While not the proverbial million-dollar question it surely is a complex question to answer. It’s fairly simple to decide in Indian context – as the choices are limited by our academic performance and at best an entrance test. But when it comes to choosing from hundreds of potential schools and universities abroad – it gets complex! To get to the heart of the matter, first of all we need to recognize that a master’s program is that critical last mile between our academic life to a professional career.
Hence how a program prepares one towards a successful career becomes the first factor to consider. To evaluate the program from the viewpoint of your short and long-term career goal is the critical first factor. You can study the program structure, placement statistics, alumni reviews to name a few methods to do that. A look at the diversity of master’s program in the same field of study can sometimes be bewildering. So, you as an applicant must be clear what is it that you aim to achieve through your master’s studies.
All studies abroad are expensive and you must be mindful to select the most cost-effective options for you, yet not diluting your quality of education. Depending on how well we identify the target college, there are possibilities of substantially reducing your cost through scholarship and teaching assistantship.
A very important factor to consider is the possibility of internship or undertaking real life project in collaboration with the industry. Some universities and schools do a better job in creating such opportunities, which can be very useful in your final job search.
There are other important criteria such as STEM designation offering longer OPT in the USA, location of the university near an industry hub affording more access to the professional world.
Hence while the ranking of the university and the field of study is a good place to start with – you must consider many other factors discussed above while choosing your master’s program in a foreign university.
Hope you found the information useful. You can speak to us for more details.
Santanu Choudhury, Founder Director of Lesli India Education (P) Ltd., and an alum of IIT Kharagpur and IIM Ahmedabad.