Work experience helps

Dear Madam,
I am a 6th semester BE Computer Science student, with an aggregate of 71 per cent. As I would like to work at the executive level,  I wish to pursue an MBA abroad. Is it necessary to have work experience? If so, should I take up GRE and pursue MS abroad and then do an executive MBA? or should I work for two years here, and then try for MBA (full-time)?   

Dear Anonymous,
Yes, many premier institutes require a student to have gained sufficient work experience, of at least two to three years in the relevant field.  Many students also feel that by doing MBA after understanding the corporate world and getting exposed to the workplace will make their learning more useful, whether in India or abroad.  
Doing an MBA or MS abroad does not guarantee an executive position immediately.  You should base your decision of doing an MBA or any higher studies to achieve knowledge and expertise in the field that you are interested in.  It would be much better if you could decide basing it on your skills and strengths.  Firstly, decide and understand whether you are a hardcore technology person or have a flair for dealing with people, taking decisions, and being a leader etc.  Then  make a choice between an MS or an MBA.  If you wish to pursue MS then you can do it immediately after BE, and you can start preparing for your GRE and TOEFL/IELTS exams.

Dear Madam,
I am a fifth semester BE Electronics and Communication student, studying in a reputed institute. I wish to pursue an MS degree in Microelectronics or VLSI design from one of the best technical universities in the world, located in the US, like MIT, Stanford, Caltech etc. First of all, is it impossible to get into one of these? If possible, please do provide complete details like academic requirements, procedure to get in, and possible scholarships for the same.

Dear Kiran,
It is indeed difficult to get into the prime institutes you have mentioned, but certainly not impossible. A consistent academic record with good scores in GRE and TOEFL/IELTS backed with good SoP (Statement of Purpose) and  a letter of recommendation will be some of the requirements for admission.
Individual institutes provide scholarships based on merit.  You need to get in touch with the respective institute from where you are planning to do the course and get more details about the possibility of such scholarships.
In general, to know more about funding, you could visit the site: www.funding us  and read up to get an understanding about the various scholarships available.  Visit the official website of each of these universities to know more about them (MIT: www.; Stanford:; Caltech:  

Dear Madam,
My daughter is currently a civil engineering student in the fourth semester. She is hell bent on doing an MS, but I have many apprehensions regarding the same. Recently, she has heard that to get into prestigious institutions abroad, in addition to the common tests like GRE,TOEFL/IELTS etc, one needs to crack the entrance tests conducted by the specific universities, and to do so, she says she needs coaching in order to get a better understanding of her preferred subjects. This is the reason, she wants to join a GATE coaching institute, thinking that this preparation would help her in doing MS. Should she start her preparations now? Is this the right approach?
Rekha Cariappa

Dear  Rekha Cariappa,
Doing MS would be an added advantage for your daughter in terms of learning and international experience, and professionally, building a brighter career. At the same time, studying abroad per se does not ensure quality or experience or excellence. We have in India, several institutions that can stand up to any other, anywhere in the world. Adaptability, health, professional prospects and finance are the things which need to be considered seriously. It is also important for her that she should confirm the eligibility of each university, by directly contacting the admitting authorities of concerned institutions, where she decides to enrol and then think of doing /taking up the necessary exams. It is preferable that she takes coaching for GRE which is the qualifying exam for MS abroad, rather than GATE, which gets her admission in ME or M Tech in India.

Dear Madam,
I wish to pursue my higher studies in US (Masters in Electrical and Computer Engineering). At present, I am doing my BE in Electronics and Communication. I lost a year due to backlogs. I spent my last vacation preparing for the standard entrance tests that are required for admission into foreign universities. Will my backlogs hinder me from gaining admission for the academic year 2014?

Dear Jayesh,
Before you plan your foreign studies, it would be better if you could introspect and understand whether you like what you are studying and what  pulled you down in the current year. This will help you understand which field of study you need to pursue at your Masters level.  Most universities abroad look for a consistent, good academic track record while giving admission. While your having lost a year is a disadvantage, it will not disqualify you from seeking admission.
While keeping  the goal of studying abroad intact, start preparing for your exams and make efforts to build up your academic record from now.  Once you have made sufficient progress, you could start to work your way for going abroad.

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