Overseas education for BTech graduates
Jan 06, 2010 : Recently more number of Indian students are interested to pursue education abroad. Their preferred destinations are United States of America, UK and Canada. But some students prefer Australia, Ireland, New Zealand and other countries in the European Union. Even during economic recession and Satyam scandal, during 2009 Indian IT companies could successfully receive H1B visas for 10542 skilled professionals to United States alone.
Among number professionals in the state, engineering graduates rank first. This may be due to the fact that Kerala has more number of self reliant engineering colleges. Annually among Keralites, more than 30000 engineering graduates are passing out from within the state and nearby states. Recent NASSCOM findings reveal that of which more than 75 percent engineering graduates are very poor in knowledge, skill and communication. Till 2008, more than 65 percent recruitment was through campus interviews. But as a sequele to economic recession, this has comedown to nearly 25 percent. So 75 percent of them have to face competition to get better placements thus emphasizing the importance of skill and communication skills.
In order to get better placements within the country and abroad, recently engineering graduates are interested to pursue higher education abroad. They prefer MBA, MS or MTech programmes abroad. As the business is increasingly becoming global, in order to rise up the corporate ladder engineering graduates prefer best business schools for management studies abroad. It is the launch pad for the global career. Moreover there are so many new generation courses with cutting edge technology in which engineering graduates can undergo higher education and research. Nanotechnology, Mechatronics, Bioinformatics, Biomedical science, Information technology, photonics, etc are some of the promising areas of higher education and research abroad.
Overseas education is not an easy task. Even though it has got better prospects, series of processes are needed for getting admission abroad. It can be termed as requirements for education abroad. A student must understand the fact that in developed countries our graduate programmes are undergraduate programmes. Likewise our post graduate programmes are considered as graduate programmes. A student must complete 16 years of education from first standard onwards for graduate programmes abroad. Since engineering is a 4 years programme, engineering graduates can directly apply for graduate programmes abroad.
A student has to successfully complete series of proficiency tests before applying for education abroad. English language proficiency examination is mandatory. In United States, for MS or MTech, Graduate record examination has to be completed with better scores. If a student is interested to join for MBA, he has to complete management aptitude test. Previously if a student has to join for MS in United States he had to complete Graduate record examination (GRE) with better scores. If he is interested to join for MBA, he has to complete Graduate Management Aptitude Test (GMAT).
Recently based upon the score index it has been decided that there is no need for writing both GMAT and GRE. Any one of them is sufficient for MS/MTech/ MBA programmes abroad. For education in United States both English proficiency examination (TOEFL- Test of English as a Foreign Language) and graduate record examination (GRE) are needed before applying the graduate programme. In UK and Canada English proficiency examination-International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is only required for higher education.
Some of the North American universities also prefer IELTS rather than TOEFL during admission process. School is a collective term for a college/ university abroad. Valid Indian passport is required before applying proficiency examinations. Examination fee is quite high when compared to rupee value. A student can select a suitable date for writing the proficiency examination. If he/she cannot write the examination on the selected dates, examinations can be postponed after paying 40 US dollars. So it is economical for the student to prepare well for the examination on the stipulated date itself.
Overseas education requires one year home work. Most of the universities will start giving admission during September-October months. But some universities will give admission during February i.e.; during winter semester. It is better for the Indian students to seek admission during September.
During admission process, universities will rate the student based on academic merit, extracurricular activities, project works, scores in the proficiency examinations, statement of purpose and recommendation/reference letters. A BTech student must start preparing for overseas education from third year onwards. First he has to prepare well for the proficiency examination. He can write the examinations during final year itself. He must identify the area/subject and the country in which he has to undergo education abroad. Then try to find out the Universities/ schools/colleges offering the programmes. Prioritize the universities based upon the rankings. Identify 5-6 best educational institutions. Meanwhile he can apply for scholarships to meet the educational expenses. Without external funding overseas education is a costly affair. Immediately after completing the B Tech course, prepare a well structured biodata of not more than single page. By this time test score results will be available. Send emails to professors of concerned universities with your biodata, statement of purpose and test score results. You will get immediate reply from the universities. Never reply in haste. Clarify their doubts after discussing with your faculty members and regularly communicate with them. If you are not eligible for scholarships, try to get Assistantship/ Fellowship. In UK, Canada and European Union a student can do part tie work up to 20 hours per week and earn money.
There is growing apprehension among engineering graduates, whether they have to attend any coaching centers to prepare for proficiency tests. Umpteen numbers of books and software/CDs are available in leading book stalls. A student can easily prepare with this available resources. If a student need continuous motivational skills, it is better for them to attend coaching centers.
Parents and students most frequently enquire whether they have to contact with any agencies for admission process? Basic criteria for admission are test score results and academic merit. In the era of information technology, a B Tech graduate can easily access to foreign universities for completing the admission process. Hard work and commitment can pave the way for higher education abroad.