Saturday, July 17, 2010

What is the best graduate school/program?

This depends completely on the individual’s aspirations and whatever his or her goal in life is, the same should be supported by the parents. However, once this decision is made, the next crucial decision is where to go or which university to choose and what program is the best available option.

One simple way to look at things is, the student can decide whether he or she would like to continue post graduation in the same university where he or she obtained her degree. But sometimes it is better to go to another university to complete one’s post graduation, because this would mean more exposure, new contacts, new faculty and on the whole a completely new learning experience.

The second important factor to be considered is Accreditation, i.e., there are two types of main
accreditations – institutional and program specific. Which is the one which best suits an individual’s personal goals will help to decide on the right program, and based on the program, there has to be validation that that the university which is offering this program is properly accredited, without which the student will not obtain a valid certificate. In such cases, he or she may have learnt the program, but without the certificate, it will be difficult to obtain a job.

It is also important at this stage to look at the admission standards of different colleges. Some have extremely tough admission standards while they might be the most respected. Some others may make the whole process of admission simple, but their program’s may not hold as much value in the job market.

To do a proper match it is necessary to shortlist the preferred universities and then go through in detail their admission process (this information is normally available on their public websites). If a student aspires to join a top notch university, then it is important to put in the necessary hard work to obtain the required scores.

Since any student who is going in for higher education is doing this for career advancement – to get into a new field or for growth within the same job structure, it is important to evaluate clearly the advantages of obtaining the certificate. Here the consideration factor should not be the `cost’ of the program but should be the `value’ of the certificate in the job market. Obviously, if a certificate can help to propel an individual’s career forward, even if it is more expensive, it is worth as with this kind of an educational background, the individual’s remuneration will in no time cover the costs involved.


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