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When it comes to education abroad, the US has always maintained its position as the destination of choice, especially among Indian and Chinese students who comprise of majority of international applicants. A key factor influencing the choice of country has been the provision of Optional Practical Training (OPT). Under the OPT, a student upon completing his Master’s degree can choose to obtain valuable industry experience by working with a corporation based in the USA. While the OPT period lasts for 12 months after completion of the degree, under the Obama administration, students studying in STEM programs were granted the freedom to avail of a 24-month extension to the OPT. The prospect of gaining international corporate exposure in the heartland of capitalism while earning six-digit dollar salaries for a potential 36 months in total ensures that the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) programs attract the bulk of international student applications.

No surprise then, that any news regarding the OPT often causes a major hysteria (of elation or panic) among prospective international students. The latest article in the Times of India Students cannot work at client-sites during the OPT is the latest such media byte causing several students planning for their studies in the US to re-evaluate their academic strategy. According to the article, an interpretation of a particular clause in the set of employers’ obligations by the US immigration agency debars students who choose to avail of the OPT opportunity post completion of their degrees from working at the location of their employers’ clients. In case you are wondering what this bodes for you, this article would help you analyse the implications of the same.

Companies choose to recruit students from a long-term perspective. No employer, be it an OPT employer or otherwise, would prefer or can afford to recruit personnel only for training purposes. Therefore, when a student is granted employment by a company during the OPT period, it is always with the vision of incentivizing a long-term commitment from the employee. It is for this purpose, that immediately after recruitment under the OPT is finalized, employers begin to apply for the H1B Visa for their international recruits. Of course, various rumours regarding the H1B Visa have been in the air, and from our side, we have sought to correct the narrative by helping prospective students to accurately assess the impact of such policy shifts, which contrary to un-informed opinions, hold good news for students destined to the US. You may refer to the article that we have published on the H1B issue Strict H-1B Visa Norms – A Boon for F1 Visa Students

Moreover, almost no employer would want to commit the mistake of false bravery by putting an untrained and under-experienced recruit in a client-facing role immediately after hiring. Most companies upon hiring have elaborate well-designed training programs that hope to polish a student’s raw skills to industry level expectations. Therefore, by the time an employee on OPT is in a position to have extensive client interactions, there is a very high probability that he would have managed to secure the H1B Visa.

In addition to this, another factor that plays in favour of international students is the lack of supply of local (read American) STEM Masters graduates to fulfil the employers’ quantitative demand for new talent. As seen from the Foreign Students and Graduate STEM enrolment, in a scenario where a high majority of STEM graduates are international students, the US policy-makers cannot afford to create a situation of disenchantment for its STEM programs among prospective international students without creating a serious shortage of high-skill tech workforce and researchers.

Coming to the legal technicalities, the clause under question falls under the Employer’s Training Obligation, which states that STEM OPT employers shall not devolve the student training obligations to their clients or customers. You can read the list of compliance requirements by following this link USCIS mandated STEM OPT compliance regulations for students and employers. According to the rules, both the student and the employer have to formalize a set of training goals and regularly update the Designated School Official (DSO) of the student’s progress by submitting annual training progress as specified in the Form I-983 . The reason for the existence of the clause under discussion (that OPT employers should not devolve the student training to their clients) is because the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) needs to have access to the students. They can have this access only at the location of the E-verify Participating STEM OPT Employers. The clients of such employers may or may not be registered under E-verify, and as such, if the student is at such a client’s location, the DHS may not have access to the student. Under normal circumstances, in case the DHS wishes to have such personal access to the students, it sends a notice to the employer 48 hours prior to visiting the office of the employer. It is only and only on account of a complaint regarding the non-compliance of OPT rules that a DHS visit without issuing this prior notice is triggered.

Clearly, an unintimated visit by the DHS would be a rarest of rare occurrence, because OPT employers would try to ensure they do not attract any scrutiny and potentially incur litigation costs. One needs to remember that the clause which the TOI might be referring to has always existed in the past; it is not a new policy that is sought to be introduced for legislation. Therefore, if there is status quo in terms of policy, definitely there would not be any different result due to implementation of the said policy. The US is not a country where such a policy could have been knowingly side-stepped by such a large number of employers in so many cases of OPT employment in the past. Thus, if the existence of such a policy has not created any compliance-related problems in the past, there is no reason to believe that the continuation of such a policy would pose any such problems in the future. Perhaps, this is a reason why it is only the Times of India that has published an article on this issue; no other major news outlet, Indian or international, has made any recent mention on the topic.

TL: DR:

  1. There is no new interpretation of the policy clause – it has always been there and is so clearly spelt out that there is no scope for an alternate interpretation. Employers have always complied with in the past and will continue to do so. So, if international students’ interests have not been hurt in the past, they would not be in future.
  2. The policy shifts with regard to granting of H1B Visa will ensure a smoother and faster progress from F1 to H1B for students availing of the OPT.
  3. The US needs highly skilled international technical workforce as much as the as the said workforce wants to pursue studies in reputed American institutes and gain few years of experience in working with innovation-pioneering American MNCs. The American dispensation is wise enough to not disturb this harmonious order.

Close on the heels of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (UCIS) policy memorandum issued on February 22, 2018 that said its visa officers could seek detailed documentation and more evidence from firms to establish that they have specific assignments in a specialty field for the H-1B beneficiary, the Donald Trump Administration has made their second move towards protecting local jobs in the US and preventing them from moving off-shore. The Base Erosion and Anti-Abuse Tax (BEAT) will be levied on companies with gross revenue of $500 million that outsource their work offshore to captive units. Effective January 2018, the rate of tax will be 5%, which will double to 10% in 2019. In parallel, the US has also considerably reduced the corporate tax rate from 35% to 21%, thereby incentivising companies to hire more people in the US.

The impact of these issues is being felt by US firms and they are reviewing their plans to establish or expand their R&D centres and businesses in India and other countries. Similarly, Indian companies are finding it difficult to deploy skilled professionals through the H-1B route. While it is a known fact that there is a demand supply mismatch in the STEM fields, these policy reforms will result in a larger void that cannot be fulfilled by the local American work force. Hence, Trump’s three-pronged strategy to protect local jobs has come as a fresh wave of hope to thousands of Indian students, who are considering pursuing higher education in USA. With these developments, plum job opportunities have opened up for STEM OPT (Optional Practical Training) aspirants. Therefore, pursuing higher studies in US universities has once again become a prime proposition for aspiring Indian students and professionals.

Given President Trump’s H-1B and visa policies, universities have experienced a lower enrolment from non-funded international students as evidenced by the steady drop in the number of F1 student visas issued. In 2017, the United States has seen a massive decline of 28% in the number of F1 student visas from India, which has led university admission officials to take proactive measures, including visiting India and evaluating students on ground as well as providing spot admissions. With Trump’s policy reforms, this could be a be a win-win situation for students as the competition to highly selective universities has reduced to some extent, thereby providing a greater opportunity to get into a better university, offering more job opportunities.

Considering that the USA is home to leading companies and innovations in the STEM field, a vibrant start-up culture, and enormous research opportunities at universities, getting an American degree far outweighs the education and research opportunities offered by institutions in other countries. Choosing to secure an American university degree will naturally bring in the best job opportunities globally. The state-of-the-art research facilities along with distinguished faculty, flexible course structure and excellent work opportunities through the STEM OPT, all make for a great learning experience. This is why American universities continue to draw Indian students to apply in large numbers. So if you desire to pursue top quality education, and be hand-picked by the best global organisations, then the USA will provide you with the best of these opportunities.

Meet our counsellors today who will clarify any doubts about the new policy reforms and guide you on how you could come up a winner in every way with an American degree and work-experience.

As computers revolutionise the world around us, spilling into every aspect of our lives, right from banking, financial markets, e-commerce, manufacturing, healthcare and many more sectors, the demand for computer technologists is on the rise. Similarly, several fields that intersect with Computer Science have surfaced, which require a combination of skill sets for successful execution. With students being absorbed in various roles in companies like Google, Microsoft and Facebook as well as at start-ups and small and medium enterprises, these graduates having diverse backgrounds are very much in demand. The combination of skills has helped them take up prime positions in industries like bioinformatics, medicine, finance, telecommunications, media and many others.

As young aspirants contemplate switching over to Computer Science or allied fields like Data Science, Computer Engineering, MIS or Business Analytics, they are wracked by apprehension, self-doubt and a feeling of moving out of safe territory. This has dissuaded many from changing their fields after graduating, and they continue to work in an environment that does not provide job satisfaction. Well, the good news is that one can make a smooth transition with a little timely planning and effort towards imbibing the requisite skills. Pursuing a Master’s level program in Computer Science related field that suits your interests, could very well allow you to change to the Computer Science field.

With more universities recognising this need and filling this gap by offering programs that are flexible regarding program pre-requisites, aspiring students can now take up this opportunity to pursue such a program and give wings to a career in fields allied to Computer Science like Data Science, MIS, Computer Engineering, Business Analytics. However, you will need to build your profile appropriately to be able to pursue a program in the Computer Science allied field. The work experience and training you currently have can help you, but you may need to do more to transition to the Computer Science or allied field. Focussing on the following aspects and systematically planning each step would indeed help your transition become a smooth and stress-free process: 

  1. Chalking out your career goals and working backwards towards choosing a suitable program will help you identify your interests and pursue a program that would be extremely beneficial as you launch yourself in a new field.
  2. Check out your eligibility to apply to this program. Depending on the prerequisites, you need to build your profile in such a way that you meet the requirements of the program. Courses in Mathematics, Operating Systems, Data Structures, etc. that you may have covered during your college studies may help you meet some of these prerequisites. You then need to show the test result of that course. Sometimes universities ask you to take these prerequisite courses before the commencement of the graduate program.
  3. Gaining professional experience in the form of internship or a job role that is relevant to the program of your choice would increase your eligibility for the program. It highlights your capabilities in the particular domain and proves your readiness to take up the relevant Master’s program in a CS allied field.
  4. A strong Statement of Purpose (SOP) that shows your passion and interest in CS allied fields like Computer Engineering, Business Analytics, MIS or Data Science would work in your favour. If your reason is valid and acceptable enough, then Universities would definitely give you admission to the said program. Moreover, all the application essays need to be well-thought out and well-written.

Given below is information that would be beneficial in preparing for a career in a CS allied field:

Computer and Information Technology (MCIT)

Master’s of Computer and Information Technology (MCIT) Designed for students and professionals with minimal or no prior computing experience or formal education in Computer Science.
Benefit Students and professionals who desire to establish or advance a career in information technology or even prepare for doctoral studies in Computer Science
On Graduation Emerge as well-informed and competent professionals in a prime position in the job market. Excellent placements. Summer internships also lead to full-time employment opportunities.

Prerequisites

Basics in Software Development, Computer Systems, Mathematical fundamentals of Computer Science, Data Structures, Software Design, Computer Systems Programming, Algorithms and Computation.

Data Science

Data Science Prepares students for a wide range of data-centric careers, whether in technology and engineering, policy-making, consulting or science. 

 

Benefits Students and professionals who desire to establish or advance a career in Data Science or even prepare for doctoral studies in Data Science.
On Graduation Apply artificial intelligence techniques to a problem, build a computational model of real-world phenomena, statistically test a hypothesis, or analyze structured, textual or image data, apply data science and data analysis techniques to arrive at decisions.
Prerequisites

o   Undergraduate degree in economics, mathematics, engineering, business, computer science, statistics, or related field is preferred, but not required.

o   Demonstrated proficiency in computer programming in at least one of the following computer programming languages is required: Python, R, C, C++, C#, VB, Java, Pascal, or Fortran. Academic transcripts, certificates from online courses, or work experience may be cited to meet this requirement. 

o   At least one semester college level calculus course with a grade “C” or better required.

 

Relevant Work Experience Not required, but strongly preferred.

MIS

MIS Prepares students for challenging careers in the application of IT to analyze, design, implement, and manage IT applications and strategies to help solve business problems. MIS professionals are the “communication bridges” between IT and the business community. They first learn business processes and then analyze how to improve the processes using IT.
Benefits They can work in risk management, technology strategy, information management or project management
On Graduation They can work as a technology analyst, business analyst, project manager, or enterprise architect.
Prerequisites
  • A course in programming (Java, C#, VB, etc.)
  • A database course
  • A course in systems analysis and design
  • A course in business data communications

 

Relevant Work Experience Strongly preferred.

Business Analytics

Business Analytics A comprehensive program for aspirants with an analytical bent of mind and a keen interest in business. Applicants should be prepared for intense course work, a proclivity for mathematics and programming, as well as basic understanding of business fundamentals.
Benefits They can work at the intersection of business management and technology analysis to enhance smooth operation.
On Graduation Gain expertise to turn data into useable information for all levels of an organization.
Prerequisites Undergraduate degree in economics, mathematics, engineering, business, computer science, statistics, or related field is preferred, but not required.

Demonstrated proficiency in computer programming in at least one of the following computer programming languages is required: Python, R, C, C++, C#, VB, Java, Pascal, or Fortran. Academic transcripts, certificates from online courses, or work experience may be cited to meet this requirement. 

At least one-semester college level calculus course with a grade “C” or better required.

Work Experience Not required, but strongly preferred.

While the above information will lend clarity about profile building and enhance your chances of securing admission in the right college/university, you need to keep in mind that the competition will be tough for non-Computer Science students aiming to gain entry into the graduate CS allied programs. With proper planning and the right profile building activity completed in advance, you can achieve your goal of getting admission in the CS program and pursuing a career as a competent Computer Science professional.

Acceptance Rate of University
georgia tech

Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

  1. About the Course Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

[ Financial Engineering (Quantitative and Computational Finance) at Georgia Tech is a top 10 course currently with a great faculty and super strong placements happening over the last season. Course work wise if you haven’t done all three levels of CFA, it’s a great value add. But the Mathematical Finance part is very tough to get a hang on in the initial month, cause as a Mumbai University candidate your 4 semester of Mathematics knowledge is all thanks to Kumbhojkar, while you are competing with peers from IIT Bombay, Kharagpur, Madras, Delhi, Kanpur, BITS Pilani/Goa, NIT Suratkal, Delhi College of Engineering etc, who have their mathematical base of probability and statistics super strong. A genuine advice would be to take a refresher course in Probability and Differential Calculus before coming here. Also a short introduction to finance is very much suggested as to what are options, derivatives and other basic terminologies if you are not aware of. But, on the flip side one good thing Mumbai University has taught us is ‘Catching up towards the end of semester’, though the definition changes a lot here, in the times of intense pressure and need, you need to up your game and to play to your strengths while delivering quality work with every deadline which is every week during the semester.]

  1. How many % of student in your course are Indians? Need just an approximate.

[15%-20%, Majority Chinese, Apart from that Indians, Americans, Korean, Germany, Turkey, Pakistan]

  1. Which country people are most in your university?

[ China, American, Indians ] Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

  1. Does the university follow semester or trimester?

[ Semester ] Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

  1. Internship Opportunities

[ 3-4 Career Fairs ] Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

  1. What are the off campus opportunities available?

[Not Sure] Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

  1. In which month does the career fair takes place?

[ September, October (Department to Department varies), January (2), Companies come during GT Hackhaton also tend to hire ]

  1. Name 3 apartments close to university area.

[ AMLI, The Flats, Atlantic Station]

  1. The rent for the apartments in the area you stay.

[ $350 – $450 per person]  Georgia Tech | Student Feedback

  1. What is the approximate living expense excluding rent?

[ $150 – $200 if cooking food in the house, else around $350]

  1. List the name of 3 stores close to university or your home from where you buy grocery, milk and daily food products.

[ Halal Shop – 14th Street, Target, Publix ]

  1. What are the public transport options available in city? Does student have concession on student’s UniversityID for transportation?

[Georgia Tech is in the heart of the city, so everything is very close by, for Indian Grocery shopping, Patel Brothers is 20 minutes drive away and best way to get there is an Uber or Lyft. Public transport in Atlanta is skewed. Atlanta is more of a drivable city, than a walk-able city like other cities on the eat coast]

  1. Is there any Indian store close to university? If yes then please name.

[ Halal Meat Shop – Bangladeshi Store, but you get pretty much everything Indian there]

  1. Name the 3 restaurants available next to university or close by to place where majority of students stay.

[ Moe’s Mexican, Tindrum Asian, Umma Korean and Japanese, Panda Express Chinese, Cafe Spice Indian]

  1. What are the places to hangout on weekends?

[ Cafe Intermezzo, Vortex, Sweet hut, Antico, Rocky Mountain Pizza, Opera Lounge, Buckhead, Edgewood ]

  1. What is the minimum and maximum temperatures that city faced in a last year.

[ Best part about Atlanta is it’s weather, it’s quite above the sea level, and although Summers are sunny, the temperature is very much moderate and can be easily sustainable with just two layers of clothing in the winters]

  1. To describe your city climate for most of the time in one word, what would you say: sunny, winter, rainy, windy?

[ Bangaloresque weather, overcast, rains anytime of the year, semi Seattlish]

 

PTE Test Format and Scoring

PTE Test Format and Scoring

What is PTE? PTE Test Format and Scoring

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 taught in English. PTE focuses on real-life English used in academic surroundings. PTE Academic English test assesses listening, reading, speaking and writing skills of the test taker. It is accepted by thousands of universities worldwide, including prestigious institutions such as Harvard Business School, INSEAD and Yale.

Test Format: PTE Test Format and Scoring

It is a three-hour test session with three main sections: speaking and writing (together), listening and reading. There are twenty different question formats, ranging from multiple choice questions to essay writing and interpreting information.

PART 1: SPEAKING AND WRITING (75 – 90 minutes)

Speaking: PTE Test Format and Scoring

A student’s writing skills is tested during Part 1 of the test.  Speaking skills is also tested by asking the student to repeat sentences, respond to questions and summarize passages. Students should not start speaking before the microphone opens or else their voice will not be recorded. Students should speak clearly and remember that they will be able to record their answer only once.  They must finish speaking before the progress bar reaches the end and then the word “Recording” changes to “Completed”.

  • Personal introduction PTE Test Format and Scoring

This is an opportunity for the students to give the selected institutions some information about themselves. Students will be given 25 seconds to prepare and their response will be sent together with their score report to the institutions selected by them.

  • Read aloud PTE Test Format and Scoring

Students are required to read a written text aloud. They will have 30-40 seconds to prepare, depending on the length of the passage. However, students will be able to record their response only once.

  • Repeat sentence PTE Test Format and Scoring

Students are required to repeat the sentence that they hear. The audio will begin to play automatically. When the audio finishes the students have to speak into the microphone immediately and repeat exactly what they heard.  They will not be able to replay the audio.

  • Describe image PTE Test Format and Scoring

Students are required to describe an image, and they are given 25 seconds to study the image and prepare for it. Students must keep in mind that they will be able to record their response only once.

  • Re-tell lecture PTE Test Format and Scoring

In this test, students are required to repeat what they hear in the audio. The students may also see an image related to the audio. After the audio is over, students will be able to record their answer only once.  However, students can take notes while the audio is playing.

  • Answer short questions PTE Test Format and Scoring

Here students are required to reply to the question in a few words. The audio may be accompanied by an image. Once the audio is over, students have to answer the questions. Students will not able to replay the audio, and can record their response only once.

Writing:

The Word Count will be given at the bottom of the screen.  Cut, copy and paste buttons are also available which can be used by students during the writing test.

  • Summarize written text

Students are required to write a summary of the text in one sentence within 10 minutes.  Students must include the main points of the passage in a full, single sentence of no more than 75 words.

  • Write Essay

Students are required to write a 200-300 word argumentative essay in response to a prompt in 20 minutes.

 

PART 2: READING (30 – 40 minutes)

In this section, students are mainly tested on their reading skills.

  • Multiple-choice (choose single answer)

Students are required to read the passage and answer the multiple-choice questions. Several answer options will be given but only one is correct. The option selected by the student will be highlighted in yellow.

  • Multiple-choice (choose multiple answers)

Students are required to read the passage and answer the multiple-choice question, but more than one correct response is possible. Students need to select all the response options that they think are correct from the list of possible options given.

  • Re-order paragraphs

Students are required to restore the original order of the text by selecting text boxes and dragging them across the screen. To deselect a box, students have to left-click elsewhere on the screen.

  • Fill in the blanks

Students are required to drag and drop words across the screen to correctly fill in the gaps in the text.  They will be given a list of words in a blue box that they can use to fill the gaps in the text.

  • Fill in the blanks

Students are required to select the most appropriate words from a drop-down list to restore the text. A passage is given with some missing words and beside each gap there is a button with a drop-down list. Students are required to Left-click on this button and select the option that best fills the gap.

PART 3: LISTENING (45 – 60 minutes)

Students are tested on their listening skills. It consists of questions that are based on audio or video clips which students can listen to only once however; they are allowed to take notes.

  • Summarize spoken text PTE Test Format and Scoring

Students are required to listen to an audio recording and write a 50-70 word summary within 10 minutes. The Word Count is given at the bottom of the screen which counts the number of words written.

  • Multiple-choice (choose multiple answers) PTE Test Format and Scoring

Students are required to listen to the recording and answer the multiple-choice question wherein more than one correct response is possible. Students need to select all the response options that they think are correct from the list of possible options.  The options selected are highlighted in yellow.

  • Fill in the blanks

Students are given a transcript of the audio recording, however some words are missing. They have to restore the transcript by typing in the missing words.

  • Highlight correct summary

Students are required to select the summary that best matches the recording. After listening to the audio students have to select the answer from the given options.

  • Multiple-choice, choose single answer

Students are required to listen to the recording and answer the multiple-choice questions. Several possible options will be provided but only one is correct. The option selected will be highlighted in yellow.

  • Select missing word

Here the last word or group of words in the recording will be replaced by a beep and students are required to select the most appropriate option to complete the recording. Out of the various options the students have to select one option.

  • Highlight incorrect words

Students will be presented with a transcript of the audio recording, which contains some errors. While listening and reading, students are required to select the words in the text that differ from what the speaker says. The selected words will be highlighted in yellow.

  • Write from dictation

Students have to hear a short sentence and type the sentence into the response box given at the bottom of the screen. Students can take notes while the video is being played but remember to check their spellings.

Registration and payment:

Students can register for the test either online or by phone. Payment can be made through- MasterCard and Visa debit cards or American Express, JCB, MasterCard and Visa credit cards. However, PayPal is not accepted

On the Test day:

The students have to provide to the test administrator copies of their ID. The administrator will ask for a digital photograph and signature and scan the student’s palm. Students will be assigned a locker to check-in their belongings. If a student fails to provide an ID, he will not be allowed to take the test and will lose his test fee. If a student is unable to appear for the test, he may receive a partial refund if he cancels his test before the appointment date.

PTE Scores:

Students will receive their results within 5 working days.  The test scores are reported on the Global Scale of English, a standardized, numeric scale from 10 to 90. The scores can be accessed via an online account. Students will receive an email notifying them once the scores are available. Students can see their scores once they have signed into their Pearson Vue account at www.pearsonvue.com/pte. Students can also send their scores to unlimited number of institutions free of charge once they have signed into their account. It generally takes 48 hours for the scores to be sent to institutions.

If a student is disappointed with his score, he can take the test again. He can retake the PTE as many times as he wants to but he must wait until he has received his scores from the test before booking another. One can send his/her scores to unlimited number of institutions, but  can select only seven recipients at any one time. However, the test scores are valid for two years from the date of the test.

Rescoring: PTE Test Format and Scoring

If a student is unhappy with his PTE score, he can request for a rescore. However, a student can request for a rescore only for his most recent PTE Academic test. He cannot request a rescore if he has already either scheduled another test or sent his score to an institution.

For rescoring, the student must contact Pearson Customer Service within 14 calendar days of his report being made available.  If the scores change then the rescore fee will be fully refunded to the student.

When to apply Fall or Spring intake

When to apply fall or spring intake ?

The decision to apply to universities abroad is followed by a series of preparations that students need to undertake. Being a relatively new process, students are often plagued by a horde of questions and one such question is when to apply, during spring or fall semester? Students often wonder if applying for the fall season has any benefits and what are the pros and cons of applying for either of these intakes. Coming to a conclusion requires a comparative analysis of the various advantages and disadvantages, which can help the student to arrive at a well-planned and carefully thought out decision. When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

Fall vs. spring intake When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

  1. Check if university offers both intakes When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

It is important to ascertain whether the universities in question accept applications for both the seasons. Almost 75 percent of universities in the US do not have a spring intake for a majority of the courses.  Thus, if you wish to apply for the spring intake, you should conduct a detailed research on the prospective universities, and find out whether they accept students in that season or not.

  1. Courses offered When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

An advantage of applying during the fall intake is that there are comparatively a higher number of courses offered by a university as the number of applicants is higher during the fall semester. In spring, there are comparatively fewer students applying, and so the courses offered by the university are also fewer in numbers. Thus, if you want to pursue a course which is relatively new and is a rare choice of specialization, then there is a possibility that the course may not be offered in the spring semester. So, you must check your target universities if they offer the courses, especially if you are applying for the spring intake.

  1. Need time to prepare When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

More students apply for the fall intake since, by that time, they have already finished their undergrad degree.  Since students from most countries complete their Undergraduate course by May/June, they have a few months to relax and prepare for the fall semester, which begins in September.

  1. Chances of getting admission When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

Acceptance rates usually do not depend on the semester you are applying for, but since the class sizes are larger for the fall season, the number of admits during the fall term is greater.  On the other hand, as there are a fewer number of students who apply for the spring term, the chances of securing admission at selective school tends to be higher than the fall.

  1. Second Choices When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

If you apply to a university in the fall semester, you, at least, have the option of trying again and applying for the spring semester if nothing works out for you, but you may lose out on such an opportunity if you only apply for the spring intake as the fall application deadlines may have passed.

  1. Participate in extracurricular activities at University

If participating in extracurricular activities and being a part of organizations and student clubs is important for you, then applying for a fall semester will give you more opportunities because student elections take place at the end of spring. If you apply for the spring semester, you are a newcomer and less known in comparison to fall students who have been in the university for a longer time.

  1. Assistantship Opportunity When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

Assistantship are usually secured by 2nd year students on campus as they have had an opportunity to showcase their skills and talents to the concerned professor.  As these students graduate, the vacated positions are available for the taking.  Fall semester students generally have an advantage over Spring students as they have extensively interacted with professors through their coursework; hence, the changes of securing the assistantship is much higher.

  1. Internships outside the campus When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

Universities have mandated that their students must be a part a program for at least nine months before they get permission to apply for off-campus internships. Applying during the spring means one cannot work off campus during the summer season when most companies have formal internship programs.  However, if the university treats the internship as part of coursework, this issue becomes moot.

  1. Recruitment

Campus recruitments are usually organized during the second year of the course. If you are a spring intake student, it means you will have completed two semesters and if you are a fall intake student then you will have completed three semesters. Thus, fall intake students will have spent more time in the university and therefore will have an advantage over spring intakes.  The extra semester helps them boost their profile and enhance their resume as they will have the opportunity to pursue projects, secure internships, engage in leadership roles, and be a part of student clubs.  This gives fall semester students an edge when it comes to getting an on-campus job and full-time job.

  1. Weather When to apply Fall or Spring intake?

If you decide to study in a sunny and warm state like California or Florida, you will enjoy a pleasant climate. But if the chosen university is in the colder regions of the country, and if you join in January, then you will face extreme weather conditions which can be uncomfortable and difficult to handle. Thus, you must keep the weather in mind before finalizing on which semester you want to join.

Spring or fall, this decision should be based on your needs and it should depend on your requirements and future plans. Take the time to view each option from every angle and then arrive at a concrete conclusion. There is no strict rule or option that you must take, after all, you are the best judge of your career.

North Carolina State University

 

North Carolina State University | Student Feedback

I would like to share my experiences regarding my MS program at North Carolina State University in Operations Research( Fall 15 student).

OR and IE are essentially the same thing here, just that OR focuses more on the analytical side and involves a lot of math. So whatever I share applies to both OR as well as IE.

1.Courses: North Carolina State University

The courses are awesome and are flexible to take from any department ( I took courses from MBA, Textiles, Statistics, IE, OR).

Supply chain courses are pretty difficult here as people do get D grade in it.

Some courses that people believe are internship and job grabbers are:

Database applications in IE

Lean Six Sigma Quality

Model and Analysis of Supply chain

Computer Simulation

Additive Manufacturing

Automated Systems Engg North Carolina State University

SAS/ Data Mining North Carolina State University

The complexity and the grading of the courses which most people are concerned varies a lot.

You can get a 4/4 GPA studying for just 10 days a semester if u enroll for the easy courses and people struggle to maintain a 3 GPA taking some Supply Chain, OR or ‘difficult’ courses and toiling all semester.

It is advisable to take courses having projects. Lots of stuff to talk about courses, Please contact for loads of info.

2.Professors North Carolina State University

Knowledgeable but do not expect ‘TEACHING’. Need to do EVERYTHING ALL BY YOURSELF. There will be some professors you might want to kill for their teaching!! Trust me this happens!

3.Research North Carolina State University

Mainly focussed on research in the MEDICAL INDUSTRY (healthcare improvement) and MANUFACTURING (mainly additive manufacturing).

4. Job opportunities North Carolina State University

People are optimistic about jobs. A recent survey indicated that 60% students got summer interns and almost all got jobs(and good jobs).

For CS, it is heaven here but for IE/ OR, some struggle is needed.

Online applications with contacts and recommendations helps!

People usually get into Volvo, Cummins, TE Connectivity, Georgia Pacific, Caterpillar, EY, Deloitte, Bank of America.

A lot of companies along with the above ones come to the career fair but ‘APPLY ONLINE’ is what they tell to do.

Nonetheless NCSTATE is a BRAND NAME.

Apply for 200 interns and you would get calls from 10 companies and may land an intern in 1 or 2 from them is the general trend heard from seniors.

5. Climate and Location North Carolina State University

Awesome awesome climate! Probably one of the best in the US.

No unexpected rains and the frequency is less. It snows for 7 days a year. Generally, the climate is cool.

Places near Raleigh and in Raleigh: BOOOORING as hell. One could finish the famous places in Raleigh visit in 6 hours. Feels like a village sometimes.

6.Campus North Carolina State University

Awesome campus. Awesome libraries. Awesome gymnasium. Lots of sports played. The variety of sports played, the level of technology used in classrooms and the equipment used in the gymnasium are awesomely amazing!

7.Other interesting points: North Carolina State University

Transport within the campus and to the neighboring cities is absolutely free.

All books, pdfs etc are absolutely free and available in the libraries.

Living expenses are cheap: 250 for rent for a shared room, 50 for utilities, and 200-400 for food (depends on spending habits).

Downtown is small but gets really good on Fridays.

Indian food: Doesn’t exist except for some restaurants. But plenty of Indian stores are accessible nearby.

Part time jobs are VERYYYY easy to get.

TA/RA/GA: No hopes unless a Ph.D. student

8. Students North Carolina State University

Background: Students from Mech/ Instrumentation. IE, Nanotech, Systems Engg, Manufacturing, Automobile.

Pretty competitive and smart.

A good group help for almost every purpose!

People mostly live offcampus but I can proudly say that I got an awesome on-campus apartment while paying the same amount.

9. IMSE(Integrated Manufacturing Systems Engineering)

I would want students who do not wish to study much, have work experience and pursue MS to have a look at this degree.

People with a degree in IE/OR/MECH generally transfer after 1st(if GPA>3.7) or 2nd sem(if one can find a co-op) to IMSE

Advantages

1.Co-op program in the 3rd semester(6 credits)

  1. 9 subjects in total to study
  2. Less expenses

4.If you are unable to fetch a Co-op, the professor helps u a lot(he has lots of contacts).

Disadvantages

1.No one knows about the degree so the name of the degree is a major disadvantage.

Overall, the journey has been fascinating so far.

Advice:

Learn basics of the courses of interest/ your field before coming here.

Learn to cook 3-4 simple recipes.

Stay confident!

how to build your profile for masters

How to build your profile for Masters?

Gaining admission in universities abroad is becoming increasingly competitive. With thousands of applications pouring in against only a few hundred seats, students need to create a profile that stands out and immediately makes the Admission Committee take notice. While it is imperative to work towards creating a strong and unique profile to secure admission into a prestigious university, students are often confused and unsure of how to create a glowing profile. Here are a few pointers that will help to build an excellent profile for Master’s and make a difference. How to build your profile for Masters  ?

1)  Identify your USP (Unique Selling Point) How to build your profile for Masters  ?

Many applicants will have a similar or even better academic record and test scores than you.  In order to stand out and make your profile unique, you must identify your USP and highlight it to bring it to the notice of the admission committee. Start by jotting down your strengths. Give specific examples and quote instances from your academic or professional life that can substantiate the strengths you want to highlight. Focus on strengths that will help you to succeed in the program you’re applying to.  A certificate of completion or achievement is a good way to validate your strengths. Another advice is to compartmentalize your strength into categories such as academic, professional, communication or technical prowess. Thus, identifying your USP and mentioning it in your application essay will help you to put together a powerful application.

2) Write a succinct and powerful Resume How to build your profile for Masters  ?

The University admission committee has to go through several thousand applications, but to ensure that the admission committee does not overlook your application, you must create a succinct and powerful one-page long resume which highlights your strengths and achievements. It must provide more information to the admission committee than what is included in the application and helps them to evaluate your candidacy in a better manner. University resumes should be designed to enhance your application and provide yet another opportunity to showcase your worth as an ideal candidate. You must use crisp language and a clean layout, covering topics like academic achievements, extracurricular involvement, volunteer or community service, certifications, research, publications and leadership experience.

3) An interesting and engaging Statement of Purpose How to build your profile for Masters  ?

Your Statement of Purpose (SOP) gives you the opportunity to display your passion and interest for the intended specialization and gives you an opportunity to explain the lacunae in your academic credentials. Your focus has to be on clearly explaining the purpose you are applying for a particular specialization.  It should also contain a brief introduction of yourself and your academic background. You must also mention your short-term and long-term goals in one paragraph.  These goals have to be as specific as possible. Describe your academic or any professional background that is relevant to your purpose. You should also give details about what motivated you to pursue further studies and have you chosen the university you are applying to. This paragraph requires you to research the program, curriculum, and faculty, so that you can highlight the specific aspects that make the university your preferred choice. It is always a good idea to take the opinions of others and seek professional help from experts like education advisers or counsellors as the SOP greatly determines your chance of getting admission in your dream university.

4) Letter of Recommendation How to build your profile for Masters  ?

Refer to your strengths in the USP list that you have made and think of people who can vouch for your strengths like a good academic record, motivation, creativity, communication skills, integrity, etc.   You must take help of your professors to write impressive letters of recommendation as they qualify to truly assess your performance and vouch for your academic credentials. However, if you have any work experience ranging to a year or more, then get at least one reference from your workplace as well. A master’s degree requires the student to submit three recommendations; hence it is ideal to get one professional and two academic letters of recommendation. This will give the admission committee a balanced opinion of your academic and professional capabilities.

 5) Work experience in a prestigious company How to build your profile for Masters  ?

If the company you are currently working in has a very competitive and difficult recruiting process, it makes the Admission Committee view your profile in a positive light. Also working in a reputed company makes your profile stronger and makes the admission committee realize that you are an exceptional student with excellent skills and academic record to have bagged a prestigious job or internship at a reputed company.

6) Diversify your profile How to build your profile for Masters  ?

Apart from the technical skills, if you have learnt any new and different skills through extra certification courses or have any experience that can add value to your profile you must mention it. For example, if you have volunteered for any special projects and participated in any conferences or competitions, you must highlight these points to bring it to the notice of the admission committee.

7) Work towards creating a well-rounded personality How to build your profile for Masters  ?

You do not want to come across as a uni-dimensional person with only academic or professional interest. Universities believe in taking students who have a holistic and well-rounded personality. If you are a sport enthusiast or have joined any social cause or started a small entrepreneurial venture, you must highlight these in your profile.

8) Publish your research work How to build your profile for Masters  ?

Published research work indubitably adds to your profile in terms of research skills and speaks volumes about your academic interests. A good publishing record is a strong indicator that you will be an asset to the research community in that university. Thus, if you have written any research paper or dissertation at graduate school, you must mention it in your profile to highlight your research skills. This will give you an edge over your competitors.

Following the above pointers will help you to create a strong and unique profile that the admission committee will review in a positive light. Working towards creating a strong and unique profile requires time and commitment, so if you want to secure admission to your chosen university, you must make a plan and start working towards it well in advance to create an exemplary profile and maximize your chances of securing admission.

University of Illinois at Chicago

University of Illinois at Chicago | Student Feedback

Graduate studies are going good and first semester passed away smoothly and just doesn’t feel that 6 months have already passed. As for UIC, it has been a good experience till now if not great. University of Illinois at Chicago

For Mechanical and Industrial Engineering, the research is limited as UIC is facing some serious budget issues. There is a budget impasse in the Illinois State and that has hurt all State universities in Illinois, but no money coming in from the government. This has made the university bring in a lot of people, stretching its resources and infrastructure and increasing the number of students in every class. People need to fight for getting the popular courses. But people do get it eventually. Also not having specified tracks for the courses means, we had to take a few courses out of the field of choice to graduate. But the professors are good and very helpful, at least the ones I have interacted with. Industrial department has brought in new professors who aren’t that experienced and that might give mixed reactions from students. University of Illinois at Chicago

UIC is good with Data Sciences and fluids. Also, for the students coming in, I would recommend to contact the professors before hand and research well on the professors that they really wanna work with. Getting into research is tough and there are limited opportunities as most professors are short on funding. University of Illinois at Chicago

On-campus part times are hard to come by as being a city campus and comparatively smaller than college town counterparts. Chicago is expensive but a great city to live. University of Illinois at Chicago

As for job opportunities, the career fair at UIC is very small and limited, and most companies coming in don’t sponsor H1-B. So its like most places, you need to apply online. University of Illinois at Chicago

If you need info on anything else, definitely let me know. University of Illinois at Chicago

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