Like all questions similar to this, start off with a more elementary question. What do you want? Engineering job ? or Techno-Managerial job?
If you can answer this question, I would say most of your decision is made.
IES: Engineering Services Exam (ESE)
- Civil servant tag: Earns a lot of respect (misplaced sometimes) in our circles
- Chance to interact with top notch bureaucrats of India.
- Opportunity to travel the country for various conferences
- JOB SECURITY (I personally hate this tag, but it exists. So why not)
- The pride of heading a section with sub-ordinates reporting to you
- The chance to make a difference in the way the things are done in the engineering departments of the government
- The privilege of climbing up the power ladder and getting a status equal to IAS (well, almost but with lesser power and range)
- I don’t think pursuing an engineering masters degree being in an IES cadre makes sense (MBA makes more sense). But, you are allowed to pursue a higher degree of your choice subject to some conditions
ISRO: Indian Space And Research Organization
First of all, huge fan of their work. Only PSU to do something of note with the money they get (apart from DRDO and BARC). People might say this is some cheap ass tech used by others long ago, but ask them “When did you know what is meant by a line follower? US kids learn to code it in sixth standard”. Cut them some slack, they are trying something!
- If you are an aspiring engineer wanting work on real time data and circuits, it is the place for you
- Anyone who is a decent engineer will look at you in awe when you say ISRO
- A chance to work with a monarch in its field
- Numerous chances to pursue further technical education and learn more engineering concepts
- AGAIN, JOB SECURITY (Again, hate it. But, it is what it is)
- Bragging rights – “You know that rocket you saw was launched yesterday, my team had worked on it”
- Chance to interact with some seriously talented people… Not just from our country, but others too
- Chance to go on trips to cool (like literally) places like Norway (not everyone, but still) for conferences
I do not want to burden you with shitty answers like paycheck, facilities and stuff… So, this is what I got!
Both jobs have their own pros and all depends on what you want in your life.Whether is it power and social status or technical work and peaceful life.
PROS OF ISRO: (Cons of IES)
1.You can’t get more technical work anywhere than in ISRO.Trust me some of them work at cutting edge technologies nowhere in INDIA one gets such opportunities.
2.The responsibilities you will be holding will be far lesser than most of the IES officers do for same salary or better salary:).
3.Greater work life balance .You can spend more time with family. At least in most of the cases.
4.There is organisational PRIS(20% basic) and individual PRIS. Not present in IES.
5.There are no transfers an stable posting unless you ask for it.Sometimes even if you want they won’t give it.
PROS OF IES:(Cons of ISRO)
1.The social status and respect of an IES officer is unmatched to an sci/eng in ISRO .You may get vehicle which you can’t dream of in atleast 25 years of service in ISRO.
2.There are no interviews for PROMOTION and it is time based i.e salary won’t get affected. Trust me I have seen who got dropped/delayed promotion since it is performance based in ISRO .(salary gets affect here).
3.You can move to other ministries/departments on deputation basis which is not possible ISRO. You will stuck on same department in most of your career even if you don’t like it in ISRO.
Apart from all these you can always become great by dedication and hardwork in both IES and ISRO.