Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Explore, Dream and Discover

“20 years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the one’s you did do. So throw off the bow line. Sail away from the safe harbour. Catch the trade winds in your sail. Explore. Dream. Discover.” - Mark Twain

Monday, March 26, 2012

What Can Be Done To Get The Most Out Of An MBA Program?

An MBA program is a huge commitment in terms of time and money. It exists to provide students with valuable business tools to ensure success in the workplace. But all the tools in the world become meaningless and useless until we learn how to use them effectively. However, more often than not, students who are doing their MBA courses miss out on the programs total effectiveness rendering it useless in practical life. By the time the program is completed and the person takes up a job, many of the theories he or she learnt at the job might be redundant if it is only theoretical knowledge that the student has gained. Therefore, what is required is absorption of practical knowledge along with theoretical information and problem solving skills.

An MBA degree once conferred upon an individual is like a passport to a new life as it can open many doors. However, a managerial position in any organization calls for certain skills which need not catch a new employee by surprise. If the program is fully exploited then it is likely that the transition from student to employee can be a smooth one with no unexpected surprises or jerks.. A few tips to get the most out of an MBA course are as follows:

1. Learn by practice
A lot of times studying happens when the exams are nearing and at that time it is likely that what is learnt is only stored for immediate recall during the exams. Information crammed in the last minute is not assimilated and therefore will not be available when required. The best way to derive maximum benefit from an MBA program is to study with interest and learn to acquire knowledge. Since the curriculum is designed to suit current organizational requirements, knowledge acquired during the program will help the student to manage real-life situations as and when they crop up.

2. Interaction with the faculty
MBA faculty definitely come with the knowledge and experience which makes them a unique, class apart group of people. These people by being available in a classroom are giving students the valuable opportunity to ask questions, learn and share their experiences and this is a great opportunity for MBA students provided they realize the potential behind the same.

3. Interaction with visiting faculty
Visiting faculty normally hold senior, existing positions in the corporate world and they are a window into an unknown future for students. Through their eyes, they can see into this world and learn about it even before they enter it.

4. Practical lessons like business plan preparation
An MBA program helps the student to actually evolve a business plan through the course. Once again, all practical lessons are not created just to acquire marks. They are a tool to understand how to perform in the corporate world and thus they needed to be treated as such.

Along with the above skills, during an MBA program one can develop his or her communication, interpersonal, presentation, time management and interviewing skills which are all extremely important survival aids in the corporate world.

Monday, March 19, 2012

What Are The Best Options For An Engineer For Higher Education?

An engineer who views his stream as an opportunity to earn his living will definitely not want to pursue higher education simply because the whole process of studying engineering itself calls for a lot of commitment and sacrifice. The course requires concentration; it is challenging and leaves a student with very limited time for extra- curricular activities. Obviously students look forward to embarking on a career and do not want to be burdened with heavy studying for another couple of years. However, for some people, engineering is not a vocational program. It is, in fact, their call in life. They are those who can be called born engineers who have an active left brain making them analytical thinkers and problem solvers. For such people, a graduation program provides them with basic knowledge which only sets their mind on fire for more knowledge. For these engineers, options are to pursue an MS and then later a PhD in engineering.

Going back to school to earn a PhD in engineering or IT is a major commitment. For some it's an obvious decision, but for others it takes more consideration. Depending on long-term career goals, getting a PhD may be an essential step on a career path. Before one decides whether or not to pursue a PhD, it is important to first understand what it entails.

A PhD program one must remember is a multi-year project which calls for self-reliance, discipline and commitment. It is not about classroom studying and instead it is about innovating and problem solving. A perfect program for a technology driven individual.
"If you want to do highly analytical and specialized work such as operations research, artificial intelligence or nuclear physics in industry or in academia, a PhD is often required," says Melissa Lawrence, director of human resources, ITA Software, Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. "If you want to solve interesting computer science problems, a PhD might be an asset, but would not be required."
Lawrence adds that in her experience, technical graduate degrees are more important if you want to be on a technical career track as opposed to a management career track.

So does this mean that others should not pursue higher education after their engineering?

Not really. In fact, for those who have viewed their engineering program as vocational training will benefit largely by pursuing an MBA program as an MBA program offers them variety within the cachet of jobs available for engineers. They can choose programming, testing, designing or they can even move into business development, sales and marketing.
Dr. Andres Fortino, dean of Polytechnic University's Westchester campus in New York, says that advanced degrees represent educational opportunities for transformation, which training experiences do not always provide. "Obtaining an advanced degree prepares one to develop a new mind set and a deeper knowledge of a subject."

When to pursue higher education

Deciding whether to pursue a higher education program right after college or after a few years working in the field is another choice one must make. There is no "right" time to go to grad school, but for those interested in becoming a professor or doing research, it is perfect that they do this as a continuous process without breaking the pattern.
Combining work and school is also an option. "These days going to school part time while working is much easier than it once was," Fortino says. "The economics of earning a salary while having some or all of your education paid for by an employer offsets any sacrifices that are made in your personal life."
Keep in mind that experience is especially important when considering graduate school as a way to change one’s career focus. "If a technical person wants to switch to management, it is definitely better to wait five to six years to accumulate enough work experience to pursue the transition into a manager or business person," says Fortino. "Most schools require that much work experience in their MBA candidates, for example."
"From a hiring perspective, I like to see people take a break between undergraduate and graduate school," says. "I think gaining real-world experience makes employees more balanced graduate students and eventually more well-rounded employees. For most positions at our company, too much theoretical work and too little industry experience can be a detriment."

Monday, March 5, 2012

Should Bachelors Degree Be Done From Abroad?

There was a trend some years ago when Indian students chose to go abroad for higher education but now the trend is shifting with students going abroad to not only pursue higher education but even to complete their basic graduation. Statistics reveal that the number of Indian students opting for Bachelors or under graduation programs abroad is showing a significant 13 percent year-on-year growth.

One of the main deterrents for obtaining a bachelors degree abroad is that in most countries bachelors programs are of four years duration while in India it is only three years. The second factor is cost and a bachelors program abroad could be quite expensive compared to a similar program in India. When it comes to MBA, the decision becomes easy as brand value enhances job potential and students are willing to travel and spend more to obtain MBA's from recognized universities abroad. However, as far as bachelors programs are concerned there is no real data to indicate that an international bachelors degree can attract better jobs in India versus the same degree being obtained from a college in India.

However, for students who wish to continue to study abroad, starting at graduation level makes sense as it attunes them to a foreign environment earlier and makes for better adaptability. If, for example, a student wishes to procure an MBA degree, completing one’s graduation in an average Indian college may make it difficult to obtain an MBA seat in terms of competitiveness. However, studying abroad helps the student by providing him or her the advantage of a recognized bachelors degree making the whole admission process for an MBA program easier.
Looking at it objectively, the following are the points you need to consider:

Choice and Flexibility

International universities to remain on par with the best ensure that their campuses, faculty and education level math the best. They provide for an international learning experience which cannot be obtained at home and this makes a big difference in terms of learning experience.

Career Advantages

Studying and living in another country gives first-hand international experience which sets one apart from other job candidates. Companies look for global-ready graduates who have the skills to adapt to a global work culture.


With the ability of shorter term programs, the cost of living being on par with the U.S., and a favorable exchange rate, studying abroad is surprisingly affordable. Cost is often on par or less than out-of-state tuition.

Unparalleled Student Experience

Students who graduate in America benefit from learning about the lifestyles and cultural differences and this makes it easier to live abroad if one’s job requires them to do so. They now have the advantage of being born Indian but becoming a global citizen.

Graduation from Europe, Australia, New Zealand and the United Kingdom once again provides for standards of excellence in education systems which are crafted around independent learning, creativity and innovation – skills required for survival in the corporate world.

Culturally enriching a student learns and absorbs the culture of a country far different from his own, giving one’s mind the expanse to dream beyond confines. An open mind enables out-of-the-box thinking and helps the student to succeed in whatever field he or she chooses in life.