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It can be a little daunting to finish your under graduation and find that there is a still a lot more work to be done before you finally settle into your career. Here is a list of options, with their pros and cons, that students can consider.

It is not uncommon to find young Bachelor of Dental Surgery (BDS) graduates in India wondering what options lie ahead of them now that they have completed their course. In fact, the question of "options after BDS in India" is on most students' mind long before they actually end up graduating.

Now that a lot of "fly by night" colleges have mushroomed all over the country — and literally anyone can walk in and get admission into a dental college — this question is more important now than ever. The facilities at many of these dental colleges are atrocious and the quality of students passing out likewise. This booming industry of questionable colleges has led to a decrease in trust of young doctors that have stopped their education after completing their BDS.

The scope of jobs after BDS is also quite gloomy, as students will be well aware of already. Hospital jobs for BDS graduates are close to non-existent and only a paltry salary (akin to pocket money) is on offer for jobs under established dentists.

This brings us back to that question again. What exactly are the options for students after completing their BDS in India?

Option 1 after your BDS in India: Pursue your MDS  

A master's degree is no longer seen as ‘’higher education’’ — but is in fact fast becoming the minimum qualification that you need to have to be considered worthy of hiring. It is our advice to every student who has completed their BDS in India to consider pursuing their MDS degree as their next step. The advantages of this higher degree are many-fold.

Not only do doctors gain valuable clinical expertise that will help them in real-life situations as they pursue their MDS, they also become eligible for teaching jobs in any number of dental colleges around the country. Currently, a much smaller number of colleges offer an MDS degree than those offering a BDS, so there is still some semblance of quality control in this area.

There is also currently a race to establish standardized chains of dental clinics, much like hospital chains found all over the world, and these ‘’branded clinics’’ also offer good salaries to doctors who have completed their MDS degree. If you complete your MDS, your career options within India will widen.

Option 2 after finishing your BDS in India: Pursue a career abroad

Choosing to pursue a career abroad is a popular option for many BDS graduates, and it is easy to see why. Dentistry is one of the highest-paid professions, with excellent working hours abroad. Countries like the USA, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom offer excellent opportunities to students that can get admissions.

Some of the hurdles that might hold students who have recently completed a BDS back are the uncertain global political climate that has led immigration to become more difficult, and the cost of education that means most students will need to take on hefty loans just to be able to complete their education.

While Indians are generally good at speaking English, other languages can be a big hurdle for them if they become immigrants in countries that speak other languages, and that is why non-English speaking European countries have a much lower number of applicants. Should you wish to pursue this option, that might give you a much-needed edge.

Plenty of organizations in India can help students regarding the application process for applying to colleges abroad.

Option 3: Study abroad and come back to India  

For students that do not like the idea of settling down abroad or wanting to repeat a large part of their education, completing a post-graduate course in another country and coming back to India after is an excellent option. The costs involved in these courses is generally much lower. The admission process is also much easier for post-graduate courses, and a genuine jump into the kind of skills being obtained is possible.

These courses, which confer an MS degree, are carried out in most countries around the world. For an Indian student, this means that they could have a certification from one of the top universities in the world when they come back — significantly broadening the scope of their further career options.

To be clear, though, this degree is not officially recognized by the Dental Council of India, however, professionals in the field recognize the kind of skills that such post-graduate degrees confer. This makes getting high paying college jobs impossible but you immediately become more hirable to hospitals and big-chain dental clinics.

Getting work as a specialist consultant in clinics is also possible after completing your MS from a good university abroad. Consider an MS in Implantology or Endodontics as they are some of the most sought after fields in the profession, both right now and in the future.

Option 4: Hospital Management after BDS

A popular option for students that complete their BDS in India is to switch career paths and do an MBA. This is an excellent option for anyone who does not relish the thought of performing dental treatment for the rest of their life.

The healthcare field in India is slated to grow at an astronomical pace over the next few years as modern facilities crop up all over the country. These facilities are run by professional managers, and having a background in medicine can be a big advantage for those people who are interested in a career in hospital management.

It is important again to get admission into a reputed MBA college so that jobs are not hard to come by after you finish the course. Like in dentistry, there are many colleges which will promise you an MBS degree but no actual education.

Conclusion

There is also the obvious option of starting your own clinical practice, something that we recommend to people from some of the more rural places in India since dental facilities are not as easily available over there, and you can offer valuable skills that will always be in demand in rural areas.

Regardless of what option you go for, remember that quality education and skill enhancement will always pay off in life.