By Sumanth Palepu
GRE: How to select the right university
To select the right university, one should be sure of the final goal. What is the final goal post doing your MS? Job, of course, and a fat pay cheque. So, remind yourself of this always.
The following factors should be used to select the university
- How good is the University for the Program you are selecting? Here you cannot go by just the university ranking – you should look at the ranking of the university in your field of interest. Certain universities excel in certain fields and you should be aware of this. For example, Duke University is one of the top choices for someone specializing in Bio-Medical Engineering; similarly, Arizona State University is good for Mechanical Engineering and Industrial Engineering.
- Where is it located? Placement is a function of the location. If you are nearer to the main city, and industrial city – you should prefer that, for both the internship opportunity and the final placement opportunity would be great.
- In case you wish to do Masters in Computer Science, you should, for example, prefer to be in the North Eastern side of the US, or in California.
- Mechanical Engineers should prefer Detroit area, in spite of the fact that industrial action has, over the recent years, come down.
- Is it an Urban based University or a Rural based University? One of the objectives of being in the US is to improve your overall personality and a chance to experience the thrills of being in US.
- This exposure would obviously be higher if you go to an urban location. The connectivity, your chance to meet people, and “experience” of the modern lifestyle would be better.
- But, of course, cost would be higher as well.
- What is the composition of student crowd? Avoid universities where the percentage of Asians is too high. This means, the local market is open for Asians to take up jobs; but it can also mean, that it is not a great university.
- What is the total cost? This is an important criterion, but the reason I am mentioning this in the end is, it should not be the first criteria.
- In case the fee is high, you can try looking at universities in a given range of fee, and then basis the above criteria select the right university for you. Also by building a good profile, you can try to reduce the burden by getting financial assistance or even a scholarship.Here, you would also need to look at the availability of part-time jobs, for that is another – and more common – way of reducing your financial burden.
A cheap university might also be cheap in quality! For the Right
Career, go to the right University!
Common Mistakes to Avoid
- Many students tend to choose universities which are located closer to their relatives, friends or seniors from graduation college. While this brings you closer to your kith and kin, it might take away from quality universities, thus impacting your chances of getting good placements. You have spent huge amount of money not to spend time with your friends or relatives but to create a career for yourself. Kindly remember that!
- Don’t select any random university with the sole objective of going to US. Many students end up selecting random universities because they just want to go to the US- good university or not, they don’t care. If you really want to travel to the US, buy yourself a holiday rather than putting your career at stake. For you get into a university which is not good, it might backfire, forcing you to return to India post completion of your MS.
- Don’t blindly depend on Consultancies. While there are some good consultancies, quite a few of them have tie-ups with lower-rung Universities in the US and might send you to those for their own monitory benefits, while you deserve and can afford better universities. End of the day, it’s your career, your Dream! Handle it with care and caution!
This article - authored by Mr Sumanth Palepu was originally published in Telangana Today on 10th Apr 2017.
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