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Collegepond Counsellors (CP)

  • Email: nirali@collegepond.com
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Career after BE in Civil Engineering

Career after BE in Civil Engineering

Civil Engineering involves designing, constructing, building and maintaining of structures in a physically built society. It includes basic civic amenities like roads, bridges, dams, sewage treatment systems, airports, energy systems, infrastructure for beautifying the environment and so on. Career after BE in Civil Engineering

By the time a student finishes his 4 year bachelor’s course in civil engineering, he is well versed with mathematics, statistics, engineering mechanics, fluid dynamics etc. He is then prepared to step into the work environment and apply the knowledge gained practically. Career after BE in Civil Engineering

Within the industry, a civil engineer is also known as a City engineer or a Transportation engineer. Civil Engineers mostly work indoors, however sometimes they need to visit the construction sites to monitor progress.

A civil engineer’s role typically involves the following:

  • Analyzing survey maps and planning projects, reports, presentation etc.
  • Efficient planning taking government rules and regulations along with cost and environment into consideration
  • Testing and retesting of ground and soil
  • Testing materials like concrete, asphalt, steel etc.
  • Determining a project’s cost estimate
  • Use of specific designing software
  • Take environmental impacts into consideration
  • Participate in surveys as guidance for construction

Being the second largest growing industry in the country, pursuing a career in Civil engineering has great scope. Based on surveys about 30% of India’s working population depends on it.

Jobs are easily available in various sectors like research, government, private and business organization

One can expect a good salary package. It can start with 3 lacs per annum, which doubles after 1-2 years. It can go up-to a 6-figure amount as the number of years in a company increases.

The career prospects for a civil engineer are as follows: Career after BE in Civil Engineering

 

                   Post

Annual Income (average)

·         Water Resource Engineer Rs 260000
·         Site Engineer Rs 310000
·         Structural Engineer Rs 475000
·         Contract Engineer Rs 375000
·         Nuclear Engineer Rs 330000
·         Transportation Engineer Rs 300000
·         Geotechnical Engineer Rs 330000
·         Building Services Engineer Rs 300000
·         Coastal Engineer Rs 500000
·         Quantity Surveyor Rs 670000
·         Geologist Engineer Rs 480000
·         Environment Engineer Rs 350000
·         Sustainability Consultant Rs 550000
·         Construction Engineer Rs 330000
·         Research and  Development Rs 500000

 

Visa Interview: First Name Issues

“What is FNU?” Visa Interview: First Name Issues
A lot of students have been asking us if having ‘FNU’ on the visa will lead to difficulties in the US. Hence we decided to write a detailed article explaining the exact meaning of FNU.  
“If you have only one name or if your name appears in only one line in your passport, then on the visa your full name will only be printed in the surname field and “First Name Unknown”, or “FNU,” will be printed in the given name field.” — (Taken from ustraveldocs.com) Visa Interview: First Name Issues

To begin with, having FNU on your docs is not really a concern. The concern here is whether your passport and visa stamp matches your i-20 or not.  In the US, your I-20 is the most important document that shows your legal status as an f1 status and your passport is your ID.  While registering for important documents like SSN or driving licence, they will check these docs.

Now, due to various cultural norms, there are variations in the way names are written.  In many cultures, students do not have a last name, but use their father’s name as surname—
E.g.—Shriraj Sukumaran Visa Interview: First Name Issues

Usually, their names appear in one line on their passport and the surname field is blank, something like this—>
Given Name— Shriraj Sukumaran
Last name—

International Visa rules do not allow the surname field to be left blank, so the officers would put your entire name in the surname column and mention FNU (First Name Unknown) in the given name section.
When this happens, your visa will have your name like this.
First name/Given name–FNU
Last name—Shriraj Sukumaran

However, when you initially applied on the university website, you might have given your name in the First-Name –Last Name format.  Something like this—
First Name—Shriraj
Last Name- Sukumaran

Basically there will be a discrepancy between your visa stamp and passport as well as your i-20. Several students who have faced this issue, have done one of the following things:

1. Before filling the DS-160, they changed their passport name to “Name- Last name” format so that it matches with the I-20.
Passport
Given Name—Shriraj
Last Name- Sukumaran

They would avoid any future issues with documents in USA because i20 and passport name would be identical. (We would advise this only if you have enough time. If you need to book your visa dates immediately then you need your passport.)

2. Changed their I20 name –
Since last name is compulsory for visa, they asked the university to use ‘FNU’ everywhere in their First name on the i-20 and mention their full name in the surname column.  The I-20 name would then match their Visa and passport.
I-20
First Name—FNU
Last name – Shriraj Sukumaran

(again, changing the details on i-20 would need you to contact your DSO and depending on their efficiency, it could take anywhere between 1-4 weeks. You need your i-20 to go for the visa interview, so plan accordingly)

3. Did not make any changes in I-20 and passport name and decided to change the details later, after going to USA. You can change i-20 details at your college and passport details at the embassy in US.
If time permits, it is definitely advisable to work towards bringing about uniformity in the format of your name in these documents while you are in India. Your I-20 and passport are important documents and ensuring uniformity can save you a lot of hassles later on. Visa Interview: First Name Issues

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai

You are working your fingers to the bone to get a perfect score and your mock test results are reflecting the dedicated efforts you are putting in. But this is not the only groundwork you need to do before taking standardized tests like GRE and TOEFL — it’s equally important to select the right test center. While the GRE and TOEFL test are administered all year-round at various test centers across the country, it is crucial that you select your test centres prudently. To save you from the pain of physically visiting the centres across Mumbai, Collegepond has put in extensive effort in researching GRE and TOEFL centers for you by conducting surveys based on several parameters for each test center- Goregaon, Andheri, Mulund, Nerul and Vile Parle. Staff cooperation, seating comfort, punctuality, ease of registration, absence of technical difficulties, proper stationery, quality of headphones and appropriate space with regards to seating arrangements are parameters we’ve measured for you. Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 1

Got a sudden doubt regarding your test and don’t know what the solution is? A question seems a bit foggy? The graph above shows the attitude of the staff towards test-takers in each center. Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai
Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 2

 Your mental faculties might be fully focused on your test but your physical comfort could affect your test taking abilities. The graph above tells you which of the five centers had comfortable seating while taking the test.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 3

You are frantically racing against time and due to mismanagement of something logistical your nerves can’t cope. The graph above displays which centers take punctuality seriously.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 4

Pre-test jitters are no joke. The ratings above show if there was any difficulty while providing your passport and other details during the registration process.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 5

Silence is golden, especially so while taking an exam. We asked our test takers if they were able to complete the test without any interruptions or technical difficulties, and here’s what they said.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 6

You don’t want something like a broken pencil to mess with you in the middle of an important question. Our test takers gave us reports on whether they got proper stationery, which we have displayed above.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 7

Imagine going wrong because of faulty equipment. We asked our test takers if their headphones and other equipment were of usable quality, which the ratings above clearly indicate.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 8

You’ve put in hours of sweat and blood into your test prep and you end up sitting in a space that makes you so claustrophobic you can’t focus. We evaluated parameters such as the test room being cramped with computers and students being too close to each other, results of which can be seen above.

Student feedbacks on GRE and TOEFL Exam Centres in Mumbai 9

Your test needs to go smoothly from start to finish. Our test takers gave us feedback on whether they were able to resume their test after the break without any issue, results of which are visible above.

SOP FOR IMMUNOLOGY

| Sample SOP for Immunology- This a Statement of Purpose of a student who got admitted to Harvard for the Masters in Immunology program. |
Sample SOP for Immunology

FIRST DRAFT of the SOP given by the Student:Sample SOP for Immunology

I was just 5 years old when my school taught us about sharing and how it made everyone happy. I decided to put it to use immediately and went to my grandmother with a chocolate. I offered her half the chocolate but to my surprise she turned it down. As a child, the fact that someone could refuse chocolate was enough to drive me crazy. But then she explained to me that she had an illness called diabetes and because of this she could not eat any sweets. This is when I began to notice that she did some very strange things. While the very thought of needles and injections would fill me with dread, she would prick her finger on a “machine” and often go to the hospital to take injections of “medicine”. This made me feel very sorry for her and made me think that maybe such medications could be given in different ways without causing so much discomfort to the patients. Although I did not know it, this would be the main reason for me to enter into the field of Pharmaceutical Sciences.

…. Only Collegepond students have access to the complete SOP Sample SOP for Immunology

FINAL DRAFT of the SOP created by the Counsellor:Sample SOP for Immunology

As I listlessly laid down on the hospital bed after being diagnosed with dengue, my mind was plagued with defeating thoughts of no treatment for this illness. The death toll due to dengue in Mumbai was on the rise as this deadly disease was caused by not one but four individual viruses that made the development of vaccines and medicines a herculean task. As my platelet count dropped to life-threateningly low of 30 thousand, I resolved in my heart to fight back to life and find fundamental solutions for terminal diseases such as this. My career goal is to use my knowledge and expertise to improve treatment for epidemics like dengue, Ebola and diseases like AIDS that cause the entire world to panic. To this end, I wish to pursue Masters in Microbiology and Immunology from prestigious Johns Hopkins University. Sample SOP for Immunology

…. Only Collegepond students have access to the complete SOP

Want to create an exceptional SOP that gets you into your ambitious university? Meet our admission counsellors for guidance. Click here to book an appointment.

SOP FOR MS IN CS

| Sample SOP for CS- This a Statement of Purpose of a student who got admitted to New York University Tandon School of Engineering for the Masters in CS program. |
Sample SOP for MS in CS

FIRST DRAFT of the SOP given by the Student:Sample SOP for MS in CS

The fruits of technological advances are conspicuously manifested into a cell phone in every pocket and a computer in every backpack but what’s less noticeable is the information that’s being generated along with these advances. With the huge amount of data being accumulated by the day, we can very well justify that we are living in a data-driven era and every day we face a data related problem. Just like every single thing in this universe has been bitten by the bug called evolution so has data, from being measured in bits and bytes the term of measurement has undergone a metamorphosis to an extent that we have units like petabytes and exabytes to measure the tidal wave of data being generated which can also be called as the Big data. I have been fascinated with the concept information and data ever since I played Scotlandyard. This game is all about finding the location of Mr. X, you need to work with all the pieces of information in your hand in such a way that when all the pieces come together they fit perfectly to solve the puzzle. This generated a sense of thrill in me with all the iterative trial and error methodologies, if I went wrong I would spend the entire day thinking about how I went wrong and how close I was to finding Mr. X. This made me realize that every data has the potential to reveal secrets if only we were willing to listen to it. Sample SOP for MS in CS

Today when I look back I realize that Scotlandyard is nothing but an analytical puzzle masquerading as a board game. Being curious and analytical by nature choosing Data Science as a major came naturally to me. As one chapter of my education ends and I open the door towards another I don’t see a destination as apt as your university to hone my analytical skills and broaden the horizons of my knowledge by giving me a more competitive and global platform (environment). I want to completely surrender myself to the field of Data science as data for me is a maze of information, and, I would like to apply my curious and perceptive acumen to scurry my way out from the redundant data towards the required information; Curiosity killed the cat! They say, but I think I’ll survive as my undergraduate education has laid a firm foundation to overcome the challenges I might face in my educational voyage. Sample SOP for MS in CS

As an undergraduate student I excelled in subjects like Data Structures and Algorithms, Data Mining and Business Intelligence, Database management, Advanced Database management and math scoring an average of 8/10 in all of these subjects. I have also obtained an award for scoring an absolute 10/10 in the subject of mathematics. These were the subjects that especially stimulated my interest in Data science as the practical sessions conducted for these courses awarded me the freedom to apply my logical skills and developed my aptitude towards analyzing a problem. These subjects also enhanced my programming skills in languages such as C, C++ and Java to an extent where I could create my own algorithms to find my way out of a problem definition, this is the part I enjoyed the most as I had to look into various facets and delve into various perceptions to come up with an optimal solution. Besides the practicals, the theoretical part initiated various concepts relating to storage and retrieval of huge amounts of data from a data warehouse as well as the operations that can be performed on them; these concepts intrigued me and acted as a strong driver for research on Data science as a subject. I deeply enjoyed the nature of these subjects as you just have to play around with a given set of information and that inculcated in me an enhanced reasoning expertise as well as a thorough understanding of how to work with data and garner knowledge from the vast spread of information. In addition to the skills conceived in me I developed a strong sense of appreciation towards the wide scope of Data Science as a subject stretching from business to healthcare and the infinite opportunities of further studies that it is going to provide me. Sample SOP for MS in CS

The seesaw of my educational career has been perfectly balanced with the right amount of extra curricular activities and project works along with my academics. I have had the opportunity to broaden my ken of knowledge and expertise through various projects during my undergraduate course. These projects helped me achieve a practical view of the theoretical subjects. I have been fortunate to be a part of projects in subjects like; Database management system where me and my group developed a database of a Drugstore storing the names of various drugstores along with the names of all kinds of drugs and their prices using the MySql database and fired queries to obtain relevant information, the fired queries had to deal with various constraints and accordingly give a relevant output. We also had computer graphics as a subject where me and my group developed an animated cartoon character that sat on a bench eating a doughnut and sipping a soda, this project was developed using blender which was a new software to us altogether. I also had web programming as one of the subjects in my undergraduate course and here we had a project to build a website so my group decided to build a website emulating Indian Tourism, we used languages like HTML, Css, Javascript, Jquery, we also used databases to transform the project into a dynamic website. All the above projects were very well received by the respective teachers. Currently I am working on my final year project which is 3D geometry using augmented reality; here we wish to implement an android application for teaching students 3D geometry using software like Unity 3D and Vuforia. My projects show diversity in their domain but they are all connected to each other with the fine thread of thirst for knowledge. These projects have instilled in me a strong sense of team spirit and helped me balance my temperament while working with different kinds of people. Apart from the academic perspective the projects have developed my understanding of the industrial world and helped me rank myself based on my skills and recognize my weak links. Sample SOP for MS in CS

I have made a genuine effort to break through the walls of the classroom and experience the outside world by taking part in extra-curricular activities as well as social services. I took part in the inter department dance competition held by my college; it was a group event and my group stood 6th in the entire college. I have also been actively involved in my college fest TRINITY as a creatives team member and was selected as the creatives team head the following year because of my innovative ideas and diligence towards the fest. Being a part of the fest instilled in me a sense of responsibility, it pushed me out of my comfort zone and helped me tackle complex situations. It also developed my leadership skills as being the head I had to lead the team, motivate them and nurture their minds into thinking creatively. I even volunteered to celebrate republic day at an orphanage as a part of a NSS task, here I interacted with many orphan kids; we spent an entire day with the kids and played a lot of games together. This volunteering work developed my communication skills as I had to deal with kids having different frequency and also enhanced my confidence among people. I also volunteered for the clean the beach drive which made me recognize my responsibility towards the community. All these new experiences have shaped me in some way or the other and have made me strong to live up to the challenges of the new environment that I am heading towards. Sample SOP for MS in CS

Just like Martin Luther, I have a dream, to work in companies like Google, Facebook , Paypal where I would get a chance to work with one of the best data scientists and hone my analytical skills. Then I plan to apply that knowledge to the data science industry in my native country, where tough the hype about the industry is prevalent but the actual implementation is still in its nurturing stage. The only thing that could bridge the gap between my skills and my dream is your university, because I believe your university could award me with the power to carry forward this data driven era and highlight my native country as one of the leading data science industries in the world. As the university adorns me with knowledge and shapes me into a fine structure I would definitely like to give back to the university by actively participating in research works that would bring credibility to the institution as well as adorn other students with the skill sets I have gained, keeping the pyre of education burning through eternity. Sample SOP for MS in CS

FINAL DRAFT of the SOP created by the Counsellor:Sample SOP for MS in CS

“My life is better…. I bought a cow and used the remaining money to pay bail for my brother-in-law”, said Maureen, a 19-year old mother of one, when the GiveDirectly team followed up with her. Maureen is just one of the several thousands of people whose life was touched by GiveDirectly, a non-profit organization that uses mobile devices to transfer cash to low-income families in certain parts of Africa. The data scientists working at GiveDirectly used a completely novel approach comprising of four steps- Target, Audit, Transfer, and Monitor to facilitate this gracious endeavour. The colour of the roof acted as a parameter as they had already concluded that people with metal roofs were well to do as compared to people with thatched roofs. Using Google Maps, they would identify the location of a thatched roofed house. Then, the located house goes through an algorithmic image verification process to determine the level of poverty. Once the house has been identified as a genuinely intended beneficiary, the recipients obtain an SMS alert, post which they collect their money from the nearest mobile money agent. Finally, the recipients are monitored for successful delivery. The ingenious approach helped GiveDirectly eliminate manual inspection costs and help more families in need. A family in financial crisis could easily get money in an average of 32 minutes. Sample SOP for MS in CS

Reading about such interesting applications was when my fascination with the concept of data burgeoned. ‘If you torture the data long enough, it will confess’- I realized how true this statement of Ronald Coase was. With respect to making a wholesome career in this field, I intend on enrolling for the Master’s program in Computer Science at Stony Brook University. Graduating with a strong technical background after my Masters, I wish to establish myself as a competent Data Scientist, working with companies like Paypal, Facebook and Alphabet. In the long run, I intend to leverage the expertise gained through such impactful professional experiences to provide consultancy services to altruistic ventures like GiveDirectly that are working to make a difference in the lives of people in developing countries. Sample SOP for MS in CS

My undergraduate degree provided exposure to a multifaceted curriculum, thus laying a sound foundation for my plans for graduate studies. I gained in-depth awareness about concepts in calculus and statistical analysis through multiple courses in Applied Mathematics. Also, the courses in Data Structures and Algorithms, and Data Mining and Business Intelligence introduced me to different techniques for conducting searches, pre-processing data, as well as using clustering, classification and regression algorithms. In addition, the courses related to database management helped me gain knowledge about the nuances involved in storage and retrieval of copious amounts of data and normalizing it. Particularly significant was the course in Artificial Intelligence during which I learnt how to impart human-like thinking and decision-making capabilities to artificial agents through the use of techniques like partial order planning, forward and backward chaining, as well as search techniques like hill climbing, A* and simulated annealing. During the tenure of my undergraduate studies, I gained expertise in programming with C, C++, Java, and MATLAB and also actively participated in coding competitions on CodeChef and Hackerrank platforms. Having completed courses on Python and R programming at Coursera, I am currently pursuing an Oracle certification course on Advanced and Core Java to update my programming skills.

With my growing interest in the field of data science, I ventured into writing a Review paper on Security Intelligence with Big Data Analytics. The paper dealt with the working of Big Data Analytics and its usefulness in enterprise security by describing various intelligent software for security, and then preparing a comparative study on the two most widely used software developed by IBM called the IBM QRadar and RSA. The paper’s main aim was to describe how Big Data Analytics helps track the anomaly in operations performed on a company’s data to identify a potential intruder, even though the pattern of the anomaly might be alien in terms of previous records. The paper has been accepted for publication by the International Journal of Advanced Research in Computer and Communication Engineering. Sample SOP for MS in CS

Projects during the undergraduate program served to broaden my domain knowledge through application of classroom concepts. One of them involved developing an aggregator website for pharmacies which enabled a user to locate the nearest and cheapest drugstore, check the available medications and their prices, and place orders. The database for the project was developed in MySql, and the front-end was designed using HTML and CSS. This project gave me my first brush with database functionalities and enhanced my skills in operations relating to databases. Sample SOP for CS

Currently, I am working on my senior year project titled ‘3D Geometry using Augmented Reality’ which aims to develop an Android teaching-aid application using the Unity 3D and Vuforia software. The application will scan a drawing of a 3D figure that will act as a marker. This figure will get augmented on the screen and will provide the user with various functions to perform on the figure to develop a better understanding of the figure. The application also provides real-time videos and test series to evaluate an individual’s performance.

To develop a well-rounded personality, I actively engaged in various extra-curricular activities. I was a part of the inter-department dance competition held during my college festival ‘TRINITY’, a group event where we were awarded the 4th place in the entire college. Due to my innovative thought-process and technical skills, I managed to get selected as Head of the 50-member Creative Team for TRINITY where I was involved in developing the festival website. Through my creative inputs regarding website graphics, we were able to attract significant online traffic and registrations. As part of the National Service Scheme, I have organized several beach cleaning drives, blood donation campaigns, and campaigns to spread literacy among underprivileged children. Rewarding experiences such as these helped to develop my team and leadership skills, and the abilities to convincingly negotiate, resolve conflicts, and empathize with people. Sample SOP for MS in CS

At this stage, I believe pursuing a Master’s degree with focus on Data Science would catalyze my career progress, and the program offered at the Stony Brook University is perfectly tailored to my needs. I look forward to gaining a competitive edge through deepening my understanding of various statistical and analytical techniques and upgrading my technical skills through the well-structured curriculum. I am excited at the prospect of learning under erudite faculty like Professor Steven Skiena, whose numerous projects and research in the field of Sentiment, Text and Data Analysis has left me fascinated. Given a chance, I would hope to involve myself in his ongoing research endeavours. The excellent research facilities like the Data Science Lab would facilitate my research pursuits in my fields of interest like Data Mining, Data Analysis and Big Data. I look forward to mutually benefitting interactions with peers from culturally diverse backgrounds that would serve to broaden my perspective. Sample SOP for MS in CS

I hope the Admissions Committee recognizes my drive to excel in my academic and professional undertakings and issues an affirmative response. The honour of being associated with such an esteemed institution would be an additional motivation as I move towards realization of my ambitions. Sample SOP for MS in CS

Want to create an exceptional SOP that gets you into your ambitious university? Meet our admission counsellors for guidance. Click here to book an appointment.

Admits Fall 2017

MS in US FALL AND SPRING 2017 ADMITS

MS in US FALL AND SPRING 2017 ADMITS

Collegepond is thrilled to announce results for its Fall and Spring 2017 Admission season. The results have been outstanding so far with students receiving admission to the college of their dreams such as Georgia Tech, Upenn, UMich and more. Our startling accomplishments year-on-year are an outcome of unflagging determination, meticulous approach and collective efforts of Collegepond and its students.  Read More

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US – an expert opinion by Jimeet Sanghavi

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

There is a mass hysteria prevailing in the international students’ community in view of the recent Executive Order on Temporary Immigration Ban on seven countries and proposed changes to the H-1B bill. Let’s understand how these developments can impact Indian students aspiring for higher education in the US.

Firstly, while the EO curtails immigration from Iraq, Iran, Syria, Somalia, Sudan, Libya, and Yemen, the courts have overruled this EO order recently. Similarly, the refugee clause will not apply to Indians as well. Indian students going on F1 Visas, therefore, need not worry.

Moving onto the topic that has everyone on the edge of their seats (moreso, than the NaMo demonetisation effect) – the legislation on H1B (employment) visas. Before we discuss the impact, let’s understand what the H1B visa does – it allows you to work “post” the OPT (Optional Practical Training) period. After the completion of the college program, a student is entitled to work on OPT for upto 12 months for non-STEM and upto 36 months for STEM courses. Thus, a STEM student can work upto THREE years (irrespective of H1B application), which usually is more than enough to not just recover the fees and the loan but also set-up a strong foundation to build upon later.

Thinking from a recruiter’s point of view, if there is uncertainty in the regulations, then the company would be more keen on recruiting interns and people on OPT than on H1B. The OPT does not have a minimum salary requirement as compared to H-1Bs under the proposed regulations. This in turn will increase the opportunities for fresh graduates.

Lets try to decipher a few hidden clauses of the new legislation. Now, the proposed legislation on the floor in the Congress for H1B eligibility prioritizes market-based allocation of H-1B visas for institutions willing to pay 2x of the wage calculated by a survey. Estimates are that the annual salary will amount to a minimum of approximately US$130,000 per year. While the legislation is yet to be finalized, here is why even these rules should not be a cause of grave concern for Indian students:

a) Various such proposals have been floated previously unsuccessfully.

b) The current visa requirements mandate Indian students to prove their indisposition towards migrating to the US permanently. However, the new H1B leaves scope for a “dual intent” which means F1 visas may not be denied on the basis of the student’s intention to migrate. The transition from F1 to H1B in that sense should be lot smoother now.

c) The new H1B rules shall eliminate the ‘country based’ allocation earlier available to ‘Chile’ and ‘Singapore’ thereby creating more opportunity for Indian students.

d) The salary cap of $130,000 on H1B will be applicable to only those companies who have more than 15% employees on H1B visa – this will refrain a few particular companies (read – the beneficiaries of outsourcing policies) to exhaust the quota via the H1B lottery system and open up more opportunities for other companies and startups.

e) The following tweet by Trump talks of his intention to create more new businesses, which translates to more jobs. The new H1B will cut down ‘hoarding’ of talent by a few companies and help small businesses in hiring talented individuals.

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

f) The effect of the proposal will predominantly be felt by those companies who hire Indians on H1B and L1 visas for US-based projects without paying them the salaries that an American University-trained graduate (India-based or otherwise) is in a position to command. The effect thus, will be felt more on a corporate level and not at an employee level, and the Indian students aspiring for American education should not be too concerned with this move by President Trump.

g) The OPT enables the student to work for a total of three years in the US after completion of their Masters. Many of the students who complete their Masters get a starting salary in the range of US$85,000 to US$95,000. Having gained three years of work experience, it is natural for these students to expect the salary in range of eligibility criteria decided for obtaining H1B visa. If the student has successfully proven his mettle to his employer, the employer will not hesitate in rewarding the employee with compensation that is above the minimum amount required to obtain the visa.

g) Since the proposed H1B bill aims at leveling the playing field and curbing companies to outsource jobs, it is unlikely that these vacant positions will be filled by the existing workforce. This will create more opportunities for Indian students available under OPT option.

i) If the reports are to be believed, U.S. colleges will end up losing close $700 million of their annual revenue if Indians decide to explore other avenues. This move can significantly impact US’s undisputed standing as the top study destination. University Presidents are aware of these dire implications and are trying their best to chalk out ways to attract students to the US shores, and in a bid to do so they are likely to ease out the fiercely competitive admission process. The US is known for its inclusive education system and their commitment to diversity. With the ban on seven Muslim countries, chances of Indian applicants being accepted is likely to move up a notch. In fact, we have seen better results so far this year than the previous year in terms of the admits the students have got at Collegepond.

Many brilliant innovations in the US are driven by immigrants. It is a startling fact that all the six American who bagged the Nobel prize in 2016 were immigrants! A large number of international students study STEM courses and contribute significantly to research and economic growth of the nation. Statistics indicate that there is a scarcity of U.S born graduates prepared to work in STEM fields. The universities would try their best to give out admits to deserving international students to ensure their higher-education system attracts the best and brightest from across the globe.

j) For the convocation ceremony at the time of graduation, more often than not, the parents end up visiting United States. The cascading impact of Indians not going to US Universities will affect the tourism industry in excess of US$ 1.0 billion as Indians are amongst the highest spenders as tourists in USA.

From losing revenues in the form of visa fees, University tuition, tourism, etc – the amount will be drastic for the country to suddenly sustain. Several multinational companies have already begun lobbying against the 2x eligibility criteria of $130K, and as per Mr. Vikas Swaroop, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, the concerns about H1B and L1 visas have been conveyed to the US at the highest levels. With President Trump and PM Modi expected to chalk out a long-term strategy of incremental Indo-US collaboration on multiple fronts, expect the deal only to get increasingly favorable for Indians going forward. Politically and diplomatically, it makes a lot of sense for President Trump to work towards creating a foreign policy with India which is mutually beneficial for the two countries.

Thus, it is important to scavenge at the opportunities during uncertain times rather than dwell too much on the negativities that have been propogated by media without even the laws and proposals being legislated.

Please note that this is an interpretation of the current proposals and may require modification with the future developments. Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US  
Impact of Trump’s policies on Indians aspiring for higher education in the US

HOW WILL THE H-1B PROCESS CHANGE DUE TO TRUMP

h-1b process change trump h-1b process change trump h-1b process change trump

President Donald Trump, the 45th POTUS, took charge on January 20th with multiple clouds of apprehension about the policies that he had promised to implement. With the Executive Order (EO) on January 27th restricting immigration from 7 countries, these apprehensions looked to be materializing sooner than expected. With the number of students applying for higher education in the US at an all-time high, and increasing at a rapid pace, the EO on immigration and President Trump’s comments on visa misuse and outsourcing of American jobs have led to several furrowed brows. Since January 2017, three separate bills were proposed to amend the current H-1B system by Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durban, Representative Darrell Issa and Representative Zoe Lofgren. These proposals vary in approach with respect to the priority, degree requirements and minimum salary requirements. For example, Senators Chuck Grassley and Dick Durban have recommended elimination of the lottery system and priority given to foreign students educated in the US. Representative Zoe Lofgren has proposed a market based allocation system wherein individuals who are offered the highest salaries will be awarded the H1B visa first. The intent is to prioritize issuance of employment visas for individuals with specialized skills.

Much is written in the press with respect to Representative Zoe Lofgren’s proposals is her Highly Skilled Integrity and Fairness Act of 2017. This Act suggests market based priority allocation to those companies willing to pay a minimum of 200 percent of the wage calculated by a survey (amounting to approximately US$130,000) and raises the minimum salary level for H-1B dependant employers that are exempt from non-displacement and recruitment attestation services to a wage level that is 35 percentile points higher than the median national annual wage or approximately USD$132,000 for Computer and Mathematical Occupations published by the Department of Labour Occupational Employment Statistics.   She has further recommended withdrawal of the Master’s degree exemption for H-1B dependent companies.

For any of these proposals to be enacted into law, these bills have to be passed through the House of Representatives and Senate and signed by President Trump. Though it is quite clear that there will be changes to the existing H1B regulations, it is unclear which of the proposal(s) will be documented in the final bill. Rest assured that the bill will be thoroughly discussed with significant lobbying happening on the side lines. Already, Mr. Vikas Swaroop, spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs, Government of India, has raised his concerns about H1B and L1 proposed changes, which have been conveyed to the US at the highest levels.

In addition to the above, another pressing concern that students expressed was regarding the OPT policy that the new administration is likely to adopt. A series of unauthenticated tweets by a PhD student sparked rumours about Trump government’s intention to cancel the OPT provision, or roll-back the extensions made under President Obama’s government. However, upon careful study of the proposed Executive Order — https://cdn0.vox-cdn.com/uploads/chorus_asset/file/7872567/Protecting_American_Jobs_and_Workers_by_Strengthening_the_Integrity_of_Foreign_Worker_Visa_Programs.0.pdf, one notices that the EO nowhere mentions OPT (which is covered under the F1 visa). Neither does the document contain any statement calling for a roll-back of the OPT extension.

We must at this point adopt a wait and watch approach with respect to the contours of the final bill. In the meantime, we recommend every student to continue with his/her plans and make a final decision at the appropriate time. It is expected that the final bill will be legislated before the next H-1B season, which is in April. Till then, let’s hold our horses and not jump to any hasty conclusion.

H-1B PROCESS CHANGE TRUMP

Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Top Entrance exams for overseas study | Education Abroad

Overseas education is gaining a lot of prominence and it caters to students of varied academic backgrounds and interests. However, there are certain prerequisites that need to be met in order to gain admission into an overseas university. Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Top entrance exams: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Some of the most popular and important international entrance exams include the GRE, GMAT, SAT, TOEFL, IELTS and PTE.  Students may be required to give a combination of one or more exams which may be unique to that country and its education system.

Given below is a brief introduction to the various entrance exams and respective paper formats:

  1. GRE: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

The Graduate Record Examination, a standardized test, is a prerequisite for gaining admission into a majority of graduate schools in the United States.  It was created as well as administered by the Educational Testing Service (ETS) in 1949. GRE aims to test verbal reasoning, quantitative reasoning, analytical writing, and critical thinking skills of students that have been developed over a period of time. Students who wish to pursue a master’s degree or want to study a specialized master’s course; MBA, MEM, MS or a doctoral degree can give the GRE Test. The computer-based GRE revised General Test consists of five sections. The first section of the test is the analytical writing section which consists of Issue and Argument tasks. The other five sections have two verbal reasoning sections, two quantitative reasoning sections, and either an experimental or a research section.

  1. GMAT: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

The Graduate Management Admission Test, commonly known as the GMAT, is a computer-based examination used to measure skills that are necessary for the study of management. Its duration is 3½-hours, and it is designed to predict how students will perform academically in MBA programs. Based on the GMAT scores, graduate business schools make admission decisions. Several schools require GMAT scores from applicants, therefore preparing well for the test is important. The GMAT score is vital as it can be the deciding factor regarding acceptance or rejection to a program. The GMAT tests four major skills: analytical writing, quantitative reasoning, verbal reasoning, and integrated reasoning.  These skills are analyzed through four sections namely:

  1. Analytical Writing Assessment (one writing task, duration-30 minutes)
  2. Integrated Reasoning section (12 multiple-choice questions, duration-30 minutes)
  3. Quantitative section (37 multiple-choice questions, duration- 75 minutes)
  4. Verbal section (41 multiple-choice questions, duration-75 minutes)

A separate score and percentile rank are provided for all the exam sections mentioned above.

  1. SAT: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

The SAT is a standardized and general test of verbal and quantitative reasoning which is required by many US colleges and universities as part of their admission process. Originally, it was called the Scholastic Aptitude Test, and now it is known as SAT. The duration of the test is three hours, and it measures the verbal and mathematical reasoning skills that students have developed over time. Many colleges and universities use the SAT as one of the admission criteria among others such as class rank, GPA, participation in extracurricular activities, personal essay and letters of recommendation.

SAT consists of two different examinations:

  • The SAT Reasoning Test (Earlier known as SAT I)
  • The SAT Subject Test (Earlier known as SAT II)

The SAT Reasoning Test is a three-hour and forty-five-minute test which comprises of three sections: Critical Reading, Math, and Writing. This test is designed to measure critical thinking and analytical skills. The SAT Subject Tests are a series of one-hour multiple-choice tests in subjects such as Literature, US and World History, Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry, and Physics.

  1. TOEFL: Top Entrance exams for overseas study

Students who wish to study abroad in an English-speaking country are required to take a TOEFL (Test of English as a Foreign Language). It assesses your ability to speak and understand English by analyzing your English skills in terms of reading, speaking, listening and writing. It evaluates how well you combine these skills to perform academic tasks. TOEFL is accepted as proof of English proficiency in 9,000 colleges, and it is conducted more than 50 times in a year by Educational Testing Service (ETS) – a US-based non-profit organization. TOEFL has two versions: TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) and TOEFL PBT (paper-based test). Both the versions of TOEFL test has four sections- Reading, Speaking, Listening and Writing and takes about 4-hours to complete. Students can retake the TOEFL test as many times as they wish. It uses both human raters and automated scoring methods for evaluating a student’s performance.

  1. IELTS:

The International English language testing system (IELTS) is a popular English language proficiency test for higher education and global migration. Its objective is to assess the ability and preparedness of students who wish to study or train in a foreign country. IELTS assesses the test takers English skills with respect to reading, writing, listening and speaking. It is accepted by over 9,000 organizations worldwide, including schools, universities, immigration authorities and professional bodies.

The two versions of IELTS are- the Academic IELTS and the General Training IELTS. The Academic IELTS is usually for people who wish to study abroad, and the General Training IELTS is usually for people want to follow a non-academic course or for immigration. The duration of IELTS exam is 2 hours and 45 minutes, and it consists of four sections which test the candidates listening, reading, writing and speaking skills.

  1. PTE:

PTE Academic (The Pearson Test of English) is a computer- based English language test designed to assess the readiness and ability of non-native English speakers to participate in a university-level program which is taught in English. PTE focuses on real-life English used in academic surroundings. PTE Academic assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing skills. PTE is accepted by thousands of universities worldwide, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Yale. In the three-hour test, there are three main sections- Writing coupled with speaking, listening skills and reading. There are twenty different types of question formats, ranging from multiple choice questions to essay writing and information interpretation.

TOEFL vs. IELTS vs. PTE

TOEFL scores are accepted by a majority of universities in the US, Canada, UK, Australia and New Zealand. The IELTS is mandatory for Indian and other non-native English speakers, especially in the Commonwealth countries. The PTE is accepted by several institutions in the UK, Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and Ireland including Harvard, Yale and INSEAD.

While TOEFL and IELTS are more well-known, there are other tests like PTE, which is relatively new. All the three tests have a few characteristics that make them unique, but they also share a few similarities. The three tests have similar sections such as- Reading, Listening, Speaking, and Writing, but they differ when it comes to assessing the speaking skills, scoring and evaluation criterion and format of the writing section. Unlike IELTS and TOEFL, PTE has several innovative question formats.

GRE vs. GMAT

The GRE is another examination which Indian students must give if they wish to study in the USA or Canada. It measures the verbal, mathematical and analytical skills of the student. It is a prerequisite for gaining admission into many graduate courses, particularly for engineering and the science field in USA. Students who wish to specialize in management courses (like MBA) must take the GMAT, which is an admission requirement for business schools in US and UK.

To sum it up, these top international entrance exams are a standard as well as reliable mode for assessing a large number of applicants who aspire to study abroad. Therefore, students must plan in advance and prepare well in order to get high scores in these exams and gain admission into the university of their choice.