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Research Opportunities in the United States


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Research Opportunities in the United States

  1. 1. Outline  Why MS?  Application Process  Relevant Exams  University Selection  SOP  Letters of Recommendation  Your Questions  How to help chances?  Getting aid  Life @US  Current areas of research  Jobs/Internships etc  Questions  Links 2
  2. 2. Why MS?  Graduate Education  Has become almost necessary (MS/MBA/PhD)  MS/MTech gives an exposure to  Learn advanced concepts desired area; opportunities to extend it by research  Meet people with different schools of thoughts  Makes you eligible for advanced technical opportunities  Tradeoffs?  Better understanding of the field  Better job profiles, salaries, career advancement opportunities 3
  3. 3. Application Process  GRE  Assessment of English, math and analytical abilities.  Good score is 1300 – 1400+  Relevance of score is subjective  TOEFL  Tests basic english language abilities (listening, speaking etc.)  Relatively easy exam compared to GRE  Subject GRE  Necessary for some universities (sometimes not explicit)  Gives a better shot of getting into top universities if score is good  Questions are not very difficult but its difficult to get a high percentile 4
  4. 4. Selection of Universities  Check US News Rankings  Disclaimer  Ranking process is highly controversial but a good avg. indicator  Getting into a lower ranked university may not be strictly easier than getting into a higher ranked one  Check for individual areas by visiting the CS department websites and seeing people working in your area of interest  Strictly course oriented MS  CMU INI, Cornell Meng. etc  Good, if coming to US for just for a job 5
  5. 5. Selection of Universities  Check the profiles of already admitted students and make a honest judgment of your profile  Admission criteria is usually  Undergrad institute  Undergrad GPA, Subject GRE score  Nature of projects/papers  Letters of Recommendation & SOP  Test Scores, Work-ex (if applicable)  Test Scores become more important as rankings of universities decreases 6
  6. 6. SOP  Statement of purpose for application for a particular degree goal in a particular area of interest  Do not describe everything achieved in your life  Resume should cover this information  Describe your projects in detail  Describe key learning, obstacles from the projects  See online samples from a decent source  No fancy quotes, fluffy literary material 7
  7. 7. Letters of Recommendation  The recommender should know you really well  Can help him by reminding of the class grade, projects etc.  Able to give a brief overview and describe your performance in courses, projects and be able to rank you quantitatively amongst other students  Should not describe intangible or irrelevant details  Punctuality, honesty, attendance have little value  Make sure the recommender does not use strong words like “very”, “extremely”, “genius”, “child prodigy” etc.  Realize how you should stand out in a global pool of applicants and convey the same to recommender 8
  8. 8. How to help chances?  1st Year/2nd Year  Do good projects  Papers/Posters at national conferences rather than footechfest at NIT foobar.  3Rd Year  Internships  Paper, posters…  Tests  4th Year  Tests, Subject GRE  Get relevant product/research based work experience  Work ex also helps fund the application process  Many students also enter the PhD program after MTech at IITs/IISc 9
  9. 9. Funding  Getting aid is subjective and very university specific  Overall aid situation is healthy  Better ranked universities, research oriented universities have better chances of financial aid during admission  Usually, one will get some form of job to cover living expenses  Tuition expenses (& living) covered by TA, RA, GA 10
  10. 10. Life @ US  Again, subjective  Dependent on which city you end up in  Financial Aid  Overall,  A funded MS is very comfortable and offers a good standard of living  Indian student organizations to help you settle in, keep culturally close to India  Tradeoff between staying away from home country and being exposed to the better opportunities 11
  11. 11. Jobs/Internships  Usually available in abundance (limited by your own abilities)  Current Situation  Recession is global  Bad idea to define long term career goals on recession cycles  Graduate applications are expected to rise, application process more competitive 12
  12. 12. Conclusion  Graduate application process, long drawn but rewarding  Long term planning usually helps the process  Being a good student with high GPA and good projects is helpful  Graduate experience is very rewarding 13
  13. 13. Links  Rankings  http://grad-  GRE/TOEFL/Subject GRE etc   India internships for undergrads    Other product based internships  Application Info   14