The very title that we are going to talk about might have ignited your spirits, and brought forth a picture of the future. Yes, almost every student who is an undergraduate dreams about an MS in USA or a Masters program in the US. The United States remains the most popular destination for most students who wish to pursue their masters. So, why do students want to study in the US?
A Masters Degree in the US can help students greatly enhance their employment prospects across different parts of the globe; give them immediate salary increments; and therefore, is a pathway to a better and a secure future. Degrees obtained from top universities can immediately change the shape of your career.
A few students continue their research, and move into the paradigm of education. In order to enter the field of pedagogy, or to delve into academia, an MS can lay a strong foundation. Research requires a strong foundation, and there’s nothing better than a masters program.
Certain positions that people aspire to reach, such as professorial positions, or that of a principal require a masters degree as a base level qualification.
Masters courses are very unique in its structure, and is more often than not well designed and rigorous. Generally, courses last from anywhere between 18 to 24 months. There are a variety of courses, and specialization is the key feature of a few masters courses.
With courses that allow you to specialize in fields such as BIM(Building Information Modeling), Computational Design, Human-Computer Interaction, Cloud Computing etc, MS in the US can be a very attractive proposition. We will discuss what exactly you, as a student, need to be aware about before entering this paradigm of MS in the US.
WHAT ARE THE MOST SOUGHT AFTER MASTER’s COURSES?
Of all the courses in the US, it is almost anyone’s guess as to which the most popular one is: the MBA! Giants such as Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Bank of America etc originated and have their headoffices located in different parts of the country; and quite naturally, the MBA became the most popular course for students across the globe. Finance, Marketing, HR, and all the different subjects gained popularity rapidly.
As per trends in 2019, masters courses that have gained popularity include Data science, Artificial Intelligence, Machine learning and IT security. These courses are technology and mathematics based. Masters in the field of advanced engineering subjects, financial engineering etc have also been amongst the top choices for students.
ELIGIBILITY AND BASIC REQUIREMENTS
The application process and understanding the core requirements for a particular course are extremely important for an applicant. Let us take a look at the common basic requirements:
Proficiency in the English language: Every university in the US requires you to submit a proof of English proficiency. This is generally done by taking an examination; either the IELTS (International English Language Testing Service) or the TOEFL(Test of English as a Foreign Language). Universities have a cutoff score, please visit the university site and read about this cut off level.
GMAT or GRE: Universities, depending on whether they offer an MBA or an MS require that you undertake the Graduate Management Admissions Test or the Graduate Record Examination.
Fifteen to Sixteen years of education: Most American universities demand 16 years of formal education to be eligible for their Masters program.
Taking a closer look at the undergraduate program system in India: A B.Com or a BA lasts for 3 years, while a B.Tech or a B.E lasts for 3 years. Before college, students are required to pass a 10+2 system; which totally adds up to 15-16 years, which makes Indians eligible for the program if they have gone through the same setup.
Since a Bachelor’s degree in India is a three-year program (B.Sc, B.Com, B.A etc), that adds up to 15 years (including 10 years of schooling plus 2 years’ junior college).
Practical Experience: If you aspire to do a masters program in fields such as education or medicine, you might require practical experience. Professional experience is evaluated and taken very seriously by universities. Before you apply to your choice of university, make sure that you have a good backing of professional experience. Better your professional experience, greater the chances of securing admissions to a good college.
Statement of Purpose: The statement of purpose is a crucial document, which gives the university an insight into why you have applied to a particular university. A well written SOP is a summary of your journey and why you applied to a particular university; and can almost instantly impress the reader. An SOP is not about using complicated words and being verbose. Select what you write, and keep your story interesting and concise. Professors at universities who review your applications receive thousands of admit requests. You need to capture their attention.
Letters of Recommendation: Letters of recommendation are a synopsis of your achievements and your ethics generally written by a professor or a person of authority at work. These letters are about your demeanour, roles played at work and more. They contribute to your overall evaluation. Remember that letters of recommendation must be sought from those professors or managers who you trust completely. Some universities require that the letters be submitted on the application portal.
Holistic View of the Application: Any student’s application is viewed holistically, which means that all the parts of the application, including your SOP (Statement of Purpose), Practical experience, Letters of Recommendation, TOEFL/IELTS scores etc are tied together and reviewed. The review sometimes goes through 2-3 rounds of screening, and therefore must be presented to the university as one complete document set. This set is what will determine your future. Review every single point mentioned above, and make sure that your application is complete in every aspect. Cross-check by reading the requirements on the university website.
Remember that, whenever you apply to a university; you are trying to convince them to select you and invest their time in you. Exercise prudence and shortlist universities based on your profile. An analysis of your experience, education, letters of recommendation and your scores will reveal to you which colleges to select. The application process can be arduous and time consuming. You have to be patient and well structured throughout the process.
A lot of students commit the mistake of randomly selecting colleges and applying to a bunch of them without doing their research. This can be detrimental to your chances. Not only does this undermine your chances of getting into a good college, but you would also have wasted a lot of money during the process.
Admissions counseling can help students decide and shortlist the different universities based on the profile of the student.
We wish you all the very best with your journey!!