The last decade has seen a substantial number of students who have gone abroad to study computer science or information technology. The reasons are not far to seek. Technology has been at the heart of the industry. Businesses and organizations ever-increasingly rely on processes and systems that are technology-driven.
Every year, many engineering students and graduates from India apply for MS programs in the US. When it comes to academic profiles, we always recommend having a CGPA of 7.5 – 8.0 and a GRE score of 315 – 320 in order to get accepted at the top universities for MS programs in science and technology.
In this article, we will see how Keerthana Natarajan made it to some of the prominent names in the US with a comparatively weaker academic profile.
Before we get into her story, let’s have a quick look at the popularity of STEM jobs and job market scenario in the US.
Demand for STEM Graduates and Tech Job Market in the US
This ever-increasing reliance on technology has necessitated the demand of professionals who can work with and through these technologies, developing, implementing, and maintaining such complex systems. Computing and information processing is mission-critical for such systems. Naturally, jobs in computing and information technology are projected to be the principal wage earner in the technological domain in business.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Occupational Outlook Handbook 2020, “Employment of computer and information technology occupations is projected to grow 12 percent from 2018 to 2028, much faster than the average for all occupations.” Also, “The median annual wage for computer and information technology occupations was $88,240 in May 2019, which was higher than the median annual wage for all occupations of $39,810.”
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Keerthana’s MS Admission Journey
Here we recount briefly the success story of one of the students, Keerthana Natarajan. Keerthana earned a prized admit as a graduate student in MS in Information Technology at the University of Cincinnati in October of Fall 2019 and went onto secure a Physics Teaching Assistantship since January 2020. She is responsible to “evaluate, proctor, and grade students’ class work, assignments, and papers”. She has also been working as a Student Worker—Intramural Official at the university since January 2020, “responsible for officiating intramural contests for various sports.” She had also applied for the New Jersey Institute of Technology, George Mason University, and the University of Texas Arlington.
Keerthana had approached me with an average academic profile. She had earned a Bachelor of Technology (B.Tech) in Instrumentation and Control Engineering from the National Institute of Technology in Tiruchirapalli in 2018 with a less-than-strong CGPA of 6.80. She had taken the GRE and had scored 289 and had a TOEFL score of 89.
However, Keerthana had aces up her sleeves that knew could add muscle to her academic profile. Her two internships, one at the Indian Institute of Technology, Chennai, for two months in 2016, a Summer Internship at the University of Cambridge for three months in 2017 were strong statements of her technological acumen.
The Cambridge Internship added substantial muscle to her claim for admission. Also, she had worked as an Undergraduate Research Assistant at NIT while undertaking her B.Tech. Her volunteer experience in conducting Free Medical Camp for laborers at the American Mission Hospital, Bahrain, which was a testimony of her leadership skills, which we planned to highlight in her profile.
Keerthana had done her homework and knew that leadership skill is one trait that graduate schools look for in students aspiring to be Information Technologists.
Building the Profile: Keerthana’s USP
“As a Graduate School Applicant, you need to understand one thing. A Graduate School’s Admissions Committee is more interested to know what you are capable of becoming rather than what you are,” I have often said this to my students.
Keerthana’s hard work was well paid when, in 2019, the University of Cincinnati informed her that they were happy to offer her a place in the MS program in Information Technology, a dream-come-true for her. As her Advisor, I too felt it was days and time well-spent with another of a long list of my accomplished study-abroad aspirants.
MS Admissions Consulting Feedback
By Keerthana Natarajan
Why I opted for Professional Admission Consulting Services in the first place
It has always been my dream to pursue an MS in USA after my UG studies. So, I was looking for some guidance for university selection, preparing university documents, and visa processes. I decided to get in touch with you.
My Overall Experience with MS Admission Counselling Services
The overall experience was excellent. I could communicate with my assigned Advisor and Editor — Sasthi Priya and Chendur Mathi respectively with my questions and were always given transparent and timely advice. I approached them even at hours that I should not have perhaps. But they were always willing to listen and clarify a point. They were very patient.
My Feedback on Specific Components of the MS Admissions Consulting Services
- Personalized University Shortlisting services: That is one aspect of the whole Counselling process that I felt was so pragmatic. I was taken by it. The university shortlist was a balanced mix of safe, reach, and dream universities for me that blended with my profile.
- SoP/Essay/LORs/Resume Editing Services: The editing service is something that I would like to especially mention. Building an admit-winning profile is very important for a study-abroad aspirant. Your team did it well. I didn’t know how to frame an Admission Resume or an Essay. I had given a rough cut to my editor Chendur Mathi. She gave it a polished, finished look. Brainstorming ideas on the way to building my profile was something that I found very effective.
- Cost of the Services: Given the service provided, from university shortlisting to visa guidance, I think the consulting fee is reasonable.
- Quality of Remote Communication: My Admission Advisor and the Editor were reachable through both phone and e-mail easily. There was hardly any instance when I found difficulty in connecting with them.
My Thoughts on Professional Admissions Consulting Services
The primary advantage of seeking the service of an expert is that you are in the right direction to pursue your study-abroad dream.
I would strongly advise applicants like me aspiring to study abroad to opt for a trustworthy and creditable Admission Consultant to walk them through the application process. This can make a whole lot of difference in winning an admit to your university of choice. Such timely and informed guidance can be invaluable.
Sashti carries 9 years of extensive experience in the industry. Apart from pursuing her Master’s in the US, she also worked in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) for one year. She has extensive knowledge of university shortlisting, and visa. She is a specialist in converting visa rejects into success stories.
Her placement record encompasses top universities (including the Ivy League) such as Columbia University, UCLA, University of Southern California, Carnegie Mellon University, UPenn, University of Michigan, Cornell University, Georgia Tech, University of Waterloo and University of Alberta.
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