Masters abroad: preps and steps

How to choose your Masters program?

Yocket Editorial Team
How to choose your Masters program? Image

During my standard 10th, I have often heard of the line coming from my parents that “You just have to study well till 10th and then you can enjoy your life..”,  and I am sure you have heard of it too. But as years went by, all of us soon realised that ‘It is a myth’ and growing up is a trap and we are trapped in this vicious never ending cycle of education. Also, as we grew up we have all understood the value of higher education better. And so now you are here, done with your undergrads, all confused about how to choose your master’s program, right? If it was me I would’ve surely wished of the ‘sorting hat’ from Harry Potter’s wizard world to sort the perfect house/university for me by sitting calmly at a place. Go ahead only when you are determined to study abroad and only when you are sure that you can adapt there with a complete new culture. The process of choosing the appropriate Master’s program can be overwhelming and when you’re already walking on that path, there are few things you need to sort out before concluding to a hurried decision/choice.

  • Did you sort out the suitable courses for yourself yet? Amongst the umpteen number of streams, sorting a few suitable courses for yourself is the most basic step that you have to take so that according to it you can narrow down your list of universities. Try to find out in which field your actual interest lies in. Research on the courses and their related future aspects. Analyze well if the sorted courses or their respective future aspects meet your dreams, ambitions and passion. You must have some dream universities , don’t you? Match if your chosen course is available in your dream university.

  • Now you’re ready to take a step ahead to have a detailed research on the Universities that hold your course. So, the first question that strikes your mind is how do you decide a specific Master’s program in an university that suits your interest? Research on the subject combination that your Master’s program or your chosen university offers. Analyze carefully which subjects you want in your Master’s program or whether you can bear the burden of all the subjects provided in your Master’s program. Compare the subject combination among all your chosen courses and universities. When you find the perfect subject combination in your chosen Master’s program and with the sorted course list, you can now search for universities accordingly.  Since, the list has now narrowed down, it will be easier for you to search for your best suited universities. Still too many options to decide from? There are few more steps to make your choice simpler that is by comparing some of the best suited universities, their Master’s programs and their criterias.

  • When you are finally glued to a Master’s program that according to you matches your interests, did you explore the curriculum and the length rigorously? By length I mean the tenure of your chosen Master’s program. Depending on the accreditation of the universities, the Master’s program can be of 6 months, one year or it may even vary from 15 months to 2 years. Such as the US B Schools follow the “traditional method” and hence their Master’s program are of 2 years more or less, usually; whereas the European B Schools follow the “accelerated method” and hence, their Master’s program tenure are of 10-12 months, in general. Though all kinds of Master’s program are available in all the universities across the world. But, be witty and wise enough to choose your preference biased towards the one with better placement cell.

  • Now  comes the most important thing that is to check if your preferred universities are providing your chosen Master’s program. Also, whether they provide you with good future aspects, career objectives, job placements opportunities and package. A lot of money is invested when you are pursuing a Master’s program abroad. So, the biggest bother should be whether the repay i.e. Return on Investment after passing out is satisfactory. Make a scrutinised research on whether enough placement programs, exchange programs, practical classes, application of technologies, etc take place. Investigate your career prospects in your chosen Master’s program and choose the university that gives you global exposure. Choose your master’s program and university wisely that can help you utilise your skills during the placements. While on the other hand, when the jobs and placements are talked about, the university job placement cell plays a vital role. Wondering how to judge the righteousness of the university placement cell? Research carefully the process through which they select the candidates/students for the placement fairs or programs. Many universities tend to arrange examinations to get entry to the placement cell or the job fairs or programs. There are several universities with promising placement/recruitment rates, but while deciding on a master’s program, do keep in mind to research in detail if your Master’s program offers good placements. Check on the companies and the organizations that visit the university for your preferred course specifically and also the package that they provide to your Master’s program.

  • Faculty and Pedagogy plays a major role in the learning process throughout the duration of your course. Your professors are the ones who will help you excel in your existing skills along with the exposure to many more skills. The faculty to student relationship and ratios are to be kept in mind when researching for Master’s program at a specific university, as that represents the strength of the class. Also, if you are aiming for research in a specific field, your complete focus should be on the faculty as you need a cooperating, helping and a faculty that helps you to get exposure to the amenities and opportunities available around you. Therefore, research about the Faculty and Pedagogy well before you choose a university that is offering your preferred course.

  • But, deciding all yourself won’t be helping you. Did you check out the cost of the master’s program you have chosen ? And did you discuss the budget/expenses with your parents? As you know it takes a lot of money to study masters abroad, you need to consult your parents about the study loans and how you can finance your education. The universities are really understanding and they know the pain that the student and their families have to bear in order to get admission through loans to the universities and so they have various financial aid options to support their students.

  • Now when you’ve actually stuck to some of the university Master’s program, and have already consulted your parents, you are to look after the residing options available in your respective universities. Whether the university has an in-campus residing option, if it is safe. If not, then what are the other options of residing off-campus and their expenses. With growing violence in schools and colleges, parents are scared and extra cautious now-a-days.

  • Do not neglect looking after the campus life, surroundings and their culture. Ask yourself again and again if you can adapt to the foreign country's surroundings and their culture.  There’s a major amount of time that you have to spend outside your classroom. So, the weather, the culture, the environment should be suitable and safe for you to live.

To conclude, first and foremost it is advisable if you could contact alumnis who have passed out with the Master’s program that you have chosen from different universities all over the world. Choose a Master’s program that suits your interest and can help you learn how to utilise your skills and also help you explore your hidden talents and abilities. Choose an university with a diverse classroom that can help you get exposed to new cultures and lifestyles so that you get a professional global exposure. And I hope you too have a magical journey just like Harry.

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