Aim for a PhD after master's

Studying abroad

Aim for a PhD after master's

Dear Madam,
I am doing my 2nd year engineering in Electronics and Communication under VTU, and I have consistently managed to score above average marks till date. I’ve been quite seriously planning to do my Masters in Communication Technology at US. Hailing from a lower middle class family, my parents do not have enough resources to completely fund my education abroad. I was also told that a minimum asset declaration is a must for US visa. This has shattered my dreams and pushing me into depression.Can you kindly tell me about the possible scholarship options that can help me sail across with finance (other than the ones the universities offer) and education loans if possible.Though this is too early, I wish to be well informed and would explore all possible options to achieve my goal.
Hari Iyer

Dear Hari,
US is certainly one of the more expensive countries to study in. To obtain your student visa (US or any other country for that matter), you are expected to show sufficient funds to cover the tuition and living expenses.Scholarships are offered purely on a candidate’s merit. Your undergraduate GPA, GRE and TOEFL scores should be high. Carry out some research work which is outside the requirement of your regular coursework. Have your research work published in journals and news papers if possible. That will strengthen your resume.
Speak to your local bank about student loans. Rather than applying for an MS, consider a PhD. The PhD programs are fully funded every where. Start corresponding with professors in universities that you wish to attend, well in advance. Apply for teaching assistantship and research assistantship.
Consider other countries that are cheaper as an option. Learn a language like German which might just lead you to your dream university that funds your entire education. It is never too early to plan one’s future!

Dear Madam,
I have completed my 12th std in PCMB subjects and I have secured 77%. I have got admission in Pondicherry University under geology branch (5 years integrated MSc course). Can you please brief me about the job opportunities and salary details in India under this branch? Can I do my higher studies abroad and will I be able to work abroad?

Dear Student,
If you have started your course in Pondicherry, you have nothing to worry about for the next five years. Enjoy your course, perform well in your exams and get a good GPA. You have picked an interesting course which has a wide scope of opportunities. Especially in today’s day and age there is a need for geologists, environmentalists, oceanographers, meteorologists, consultants in chemical, mining and petrochemical companies, research analysts etc. You can certainly pursue your PhD abroad. There is a demand for experts in this field in every country.

Dear Madam,
I completed my M Tech (Electronics and Communication) in Bangalore. I am interested to do PhD (Electronics) in one of the top 100 universities in world. I come from rural Karnataka. I don’t know how to apply for Phd in a foreign university. What are the exams required for Phd. I want full information about this. Which are the best university for Phd? Which university will give scholarships?
M Jatkar

Dear Jatkar,
To pursue a PhD, it is very important to be able to demonstrate your interest in research work. First identify the specific area of your subject in which you wish to carry out your research. Go on the internet and search the top universities. See which of them offers PhD in your specialisation. Research the works of some of the Professors in your field. Correspond with them. Tell them about your interest in their subject and why you wish to study and work with them. The application process is not very difficult. Getting a Professor to accept you is the tough part. You must convince the Professor that you will be an asset to their department. Apart from your personal statement and research synopsis, you must have some writing samples to show that you have carried out research work outside the requirement of your regular course work.PhD programs are generally fully funded in most universities.

Dear Madam,
I just finished my engineering in Electronics & Communication (June 2014). I have an aggregate of 60%. I want to pursue MS in US. But with my low aggregate I’m doubtful about getting an admit from  universities. Will an average student like me be able to perform well in MS? And I wanted to know the scope of VLSI in US?
A Student.

Dear Student,
VLSI has a good scope in the US and is offered as a specialisation in all the top universities in the department of Electrical and computer engineering. Take the GRE  and TOEFL exam. With so many good universities in the US, we can certainly find one that is best suited to you. If you enjoy your subject, you will certainly perform well. Just because you got 60% in your engineering, doesn’t make you an average student. Have more confidence and work towards doing better in life. Stay positive and don’t sell yourself short.

Dear Madam,
I have just completed my BE (Civil) with an overall percentage of 73.3%. I am in a dilemma about my future. I am interested in pursuing Masters in Environmental Engineering but I have received a lot of negative feedback regarding job opportunities in this field. Should I stick to environmental engineering or do my Masters in Construction Management (which supposedly has a lot of scope)? Secondly, which country among USA, New Zealand, Australia and Germany is better for the above mentioned fields with respect to expenses and job opportunities? I have already given my GRE with a score of 303 and I am pretty confident of doing well in IELTS as well.

Dear Nahush,
Environmental engineering is much sort after these days and has huge job opportunities. Pursue what you are truly interested in and you will certainly be successful. All the countries you have mentioned offer excellent programs in environmental engineering. My first pick would be the US since you have a large choice of the best universities. Most cost effective would be Germany. You need to however learn German to want to study there. Both New Zealand and Australia offer good job opportunities especially in this field. Keep your options open and apply to a couple of universities in each of these countries and see where you get the best offer in terms of the programme content, tuition fees, housing and living expenses and opportunities of job placements at the end of the course.

Dear Madam,
In terms of income/employment post studies and quality education, would you prefer an M Tech from the top Indian IITs over an MS from a very good American University? Which is a wiser option for someone from the upper middle class?

Dear Student,
If you can get into a top IIT, go for it! Generally it is easier to get into a top US university than an IIT. I hope this answers your question.

Dear Madam,
I completed my BE in Telecommunication Engineering with an aggregate of 74% in 2011. I want to pursue my Masters in Germany, preferably on “Signal processing and communication”. I have a valid TOEFL score of 93 and 2 years of work experience in the IT industry. Please suggest the universities which provide the Masters programme on my preferred subject. Does joining in the summer semester create any difference than joining in the winter semester for further job opportunities in Germany?
Alok Sreenivas

Dear Alok,
Most of the technical universities in Germany offer English taught Masters program in Signal processing and communications. You must do a course in German language before applying to these universities. Here are the names of a few good universities for your specialisation: TU of Chemnitz, Ilmenau University of Technology, TU of Munich, TU of Darmstadt, RWTH Aachen, TU of Kaisserslautern. There is no significant difference in starting in summer or winter as far as job opportunities are concerned. Generally, most of the courses starts in October.

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