Ideal Job vs Ideal Postgraduate DegreeWatch
In a hypothetical scenario, what would you pick between a one year internship/job in technology, in a Silicon Valley company with grads from the likes of MIT and Stanford, and a self-funded MPhil at Cambridge in a field you are passionate about and feel would be useful in the future?
Looking forward to hearing some answers.
An internship, I believe that you will learn more from actually doing a job in a specific area; rather than learning theoretical aspects about a job you would like to do in the future. However, there are aspects to consider such as what the job market is looking for. Whilst searching for a job (web programming based) I found that a large number were more interested in years of experience and technical ability instead of an actual degree. Some still look for degrees and there are plenty of graduate schemes. If you would like a bit of both, a large number of degrees in technology offer sandwich courses; assuming you get a good placement, people will have experience as well as the paper to prove competency. Both paths completely depend on the amount you learn really.
If life is about getting onto the job conveyor belt and rotting away in the hope that you might have saved a bit of money for a depressing retirement, then yes - go to Silicon Valley, work your arse off and hope you don't burn out by 30. However, if life is about doing what you feel is the right thing and enjoying it to the max, then the Cambridge PhD is a no brainer. From graduation to retirement is a long time and getting a gold plated internship is not necessarily the golden ticket it may appear to be. There is a lot to be said for going with a gut instinct so in this case, I would do that.
Good luck in whichever hypothetical decision you make.