If you are here, you have already decided the take the next big step in your career. Trust me, this is step has the highest priority -- selecting the right college.
You proceed onward to the most exciting piece of your alumni experience. Well, it’s obvious to have a dream college, however, one should also explore more. Compare before Confirming. Here are 5 Key things to keep in mind
Course structure: Different people have different approach and no one better than you can decide, what’s best for you. Look at the course structure, the electives the college is providing, the course pace i.e. the duration and the skills that are being taught during that timeline. It’s important to know, what suits best for you. This will give you the correct direction of how good/bad that college is for you.
Finances: Another important aspect to look at is the course fee. Compare it with the other shortlisted colleges. In case, a college is out of your affordability; try to explore scholarship opportunities and RA/TA/on-campus jobs.
Networking: Today there are multiple platforms via which you can reach out to your prospective alumni. Use LinkedIn and ask as many questions you can. What are they doing currently? How did the college help with different career events? Do the career-councilors help with resume building, profile building, cover letter, etc.? These might be some of the good questions to start-off with.
Graduate success stories: Once you have built your LinkedIn profile; research on the last year to last five years success stories. How have your prospective alumni done in their career? How has the progress been? What are the different companies that came the year before on-campus for recruitment? What was the recruitment percent before completion of the course and post 3 months of the completion of the course? What are the different job roles you can expect? Try to find, if there is a connect between what you figured and what you really want to achieve. This will give you a perspective on your exit-options too.
Professor Connect: One of the most important pieces of college selection is to network with the professors. Connect with them as early as possible. A discussion with the professors/faculty you are generally keen on working (RA/TA) with will give you an understanding of the program and the elements of the department. Having personal connect with professors will unquestionably support your application and subsequently in landing an RA/TA role on-campus.
Now, you have some colleges in mind that you would want to compare. Not all the colleges would have same acceptance criteria. A definite thumb rule is to divide them into segments (Ambitious, Achievable, A Slam Dunk!), based on the above listed 5 Key areas.
Remember always, having more converts is definitely a good thing. However, you don’t need all the seats, you need just 1 seat and that should be the perfect one.