Make the right choices


Make the right choices

Dear Madam
I am currently in the final year of my B Tech (Civil) course. I plan to pursue my MS abroad and have been advised that it is better to work for a year or two in order to explore my field, be clear on my interests and get placed in a better university. What would you suggest and why? Also, do countries like Germany, which have cost-effective MS programmes, provide quality education and good job opportunities or is it better to stick to an MS in the US for subjects like concrete technology and sustainable construction?
A student

Dear student,
Germany provides high-quality education, good job opportunities and long stay student visas. You can apply for your MS soon after your BTech. Write the GRE and IELTS exam while you are still in your final year so that you are ready to proceed to a good university abroad as soon as you complete your bachelors. Your subject is offered in the US as well as Germany. So, keep your options open.

Dear Madam,
I have applied for MS course and got an opportunity from one of the best universities in US and also an opportunity to work as research assistant under one of the professors. However, my visa procedure has been under process for four months now. Does it take this long?

Dear Roshan,
Have you received the I-20 form from the university that accepted you? Is the university taking time to issue your I-20 or is the consulate taking time in issuing the visa? Generally, if the student’s documents are all in order and the interview goes well, the F1 student visa is issued in a couple of hours. If there is a delay for some reason, it may take a maximum of four months.

Dear Madam,
I am currently in my final year of electronics andcommunication engineering course. I aspire to study further in Liverpool John Moores University. But I have come to know that the Indian government doesn’t recognise UK degrees. The government has made it mandatory to pursue a 6-months bridge course after the masters education because the UK universities don’t have AICTE norms under UGC. What is the reality? Should I stick to my choice or should I look at other options?

Dear Khan,
UK has many highly reputed universities that offer world-class education. John Moores University is comparatively new but good. You could consider a few other top universities in UK also. There are so many to choose from. It doesn’t matter if UGC doesn’t recognise these master degrees. The job market all over the world recognises them as one of the best. For a detailed listing of UK universities, please visit www.uma­

Dear Madam,
I am interested in the field of biology and had even taken up PCMB during my PUC. But since I got a direct admission into engineering, I am now studying computer science (third year). But I am now finding the course to be difficult. I still aspire to pursue my higher studies in biology. But I don’t want to leave my engineering course midway. Is there a way to merge computers and biology? If not, what should I do? Should I take up MS in biology?

Dear Shwetha,
I am sorry to hear that you are not enjoying computer science as much as you enjoyed biology. Sometimes, we tend to make the wrong choices based on our marks and the subjects we are offered rather than what we really want. If you were in your first year of computer science, I would have advised you to change streams. Since you are well into your third year, I am wondering if you are perhaps struggling with a few of the modules that are being taught this semester. I can certainly suggest different options of combining computer science and biology for your masters. Universities abroad offer ME in computer science and molecular biology, computer science and biotechnology and so on.

For now, focus on computer science, take extra help if necessary to cope with difficult areas of the subject and we will help you make the right choice for your graduate studies.

Dear Madam,
I'm currently studying in seventh semester of electrical engineering. Unfortunately, I’ve got a backlog in a subject this semester. I would be completing my graduation only by January 2016 which is four and a half years of engineering. I am planning to take up GRE this year. Do any universities ask for completion of course in four years only? I’m planning to do MS in US. Which would be a better option for me – GATE, CAT, GRE? Or is it better to take up a job first?

Dear Shreyas,
Prepare well for your GRE and then take the exam. Universities will accept you if your CGPA, GRE and TOEFL scores are good. Write a strong personal statement and carry out some research work outside your regular course work. During this additional time that you take to complete your bachelors, work in some organisation either full-time or part-time to gain some experience.

Dear Madam,
I completed my BE in computer science in 2010 with aggregate 58.68 percent  and I then pursued MTech in  computer cognition technology and scored a CGPA of 9.062. Is there any scope for the specialisation I did in MTech? Which universities abroad will give me stipend and allow me to work part time also? Do I need to do any extra courses?

Dear Shruti,
There certainly is a lot of scope for computer cognition technology. PhD programmes in most universities across the world are funded. Therefore, you will receive a stipend. While doing your research, you will be expected to work at the university as a research assistant or teaching assistant. The only exam you need to take to go abroad after your masters is the GRE and IELTS. If you wish to pursue a PhD, you must correspond with professors in different universities directly and show them how keen you are in carrying out research in the chosen subject.

Uma Aswani is an experienced educationist and consultant. Send in your queries to Education, Deccan Herald, 75, MG Road, Bengaluru-560001or email us at

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