It is no secret that Indian minds bring important skill sets, bridge technological gaps and impart a competitive edge to the US economy. Every year, US tech-industry giants like Google, Facebook, Microsoft and others employ thousands of Indian students by sponsoring their H1-B visas so that they can stay and work in the US after graduating from universities located there.
In a post-COVID world where tech industry is expected to lead economic revival, Presidential Proclamation freezing H1-B visas, would prove to be a counter-productive measure. This would also hit international student enrolments which are a major source of revenue for universities in the US. In such a background Trump’s proclamation is being viewed with skepticism by experts in both India and US. Many are calling it a political gimmick aimed at improving his approval ratings ahead of presidential race in November 2020.
Here we address queries of concerned students who are planning to study in the US in 2020 and beyond:
What would be my job prospects after graduation given the current situation?
The economy in the US and all major countries have suffered due to this ongoing crisis. The governments of these countries are taking major steps towards reviving critical sectors like infrastructure, information technology, agriculture, oil and financial services. This will lead to job creation and new employment opportunities. With the right education, experience and skills, students can take advantage of this growth in the job market.
Do we still need to take the test now when a lot of schools have made it optional?
MBA and MS
Many B-schools have made GMAT/GRE optional for Fall 2020. This also holds true for Spring 2021. However, for Fall 2021 exam waivers will not be applicable.
So, it is in the student’s interest to be ready with exam scores and send in their applications early for higher chances of admissions and financial aid.
Some colleges are becoming test-optional, meaning they do not require students to submit standardized test scores (ACT and SAT scores) but still provide the option to do so.
There is another category which lists test scores as “optional but recommended.”
Without test scores to guide their admissions decisions, test-optional colleges will be looking more closely at the student’s:
- College essays
- Extracurricular activities
- Recommendation letters
- Demonstrated interest
Also, in the next few years competition will be much higher for international students than for US students. So, benchmarking the academic performance of students coming from various countries will be difficult. A good score in SAT/ACT will certainly help an international student looking to pursue UG courses in US universities as that will help colleges get a better picture of his or her profile.
I’m not planning for US in the given scenario and in Canada/Australia/UK the exams aren’t mandatory. What do you suggest?
Given the current situation, we advise students to keep a mix of universities and countries, including the US in their application portfolio, as US economy is likely to rebound better than other economies.
Also in Canada, the academic credentials of a student are given high importance in the admission process. In case you don’t have great academic credentials, it is better to have a good score in GMAT/GRE.
For applications to universities which do not require GMAT/GRE/SAT scores, students need to submit a strong application which will consist of their essays and other aspects of their profiles. Jamboree’s admission consulting team is specialised in building these applications and can help students in securing admissions in the best of universities.
I want to postpone the plan due to the uncertainties. I have budget constraints so shouldn’t I secure my job now and wait for 2-3 years for things to settle.
We completely understand that decision making is quite difficult in these times of uncertainty. Also, many students are thinking about the ROI for the expenses they will incur.
At the outset, we are convinced that higher education at a good university remains a gateway to better career prospects in the future. Due to the ongoing situation, students may be confused about the timing to start their higher education and may have to decide based on their individual circumstances.
On the other hand, students have a lot of flexibility as the travel requirements are very low and they can attend school/office from home which gives them lot of time in their hands.
Hence, we are advising students to utilise this opportunity to prepare for the GMAT/GRE/SAT and take the exam. In fact, GMAT and GRE can be taken online from their homes today. They can also start building their profiles for their applications so that they are ready when they plan to apply even if it is 2 years later.
My parents are worried about me traveling and staying so far away. Will it be not a better idea to do a bachelors here and then think of Masters abroad?
The quality of education which a student receives in the best universities of the world continues to be better than that at most Indian universities. Faculty, research opportunities, variety of subjects and flexibility to choose them, are the reasons why thousands of students choose to do their bachelors from the top universities abroad. Also, the chances to work at top global companies across the world, improves substantially with such education.
We are expecting that the situation in US and other countries will be back to normal by August 2021, when the students will be starting their classes.
However, in case you decide to stay back and complete your undergrad in India, a good SAT score will help in admissions to over 30 universities including Ashoka, FLAME, Shiv Nadar University, OP Jindal, Mahindra Ecole, Manipal, etc.
What careers and fields of study I should opt for to be ready for post-Covid period?
The transformation of work and organizations is shaped by technology and talent. Hence, the attitude of being comfortable with technology, using it to provide solutions and imagining how it can be used to provide better solutions will be critical to your success as a job seeker in the post-COVID period.
Also, the ability to work with large volumes of data, analysing it and drawing insights for action will be crucial in the future. Hence, we would recommend that you go for streams like computer engineering, electronics, industrial engineering, data analytics, AI, finance, economics, healthcare management and the like.
To end on a positive note, we would like to quote Anurag Srivastava, Spokesperson for the Ministry of External Affairs, “The US has always welcomed talent and we hope our professionals will continue to be welcomed in the US in the future.”
Have more queries about studying abroad? Connect with our expert admissions counsellors now.