questionable. If anyone has the desire to work in core sector, pursuing Masters from IITs or IISc is most suitable for him or her. Of course that is also possible with B.Tech degree only but getting an offer from a very good company is tougher for B.Tech. students and sometimes M.Tech degree adds extra value to your profile and makes you a more experienced and competent person for that field. So the students who dreams to be an engineer working in research and development sector should consider GATE seriously as the preferred option.
Job security and work life balance are the two important issues for the career of a professional. Life is not too short, an engineer has to spend almost 38 years or more in his working life and hence stability is very crucial for long term effect. PSU jobs are the best if one talks about job security and work life balance. Posting may be at small towns but very often the PSUs have their own townships at the sites and the amenities are offered there to the employees. For that very reason, trend is towards PSUs nowadays. Apart from that, one can also get into state owned research institutes like DRDO and BARC (ISRO conduct separate examination which has almost same syllabi and pattern like GATE) to obtain job security and core job provide simultaneously.
GATE is also valuable for pursuing career abroad. If you complete your M.Tech from IITs or IISc, you will have very good opportunities to get admission offer from American and European universities with GRE and TOEFL (or IELTS) scores. For non IITians (in B.Tech), the masters from IIT or IISc always makes your profile far better and raise your chances of getting good admission offers. Adding to that, top universities from Asia (National University of Singapore, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore etc) offer admission through GATE score and from this year onwards GATE will be conducted internationally, attracting greater attention from foreign universities.
I have pointed out the opportunities after you clear the GATE course. You have to choose your right path on your own, critically considering your dreams, your skills, your personality, your health and many other factors. You should not be driven by what others are doing or advising but it should be solely dependent on your desires. But once you chose your option, stick to it and give the best account of yourself in it. If you are not firm and vacillate among multiple options, you will eventually fail to perform to your level best.
Best of luck!